ASHFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- We're at the halfway point of visiting 10 Towns in 10 Days.

We're exploring what makes each western Massachusetts town unique - from it's people and culture, to businesses and community.

For some in Ashfield, their roots run deeper than others. For example, apple farmer Steve Gourgeon of Bear Swamp Orchard.

"We are in apple valley. They've been growing apples here for 100s of years. It's not much else because it's a hilly area. You could probably grow sheep or apples here. I grew up literally right here on this property and now, I'm raising my sons here too. I have family, relatives who go back to the founding of Ashfield. I have this deep connection that's almost epi-genetic," Gourgeon explained.

Gougeon is one of only a few certified organic apple farms in Massachusetts. He also makes his very own hard cider.

"People talk about microbrewery, we are a nano-cidery. We are making only a few thousand gallons a year of hard cider," Gourgeon noted.

Like the micro-beer movement, cider is starting to catch on.

"Cider is one of these lost souls in history. It was always a farm-based beverage and so you made it for your family. Cider has now been rediscovered by a lot of people," Gourgeon said,

Bear Swamp Orchard is tucked into the hills of Ashfield, offering stunning views.

"We pay for our views with our winter weather and ups and downs," Gourgeon added.

Keeping people warm year round is Country Pie Pizza, serving up hot slices in the center of town.

"It's a nice place to gather. It's warm, always. We got great pizza, fresh ingredients. We put a lot of care into everything we do," said Patrick McGuire with Country Pie Pizza.

Once a year, the town is transformed during the Ashfield Film Fest, earning the nickname 'Hillywood' in the process.

"I think we had 12 entries our first year. Entries that are five minutes or less made by people in Ashfield. We brought together 150 people the first time, We now fill the town hall with 400 people-plus and every year, the town hall rocks and rolls." said Harry Keramidas

Tamara Sloan added, "It is just packed to the gills here. It is filled with people, children sit on the floor. People stand against the wall and near the windows."

Town hall is becomes a theater and red carpets are laid as bands greet those in attendance.

"We are really proud of the films we bring in because they are one of a kind. Often, they are a first premiere of a major film," Sloan noted.

For example, Weed the People, a documentary about medical marijuana, was debuted at the Ashfield Film Fest.

"It's actaully in theaters now. It was at South by Southwest competition this year. They were kind enough to let us screen it here since I worked on it," said Christopher Seward.

Sloan explained, "It's such a loving crowd that applauds, stands up, and cries and is so supportive of everyone. It brings us all together because there is a diversity of people who come to see these films."

Winners of the film fest get their names on the Baby Cecil trophy, named in honor of legendary director Cecil B. Demille, who was born in Ashfield.

"It's a way for people to come together, which is always important in small towns. I also think that it's a celebration," Seward said.

Join us tomorrow for day seven of 10 Towns in 10 Days as we visit Westhampton.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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