June 2008
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Our Favorite Things
Farmers' Markets are open, CSA distributions have begun, and local produce is on the shelves of local retailers. It's a good time to be an eater in the Pioneer Valley, but farmers look forward to this season as well. We interviewed several Local Hero growers to find out what they're looking forward to this year.

The Kitchen Garden in Sunderland specializes in uncommon and heirloom varieties from around the world. "Right now, we're harvesting baby zucchini with the blossoms attached. We also just sell the blossoms. People at the farmers' market love them," owner Caroline Pam told us. Caroline and her partner Tim Wilcox share a deep love for Italian produce, and grow heirloom varieties of fresh shell beans, broccoli rabe, and escarole. "I think the most unusual thing we grow is a winter crop-an Italian raddiccio. The second growth is harvested in December and comes out with long, spindly, curvy leaves. It is beautiful and I don't know of anyone else growing it in the US." In addition to their annual favorites, Caroline and Tim are looking forward to their first season on their new land, additional farmers' markets, and a cooking demo at the Garlic and Arts Festival in September.

Ryan Voiland of Red Fire Farm in Granby is known for growing some unusual crops for his 750 CSA members. But he's hard pressed to pick a favorite. "Everything we grow, we grow because we like. Some things are easier to grow than others, and some we just haven't perfected, but we like it all," Ryan explained. "Mostly we're just trying to keep everything growing this year." Ryan's looking forward to the farm's annual Tomato Festival on August 23rd, which features a wide variety of tomatoes for a tasting table, a 'tomato trot' 5k and live music. Ryan noted, "We're growing over 100 varieties of tomatoes on three to four acres of land this season. That's more tomatoes than ever!"

Dave Kaskeski of Dave's Natural Garden, also in Granby, has spent the off- season making farm improvements, thanks in part to a Farm Viability and Enhancement grant from the state Department of Agricultural Resources. He converted his old dairy barn into housing for an expanded flock of laying hens, built a new farm stand and added a greenhouse. "I've put a lot of work into these changes, so I'm just excited to get everything going this year," says Dave. He will also be growing a several new varieties of garlic this year, and selling garlic braids. "Now I just need to learn how to braid," Dave added with a smile.

For help finding the particular farm products you are looking forward to, consult our online Farm Products Guide and look for the print guide out this month!

Locally Grown: The Farm Products Guide
CISA's Farm Products Guide, a comprehensive guide to eating and buying locally produced food and farm products, is coming soon to newspapers, food retailers, farm stands, farmers' markets and visitor centers near you! This year's Guide has a new look and feel and features a fresh new layout, helpful information about how to eat locally year-round, and profiles of leaders in the local food and agricultural community of western Massachusetts. As in previous years, the 2008 Guide also contains listings of area farms and farm stands, local restaurants that use local food, retailers of local food and farm products, and regional farmers' markets. The 2008 Farm Products Guide has been made possible with support from Berkshire-Pioneer Resource Conservation &Development, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, and U.S. Department of Agriculture - Rural Development.

Whole Foods Hosts '5% Day' for CISA
Whole Foods Market in Hadley, a participating Local Hero retailer, will donate 5% of total sales on Monday, June 16th to CISA. Whether you need a bottle of wine, a quick bite to eat, or your groceries for the week, stop into the Hadley store and make a purchase in support of CISA. Encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. Simply send them an email with a link to this flyer or print out the flyer to post in your neighborhood.

Whole Foods Market hosts a 5 percent benefit day for selected local non-profits four times a year. CISA is pleased to be one of the recipient organizations for 2008. Please help us make the most of this special opportunity.

Can you can?
Collective Copies, a worker-owned copy shop in Amherst, Florence and Belchertown, is selling home canning kits with a portion of the proceeds to benefit CISA. The seven piece kit is produced by Fagor, a worker-owned cooperative headquartered in Mondragón, Spain. The kit includes: a canning rack, jar wrench, jar lifter, stainless steel wide mouth funnel, magnetic lid lifter, stainless steel ladle and bubble freer. Whether you are interested in canning using the boiling water bath method (perfect for fruits, tomatoes, pickles or other high acid foods) or the pressure canning method (for low acid and other foods), the kit will help get you on your way to preserving the best food of the summer season. For more information, or to purchase the $24 kit, visit any of the Collective Copy locations.

Calling All Party Planners! Volunteers Needed for CISA's Eat the View Event
Looking for a way to do good and have some fun? Join our creative team of volunteers working to plan CISA's Eat the View event on October 3rd 2008. This year's event will be a celebration of the local harvest and the kick-off to CISA's 15th anniversary. Volunteers are needed for three event committees: Ambiance & Hospitality, Food, and Live Auction. Email us or call Jennifer at (413) 665-7100 if you are interested or want more information-and thanks!

Photo courtesy of Ben Barnhart.

2008 Local Hero Awards
CISA is pleased to announce the selection of Mary McClintock, food columnist for The Recorder in Greenfield, Amy Klippenstein and Paul Lacinski of Sidehill Farm in Ashfield, and Gardening the Community in Springfield as the 2008 Local Hero Award recipients.

Local Hero Awards are given to individuals, institutions and businesses that are committed to promoting and strengthening local agriculture and have demonstrated long-term vision, social responsibility, and/or an environmental ethic in their work. "We applaud our 2008 Local Hero Award recipients and the meaningful roles they play in promoting sustainability, community, and enriching our region's character through their commitment to local food and agriculture," says Philip Korman, executive director of CISA.

Mary McClintock is a long-time advocate and practitioner of eating locally and sustainably, who has co-organized and promoted Greenfield's annual Free Harvest Supper of Locally Grown Food since 2005. In 2008, she helped launch the first Week of Winter Fare/Groundhog's Day Farmers' Market, organized to demonstrate the many options available for seasonal eating in winter. And for the past year, McClintock has also written "Savoring the Seasons," a weekly column in The Recorder providing insights, suggestions, and recipes on how to eat locally.

Amy Klippenstein and Paul Lacinski of Sidehill Farm have been growing organic produce since 2001. In 2006, they saw a gap in the availability of locally produced organic yogurt and decided to fill it themselves. The farm has now grown to include two acres of vegetables, 5,000 square feet of greenhouse space, and a herd of 17 cows, grazed on certified organic pastureland, producing raw milk and approximately 800 quarts of yogurt each week from March to December. Klippenstein and Lacinski describe their mission in holistic terms, working to integrate the health of their farm, their community, and the local economy through sustainable farming methods and a careful balancing of the human, animal, and biological communities that overlap to create a farm.

Gardening the Community (GtC) is a youth-centered community-based urban gardening project in Springfield. A program of the Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, GtC employs teens to grow organic fruits and vegetables on formerly abandoned lots, using little or no fossil fuels, while learning about and practicing agriculture, environmental stewardship, and community development. GtC's vision is to introduce and foster principles of sustainable living through urban agriculture, and to create a partnership between city gardeners and rural and suburban farming in western Massachusetts.

Recipients will be honored at CISA's annual meeting later this year (date and location to be announced). For more information about the 2008 Local Hero Awards, please contact Pamela Barnes at (413) 665-7100.

Bistro Les Gras Opens with Benefit for CISA
Northampton restaurant and Local Hero member Bistro Les Gras held a private opening on May 22 to benefit CISA. Owners Elizabeth and Daniel Martinez and their family members and friends enjoyed a classic French bistro menu and assortment of wines while learning about CISA's work from Executive Director Philip Korman. Dinner guests showed their appreciation for Bistro's delicious fare and commitment to buying and using local ingredients by making contributions to CISA at the end of the evening. Merci, Elizabeth and Daniel!

Farm Fresh Food - Right on your Doorstep
Valley Green Feast, a participating Local Hero member, is a new home delivery service, working to making it easier for consumers to buy local food and support farmers in the Pioneer Valley.

Loosely based on the CSA model, Valley Green Feast's goal is to minimize environmental impacts by delivering the local, primarily organic foods from a vegetable oil-powered truck, according to co-owner Jessica Harwood. Here is how it works: Orders of fresh, local, organic vegetables, fruit, fish, lamb, pork, beef, cheese, and eggs are made ahead of time online or by phone, with options to order by the week, month, or up to four months at a time. Orders will be delivered on Fridays.

Discounts are available for group orders (i.e., with your co- workers or your neighbors) and for ordering for extended periods of time. Delivery is available to the greater Northampton, Amherst, Easthampton, Springfield, and West Springfield areas, beginning the first week of July. For more information about this new service, contact Jessica Harwood at (413) 588-8704. Or, check out their website.

Sweet, Sweet, Strawberry Season
"Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did."
-William Allen Butler

As the unofficial hallmark of summer, the sight of strawberries is enough to make anyone smile. And there is no better way to enjoy the beginning of the summer's bountiful season than with fresh, local strawberries. So get out and pick some from a local farm, or look for local berries at area retailers and farmstands-thereby doing your part to make sure that there will be "strawberry fields forever"!

Farm Bill Finalized
The 2008 Farm Bill has been a long time coming. It's a large, complex piece of legislation that establishes and funds both agricultural policy and food programs, such as food stamps, subsidized school food, and other efforts to feed the hungry. Although this combination ensures that both urban and rural needs are addressed in the Farm Bill, it makes achieving change an uphill battle. A growing coalition of activists concerned with hunger, healthy eating, and family-scale farming worked together to influence the 2008 Farm Bill, and were successful in some areas and not in others.

These are just a few of the items in the new Farm Bill that impact our work in western Massachusetts. For more information, visit the links below. This year's Farm Bill includes:
  • More than $10 billion in additional funding for nutrition programs, including money for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which funds farmers market coupons and CSA programs for seniors;
  • Several efforts to study and address the problem of "food deserts," or communities, often in cities, that lack full-service markets offering fresh produce and other healthy, unprocessed products;
  • Additional funding and permanent status for the Community Food Projects program, which funds innovative, community-scale food and agriculture projects;
  • A $7.9 billion increase in funding for conservation programs; and
  • A provision clarifying that schools using federal school meal funds have the flexibility to specify 'local' as a bid requirement in purchasing foods for school meals with federal funds.
More information:
2008 Farm Bill Official Site
American Farmland Trust
Community Food Security Coalition

Valley Art & Music Contests Open
Have a knack for songwriting? The Connecticut River Watershed Council is sponsoring a song contest for local artists. 'Living Along the River' finalists will perform at a concert at Great Falls Discover Center. Deadline for entries is July 15th. For more information, visit the Watershed Council's website.

If songwriting isn't your strong suit, use your particular talents for the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network's Art/Invention Contest. The Network is calling for submissions that describe what sustainability in the Pioneer Valley looks, sounds, or feels like, using dance, music, film, sculpture, or two-dimensional design. The winner will receive $1,000 and significant exposure and recognition, and must agree to execute his/her winning idea and produce the final work with a $5,000 budget by September 30, 2008. For more information on this contest, visit the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network's website.

Solidarity Saturday
Saturday, June 14

Tour Seeds of Solidarity's farm and education site in Orange, Mass. from 10:00am to Noon. The farm features solar greenhouses, energy efficient buildings, abundant market gardens, solar electric and hot water systems, and biodiesel fueled vehicles. Optional potluck follows the two-hour tour. Free.

Fathers and Kids on the Farm
Sunday, June 15

Celebrate Father's Day at Winterberry Farm in Levertt, Mass. from 1:30-4:30pm. We'll feed the animals, plant some seeds to take home, grind some flour to make a cake- then have time for a story and a small feast. The program is for dads (or grandpas) and little kids. $45 per adult-child pair (5 pair limit).

Shop for a Cause at Whole Foods Market
Monday, June 16

Whole Foods Market in Hadley, a participating Local Hero retailer, will contribute 5 percent of net store sales on June 16 to CISA. Whether you just need a bottle of wine, a quick bite to eat or your groceries for the week, stop into the Hadley store and make a purchase in support of CISA. Tell your friends and neighbors to do the same.

Strawberry Feast in the Fields
Saturday, June 21

Bringing in the Strawberry season with a new farm event - dine in the landscape of Red Fire Farm in Granby, Mass. with a special menu celebrating local foods. A hint of the menu: home-made strawberry shortcake. Tickets are limited, so call to make your reservation: (413) 467-SOIL.

Open House at Chase Hill Farm
Sunday, June 22

Come see the cows, calves and cheese making facilities at Chase Hill Farm in Warwick, Mass. There will be tours of the facilities and lots of samples to tempt your taste buds. The open house will run from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Farmers' Market at Whole Foods Market
Sunday, June 22

Farmers selling fruits, vegetables and more to Whole Foods Market in Hadley will have the opportunity to sell directly to you at a special farmers' market in front of the store. Sure you can buy the same items inside the store. But wouldn't you like to meet the farmer who grows your food? The market will run from 11:00am-3:00pm in the parking lot.

Lavender Festival
Saturday and Sunday, June 28 & 29

Come to our annual Lavender Festival and see how we distill our lavender at Johnson Hill Farm in Buckland, Mass. There will be workshops, a variety of local crafts and artisans, and self- guided tours of the farm. Activities will run from 10:00am- 4:00pm each day. For more information visit our website.

Franklin Land Trust's 20th Annual Farm and Garden Tour
Saturday & Sunday, June 28 & 29

This year's self-guided tour will take participants to private gardens, working farms and secret places in the western Massachusetts towns of Ashfield, Plainfield and Hawley. A complete tour guide, with a detailed map, is provided to participants. Tickets are $20 for one or both days; $16 for Franklin Land Trust members. For information, call FLT at (413) 625-9152, ext. 8. or visit their website.

Cowls Sawmill Outlet Sale

Come down to Cowls Sawmill for incredible deals on locally grown timber for general residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial use. This sale will run throughout the month of June. For more information, please visit Cowls' website.

Glenbrook Gardens Daylily Festival
Saturday, July 12

Dig, divide, design, and dine! Come out and enjoy over 150 varities of field dug daylilies on site. There will be a mini marketplace, painting in the garden, workshops, a 'Name the Daylily Contest', and daylily dining. For directions, more information, and to pre-register for the meal, please click here.

Greenfield Garden Tour
Saturday, July 12

The 16th annual Greenfield Garden Club Garden Tour is a self- guided tour of 10 gardens in the Greenfield area. Complementary gourmet refreshments are included. There will also be a raffle and all proceeds benefit the many community projects of the club. Tickets are $12.00 and will be available at Trap Plain the day of the tour. The event runs from 9:00am-4:00pm. For more information please contact Debran Brocklesby at (413) 348-5227. Or visit their website.

2008 Grazing Workshop Series
NOFA Mass, USDA NRCS, and UMass Extension have organized seven Grazing Workshops as a continuing education resource for Massachusetts farmers. Topics at each event will vary, but will include pasture management, organic transition and heard health, forage species, soil fertility, fencing and water systems, and summer and winter grazing. For more information about each of these sessions, please visit this website or contact Winton Pitcoff at (413) 634-5728, UMass Extension at (413) 545-2250, or Tom Akin at (413) 253-4365.
Job Opening: Farm Manager. Established PYO orchard in the Pioneer Valley with a loyal customer base seeks farm manager. Experience with tree fruit and marketing preferred. Position is year- round and requires experience with tree fruit and marketing, as well as tractor operation and equipment maintenance. Salary is commensurate with experience. Call (413) 665-4689.

Job Opening: Farmers' Market Staff. Enterprise Farm in Whately, Mass. is looking for Farmers' Market Staff. Position will cover 2-3 markets a week (between 25-30 hours). At least 2 Sundays a month is a must. The right person for the job is someone with experience in sales and farming, and has passion for fresh, organic food. If you are interested, call Alyssa McKim at (413) 320-6652.

Job Opening: Part-time help. Real Pickles is a small business, based in Montague, MA, producing raw, naturally fermented pickled foods from local, organic vegetables. We are seeking part-time help, beginning ASAP in Greenfield, MA. Work includes all aspects of production, including preparing fresh ingredients for fermentation and packaging finished product into glass jars. Work is physically demanding. Applicants should be hard-working, reliable, and able to lift 50 lbs. This is a great opportunity to learn all about the ancient art of lactic acid fermentation! For more information, call Dan at (413) 863-9063.

Internship: The KO Festival of Performance is seeking two interns for this summer season. The theme of the festival this year is "FOOD: appetites, attitudes, and politics." Interns work closely with the staff and the visiting artists to execute the full range of summer activities, including mounting and running of shows, assisting with rehearsal residencies where new work is being created, hosting the visiting artists and workshop students, and the creation of visual displays about the work. All activities will be held on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, from July 5-August 12. Housing provided. For more information, visit the festival's website or contact Sabrina Hamilton at (413) 427-6147.

Volunteer: Rice Fruit Farm in Wilbraham is seeking volunteers to help out in the orchards from late June-October. Duties would include clearing of weeds & grass, some tractor work and picking of fruit come peach & apple season. This is a great opportunity to learn the skills needed to grow fruit in Massachusetts from a farm that's been in the business since 1894. For more information, contact Amy at (413) 596-4002.

Volunteer: Greenfield's Free Harvest Supper organizers are looking for help! There are many ways to be involved-planning, volunteering the day of the Supper, donating food, or providing information for the display area. The organizers are looking for folks to help create the "Map of the Meal" and the supper program and to help with the Really, Really Free Market, as well as people to set-up, serve, and clean-up. To volunteer, donate food, or provide display information, contact us by e-mail or call (413) 773-5029, ext. 3.

Wanted: Beginning farmer with 3+ years experience seeking land tenure/stewardship opportunity to include organic vegetable production using draft horses along with the possibility to graze small livestock. Open and willing to work with your situation, rent or lease. Currently apprenticing at Natural Roots in Conway, Mass. Please contact Anthony at (413) 369-4269.

Wanted: Land. Farmers and our goats are looking for a long-term lease in the Pioneer Valley area. Home and buildings sure would be a giant plus. We have top-notch hay equipment. Home: (207) 454- 9919; Fax: (207) 454-9929; or Cell: (207) 214-3000.

For Rent: Farmland. 9 acres of cleared land in Williamsburg available for rent. For more information, contact Donna Gibson at (413) 268-7421.

For Rent: Pastures for Grass-fed Beef. Approximately 20+ acres available for grazing beef animals. One pasture of appr. 10 acres is securely fenced with 4 stands of barbed wire. The other two pastures need work on the fences. All the pastures have running water year round. The rest of the farm produces hay which is of excellent quality. It would be readily available for purchase from our producer. In return, initially, doing fencing and bush- hogging the pastures would be the fee. After that, we might discuss having you raise and sell an animal for us which we would purchase as a calf. For more details, contact Jeanne at (508) 943-0809 or (508) 981-8881.

For Sale: Nubian wethers for sale born the beginning of March. We also have a Nubian buck for sale born the beginning of April. Call or email for more information at (413) 628-0026. Check out our website for pictures.

For Sale: Fiber Flock. Border Leicester and Border Leicester cross ewes for sale. I have been breeding for quality fiber for a decade, producing award-winning fleeces. These proven ewes range in age from 2-5 years, are healthy, and are also good mothers. This is a perfect starter flock for someone wishing to raise sheep for wool production and meat. Please call Barb (413) 625-6121 or email for more information.

For Sale: Large classic colonial farmhouse with wrap-around porch, barn, garage, new building previously used for retail, all on 2+ acres in very quiet setting on country back road. Additional land is available for rent or purchase. Perfect for B&B, retreat, stables (plenty of trails for riding), agri-tourism, or small start-up farm. West Northfield. Contact Chee Chee Mamook Farm at alpaca0410@yahoo.com for more info.

For Sale: House lot at North Amherst Community Farm. 30,000 sq. ft. flag lot, adjoining organic farm with beautiful views. Suitable for a single family home, or duplex. Walking distance to local businesses, bus lines, Puffers Pond & Mill River recreation area. For more information, contact David Kastor at (413) 549-4119.

Farm Camp Enrollment: Little Brook Farm in Sunderland, will be offering two weeks of farm camp this year. Camps will take place June 23 - 27, and July 7 - 11, from 9am-3pm. The goal for each week will be to provide kids with the opportunity to learn how to safely handle animals and to foster respect for the animals that we care for. Kids will develop a better understanding of where their meat, milk, eggs and fiber come from and what "sustainable agriculture" means. Camp is limited to children ages 8 and up and space is very limited. For more information please contact Kristen Whittle at (413) 665-3802.

Farm Camp Enrollment: Small Ones Farm is a 63-acre, family-owned farm in Amherst, MA. We use earth-friendly and people-friendly farming practices to grow apples, peaches, pears, vegetables and hay. Our summer programs help children connect to farming and the natural world in a safe, fun environment. Children will assist with the farm's operation, explore the natural environment, and use natural materials for creative projects. Two programs are available: Seedlings (ages 5-6) and Harvesters (ages 11-13). Programs are 1-week long, and run from July 28 through August 15. Contact Sally Fitz, Program Director, at (413) 253-6788. Check out our website for more information.

Free: Food waste for farm animals or compost. Butternuts Restaurant in Hadley wants to know if you are interested in obtaining food waste from their restaurant. For more information, contact Tracy or Andy at (413) 586-0234.

All items in classifieds will run for two months unless re-posted. To list an advertisement in the classified section, please contact Allison Neher.

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CISA | 1 Sugarloaf Street | South Deerfield | MA | 01373