CISA's February 09 eNewsletter
Feb. 2009
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Dear Jennifer,

Yesterday morning, I drove past Annie's Garden and Gift Store in Amherst. The sign out front proclaimed "Spring is Coming... No Matter What the Groundhog Saw." In the morning when I do barn chores, I can occasionally smell the earth thawing where it's been exposed by the plow. Soon I'll go out into the snowy early morning and be surprised by birdsong. Farmers, of course, are getting ready for the change in seasons, whether they're starting seedlings in greenhouses, pruning fruit trees, or working in the sugar bush to clear the trees toppled by December's ice storm off of their sap lines.

Here at CISA, we're also getting ready for a new growing season. We've sent out enrollment packets for the Local Hero program, we're planning for our annual meeting, and we're deep into a major redesign of our website, which we plan to launch in May. This is also the season of writing and reporting on grants.

We're sending out an abbreviated version of our monthly electronic newsletter in order to make some time for these other tasks. Despite the snow on the ground, you'll find that there are lots of food and farm-related events and activities going on in the region--see the events list, below.

If your thoughts are turning to the bounty of spring and summer in western Massachusetts, now is the time to join a community supported farm, or CSA, where you'll receive a share of the harvest each week throughout the growing season. Last year, shares in many local CSAs sold out, so planning ahead is a good idea. You can find a list of Local Hero CSAs on our web site, and here is a list of those that still have spaces remaining.

  • Bloody Brook Farm is a new CSA in South Deerfield.
  • Chestnut Farms is a meat CSA with deliveries to several locations in western and central Massachusetts as well as the Boston area for those of you looking to add some protein to your meals.
  • CommonWealth CSA allows you to enjoy the bounty from three farms with pickup in Greenfield.
  • Coyote Hill Farm in Bernardston has 2 shares remaining--act fast!
  • Enterprise Farm has a year-round CSA and accepts new members on a rolling basis with deliveries to Boston or pick-up at the farm in Whately.
  • Intervale Farm in Westhampton has openings.
  • Mountain View Farm in Easthampton has shares available.
  • Natural Roots, a horse-powered farm in Conway, is accepting new members.
  • Sangha Farm has shares available for pick-up on the farm in Ashfield or at the Ashfield Farmers' Market.
  • Shoestring Farm in Colrain is accepting members.
  • Red Fire Farm - has openings at all its western Mass distribution locations (Granby, Springfield Farmers' Market at the X, Old Depot Gardens Farmstand in Montague) as well as some shares at its Boston distribution points.
  • Simple Gifts Farm in North Amherst has some openings.
  • Stone Soup Farm in Belchertown has shares available for pickup at the farm and is considering a delivery to Northampton.
  • The Kitchen Garden is offering home-delivered box shares in Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden counties and northern Connecticut.
  • Three Sisters Farm in Montague is offering just 20 shares this year.
  • Town Farm in Northampton has regular and large shares available.
If a CSA isn't the right fit for you, but you're interested in the convenience of pre-ordering or delivery, here are some other options:
  • Valley Green Feast offers a local home delivery service featuring locally grown farm products.
  • Swartz Family Farm offers online ordering of their farm products and more for pick up at the farm in North Amherst.
  • Mapleline Farm offers home delivery of Jersey milk and cream as well as other grocery products.
We're lucky to have such a variety of options for finding locally grown food and farm products--including a growing number of winter markets! I'll be replenishing my larder at Winter Fare in Greenfield on Saturday.

Margaret Christie
Special Projects Director

Photo submitted by CISA.

Come to CISA's Annual Meeting and Potluck
If you love sharing great food and want an opportunity to enjoy both the gustatory and the social benefits of local agriculture, CISA's annual meeting and potluck dinner is for you! On March 13th, at Amherst College, we'll be celebrating the 2008 Local Hero award winners (Sidehill Farm, Mary McClintock, and Gardening the Community), voting on a slate of new board members, and talking about the highlights of the past year. All donors and members of CISA will receive an invitation to the annual meeting. To make sure you receive an invitation to the best potluck in western Massachusetts, please join the Community Membership initiative, make a contribution to our Annual Fund, or plan to do so at the door. We'll need volunteers to assist before, during, and after the potluck. If you plan on attending, be sure to let us know if you are willing to lend a hand.

Community Outreach Volunteer Training Session
Would you like to help CISA tell its story to the public? Are you willing to promote our new Community Membership initiative? Would you like to attend some farm and food-related events for free? We need volunteers to represent CISA at environmental expos, food and agriculture fairs, farmers' markets, concerts, and farm festivals. Weekend and weekday outreach opportunities will be available throughout the year.

Community outreach volunteers will receive an overview of CISA's history and programs and will learn the fine points of staffing our information tables at a training on Saturday, February 21, from 10 am to 11:30 am at the CISA office (1 Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield). Please register with Jennifer at 413-665-7100 by Thursday, February 19, if you plan to attend.

Call for Volunteers - 2009 Eat the View
Want to help CISA raise funds, have fun, meet neighbors and community members with shared interests and values, exercise your creativity and, of course, eat great locally grown food?

CISA is looking for volunteers to help with our major benefit, Eat the View. This year's event is scheduled for Friday, October 2. The evening will include an elaborate and sumptuous feast of the Valley's finest locally grown food, a short program of remarks from CISA staff and supporters, a silent and live auction and other special surprises. We are seeking volunteers for the following committees and tasks:
  • Ambiance & Hospitality Committee (help design and execute event theme)
  • Auction Committee (plan and execute the live and silent auction portions of the event)
  • We are also looking for volunteers to help on October 2 to decorate, pick-up food items, serve food items, and work with the post-event clean-up crew.
Please go to the Get Involved section of CISA's website and fill out the volunteer application or contact Jennifer at 413-665-7100. Eat the View volunteers are also strongly encouraged to attend the volunteer orientation session listed above.

Photo by Jason Threlfall.

It's time to join CISA's Local Hero program!
The 2009 renewal and recruitment drive for Local Hero member farms, restaurants, retailers, institutions, specialty product producers and landscape/garden centers has begun. With the increased public attention on and interest in locally grown farm products, 2009 is the perfect time to join. In return, we promise to continue to promote the Local Hero brand in print, on the radio, and through other marketing tactics. You choose the level of involvement based on your business needs. The membership drive runs through March 1 with different membership levels available as well as a new á-la-carte graphic design service option, and many benefits to help market local farms and agricultural products. Some restrictions apply. If you would like to discuss membership qualifications, contact Local Hero Members Services Coordinator, Devon Whitney-Deal at 413-665-7100 x22. For more information or to download the enrollment forms, go to CISA's homepage. Enrollment is not complete until dues are paid and Devon has confirmed your membership.

CISA's Winter Workshop Series: Marketing 101
The first session of our six-part workshop series, Marketing 101, was a huge hit. Our conference room was packed with farmers interested in hearing what Mitch Anthony of Titanium, Inc. of Greenfield had to say about branding agricultural businesses and putting customers at the center of their marketing strategy. There is still time to sign up for the remaining sessions, which are focused on advertising, merchandising and internet marketing for local farmers and other farm-related businesses. For more information on these and additional winter workshops, download our winter workshop listing. You can also download the registration form or contact Devon at 413-665-7100 x 22.

These marketing workshops are based on work supported by USDA/CREES under Award Number 2007-49200-03888.

Vendors needed for Winter Farmers' Market
Turners Falls High School is opening its doors for an indoor, winter farmers' market on Saturday morning, February 28. Farmers are invited to bring their produce to sell. $20.00 for a 20 square feet table space. A $10.00 check will get you 10 square feet. Make the check out to GMEF. If you have any questions, call Steve Damon at 413-863-2850 or email him at

Summer vacation at the Farm
Summer will be upon us before you know it. Several farms offer summer camp experiences on the farm for grade school children. Little Brook Farm is holding their Farm Camp for two weeks only, July 6 - 10 and July 13 - 17. Red Gate Farm has several sessions scheduled and Winterberry Farm is a local favorite with several sessions planned.

Photo by Jason Threlfall.
Be sure to check out CISA' s events page for updates and additions throughout the month.

Saturday, February 7
Winter Fare Farmers Market

The Winter Fare Farmers' Market will take place on Sat., Feb. 7 from 10 a.m - 2 p.m. at Greenfield High School (1 Lenox Avenue). The Market will include close to 30 vendors selling a wide variety of locally grown and raised food, along with workshops, displays and a barter fair. Be sure to stop by CISA's table and introduce yourself!

February 7-14
Week of Winter Fare

In the midst of winter, Franklin County will be abuzz with the fun and great flavors of an indoor farmers' market and community events celebrating locally grown food. From Feb. 7 to Feb. 14, the Week of Winter Fare will feature local food potlucks, films, recipe swaps, workshops, and tastings. Sponsored by CISA, Franklin Community Co-op, RideBuzz, Greenfield Farmers Cooperative Exchange, Greenfield Savings Bank.

Saturday, February 7
Mass Ag in the Classroom Conference

The 8th Annual Growing Minds through Massachusetts Agriculture Conference will be held at Baird Middle School in Ludlow from 8:30 am to 3 pm. The conference offers educational and networking resources that can facilitate and enhance pre-K through 12th grade classroom activities. The $45 fee includes lunch and all materials. ($50 on the day of the conference).

Sunday, February 8
The Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires Annual Meeting

The Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires is holding its annual meeting on Feb.8 at 4 pm in Great Barrington at the First Congregational Church (251 Main Street). Gordon Thorne (developer of Thorne's Marketplace and founder of the land trust that holds Bramble Hill) is the speaker. Cost is $5 BerkShares/dollars. Free to members of the Community Land Trust. Co-sponsored by the E. F. Schumacher Society.

Sunday, February 8
Gettting Started Saving Heirloom Seeds

Learn to save (and improve!) your own valuable, heirloom and other open pollinated seeds from your most valuable, favorite food crops. This hands-on workshop designed for beginning seed savers, will focus largely on the self-pollinating vegetable crops like peas, beans and tomatoes. We will cover selection, collection, drying, cleaning and storing seeds for home use in small, permaculture food gardens. We will briefly address the trickier, cross pollinating crops, like corn and squash, as well. Bring your favorites to swap! Presented by Daniel Botkin of Laughing Dog Farm at the CISA office, 1 Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield MA 01373 ( directions). Donations to LDF appreciated. Info at 413-863-8696.

Wednesday, February 11
Dinner and Film screening Two Angry Moms

Do you know what your child eats at school? Interested in creating healthy eating options in Springfield? This informational film is a documentary about two angry moms who are fed up, frustrated and want to make some changes in the school lunch program. This free public event will be held at the Greenleaf Community Center (1188 Parker Street) in Springfield, Mass. 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Sponsored by Springfield Partners for Community Action/Food Policy Council.

Wednesday, February 11
The Garden Grows the Community: Preserving Agricultural Land in Greenfield for Community Gardens and Farms

Meeting to explore opportunities for community gardens or small-scale community farms in Greenfield on public owned lands within the city. Sponsored by Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, in partnership with the Commonwealth Corps Program, the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee, and the Pleasant Street Community Garden. 7 PM at the Greenfield Police Department meeting room (321 High Street). For more info, email

Saturday and Sunday, February 14-15
Valentine's Day Open Farm and Winter Sale at Craigieburn Farm Alpacas

Stop by to see the alpacas in full fleece from 10 am to 4 pm. Learn about alpacas and their luxurious fiber, and browse the farm store. Many of our items will be on sale, including childen's items, hats, gloves, scarves, socks, sweaters, throws, and pashminas. We also have yarn and rovings for the knitters and spinners. Please visit our website or call 413- 253-4485 for more information. Craigieburn Farm is located at 243 W Pelham Rd in Shutesbury.

February 16-20
The Winter Farm: A Week for Kids

Join Winterberry Farm for fun with farm animals, wild animals, carpentry, spinning, cooking, and a lot of time outside. Kids will feed and groom, create and day-dream. Chores, stories, and time for a special project every day. The day begins at 8:30 am and ends at 4:30 pm. The week is for 2nd graders and older, who bring a lunch each day. Limited to 8 kids. $280 per child. Contact Jill Horton-Lyons at (413) 548-3940 to register.

Wednesday, February 18
Workshop series on financial incentives for farms and forest product businesses

Want to learn more about funding available for your renewable energy or efficiency project? Attend a free workshop for farmers and forest product business owners about financial incentives available through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 9007 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), part of the current federal Farm Bill. REAP funding supports a diverse range of clean energy technologies: not only biofuels but also wind, solar, biomass electricity, biogas and energy efficiency. In 2008, the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program helped 15 Massachusetts rural small businesses and farms receive $1,039,177 through this program.

To receive one-on-one grant writing assistance through this program, you must attend a general information session like this one. Lanesborough Town Hall Community Room, 83 N Main St, Lanesborough MA 01237. Multiple sponsors; for more information, contact Emily Boss at Massachusetts Woodlands Cooperative at 413-397-8800.

Sunday, February 22
Our Daily Bread

Sue Mazrolle will be the guest speaker at a special worship service at the Unitarian Universalist Parish of Monson (177 Main St.). Her talk, "Our Daily Bread," will focus on issues related to ethical eating, especially as food purchases reflect one's religious and spiritual values. The public is invited to attend this 10 am service. Sue Mazrolle is a Registered Dietician, a gardener, and a lover of cooking and eating. For more information, call 413-267-3152.

Friday, February 27
North Hadley Sugar Shack opens for the season

We'll be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays this year until April 12. Breakfast served from 7 am to 3 pm, with doors open until 4 pm. Find out more about us at our website

Friday & Saturday, February 27 & 28
Wine Lovers Weekend

Join WGBY for a series of wine and food events with special guest Sara Moulton, host of Sara's Weeknight Meals and Executive Chef of Gourmet Magazine. The weekend begins Friday night at Western New England's largest wine tasting event with over 300 wines from across the world to sample (sponsored by Table & Vine). Be sure to stop by CISA's table to learn about the wines available from local farms. On Saturday, attend the Lunch and Cooking Demonstration with Sarah Moulton (sponsored by Spoleto Northampton) and the Gourmet Wine Lovers Dinner with Sarah Moulton (sponsored by Springfield Marriott). For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call 800-838-3006. Tickets are also available at Table & Vine in West Springfield. All events will be held at the Springfield Marriott.

Saturday, Feb 28
Second Annual "Cabin Fever" Seed Swap

Come to the upstairs meeting room at Green Fields Market for a rousing and rollicking seed swap, to be held from 1 pm to 4 pm. Bring your seeds of all kinds, info and advice, and plenty of enthusiasm for seed saving and sharing. Experts, old pros, complete novices, and everyone in between are encouraged. No one will be turned away, even if you have no seeds to share. For more information, contact Melinda, 413-774-2220 or

Saturday, February 28
Winter Farmers' Market

Turners Falls High School is opening its doors for an indoor, winter farmers' market from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm.

Thursday-Sunday, March 19-22
Forum on the Solidarity Economy: Building Another World
The first U.S. Forum on the Solidarity Economy aims to bring together a diverse array of people and organizations to share ideas and practices, to forge new connections, and to build a more powerful and cohesive movement for a just, democratic and sustainable economy. Local Hero member Nuestras Raíces and other Local Hero farms will be among the western Massachusetts ventures that are examples of the "solidarity economy" in action. Held at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Sponsored by the Universidad de los Andes (Venezuela) & RIPESS- NA (Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy - North America).
Job Opening: The Kitchen Garden in Sunderland, MA, seeks one full season Assistant Grower and 2-3 full time summer Harvest/Weeder Crew. We are a 7 acre organic (not certified) vegetable farm growing many kinds of specialty vegetables for local restaurants and farmers' markets with the philosophy of providing the highest quality, best tasting, and most beautiful produce to our community. The Assistant Grower position is a full-time, April- October position with competitive salary (salary $1600/month, or commensurate with experience). We are looking for a highly motivated and hard working individual with at least 2 years of vegetable experience to help with all aspects of running the farm, including but not limited to field preparation, planting, cultivation, tractor operation, greenhouse work, harvesting, packing and delivering orders, running farmers' market stand, managing other workers, and generally seeing that things get done. Affordable housing and bus routes within walking distance of farm. Harvest/Weeder Crew positions are full time May 15-September or October. Responsibilities include harvesting all types of vegetable crops, weeding, transplanting and selling at farmers' market. Pay is $8- 9/hour, depending on experience. Farm experience is preferred, speed, efficiency, and attention to detail are essential. Contact Caroline or Tim at (413) 387-5163.

Job Opportunity: Red Fire Farm, a certified organic vegetable farm in Granby, Mass., has openings for: Tractor Operator, Planting Manager, Bookkeeper, Vegetable Grower, and Intern. Red Fire is the largest CSA serving the Boston area and the Pioneer Valley, and a provider in local wholesale and retail markets, including our local farm stands and a farmers' market. We are a financially successful, established farm with diverse markets, located in the vibrant Five-College area. All positions require a desire to learn and improve, a hardy work ethic, and a rock-solid good attitude. Compensation varies by position, some salaried, some include housing, food, stipend, and health insurance. Please visit for position descriptions and how to apply. Contact Sarah: 413-467-7645,

Job opening: Intervale Farm in Westhampton Mass is seeking 2 - 3 crew workers for the 2009 season. We are a family run farm with a greenhouse and vegetable operation, a small flock of sheep and laying hens. We run a CSA, operate a farm stand and sell at local farmers' markets. Experience is preferred but the willingness to work hard and learn is a must. Please contact Maureen Dempsey or Rick Tracy at or 413-527-5440.

Job Opening: North Amherst Community Farm (NACF) seeks part-time Executive Director (10 hours/week). Fundraising and non-profit management experience required. NACF's mission is to support sustainable farming in our community through land preservation and educational programming. NACF's efforts are focused on our existing 35 acre farm property. Send resume and cover letter by February 28, 2009 to nacfonline@gm More information at NACF is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages applications from women, minorities and persons with disabilities.

Job Opening: The Forest Landowners Association is seeking a part-time Executive Director to help develop a consistent and strong public posture in Boston and across the state. Applicants should understands forestry and private property issues; be a respected and reasonable communicator (written and verbal); be known and respected within the State House and Ag, Forestry, and Fish & Wildlife departments; be able to develop and pursue legislative priorities; help the 600 members improve their economic positions and maintain their forested open space through wind, solar, biomass, broadband and other initiatives; be able to educate the public about the value of forestry and forests to the commonwealth; be willing to protect private property rights and watch dog threats. For more information about the organization visit Resumes should go to

Volunteer: CISA has a number of volunteer opportunities available. Whether you want to join a committee, help out in the office, or table at an event, we've got it all. Training provided for people interested in volunteering. Visit the Get Involved section of the CISA website for a list of opportunities.

Intern: CISA is seeking an intern (unpaid or work-study qualified) to assist with its continuing marketing and community outreach needs. For more information contact Jennifer at 413-665-7100.

Intern: Golden Thread Apothecary is offering a new and unique internship called "Field to Pharmacy." Students are taken through the whole cycle of herbal medicine....from seed, to nurturing plant growth, to harvest, to medicine making, including courses in herbal medicine, plant identification, organ systems, energetics, physical diagnosis, disease catagorization and more. The internship culminates in a supervised, low-cost health clinic, including patient interview, treatment plan development, follow-ups, and round table discussions. This is an amazing opportunity to become involved in, and learn about a localized, grassroots medical system...hands on! A program description, along with a downloadable pdf form, can be found at

Intern: The Seeds of Solidarity Farm and Life Skills Apprenticeship unites the physically demanding work of farming with the techniques one needs to lead a balanced and productive life. Farming combined with a balanced life is essential for a truly sustainable agriculture. Our farming philosophy emphasizes soil building and worm production through permanent, no-till raised beds in which high quality vegetables are grown intensively for restaurants, food co-ops and schools. We use solar greenhouses to expand the growing season, solar electricity to power our farm and buildings, and biodiesel to power our vehicles. We teach apprentices how to envision life goals, the organizational skills to get there, then how to implement one's vision. Apprentices work Monday through Friday from mid-May to end of October. Room, board and a monthly stipend provided. Opportunity to participate in "Grow Community," our neighborhood's efforts to become food and energy secure, and the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival. Learn more about us at our web site, then contact us to receive an application. The application process includes an in-person interview. Ricky Baruc, 978-544-7564 or

Intern: Farm Management Apprenticeship - Atlas Farm is a 35-acre diversified vegetable farm located in Deerfield, Massachusetts. We grow certified organic produce and bedding plants and are currently in our fifth year of operation. For the 2009 season, the management apprentice position will be a new position on the farm. Our intention for this position is to hire several people as part of our regular farm crew who are also interested in taking on greater responsibility in a certain area of the farm (greenhouse, famers' market, harvest management, etc.). The ideal candidate for this position has had a season or two working on vegetable farms and has a strong desire to learn more about farm management. We hope that people who join our farm team as apprentices will be able to move up in our farm management by staying on for multiple seasons and moving into roles of greater responsibility. Competitive salary, one week paid vacation and bonus at end of year for apprentices who stay on for a second season. Please contact Sara at for a full internship description.

For Rent: Join with leading community groups in a centrally located office space in South Deerfield that puts you at the heart of the northern Pioneer Valley. Space available from 200 to 1,000 square feet, which includes access to conference rooms and a kitchen. Heat and electricity are included. Call Jennifer at (413) 665-7100 or email at

For Rent: Houseshare available on small farm in Ashfield. Livestock or small-scale vegetable farming an option. Share 4 brm farmhouse with traveling permaculture minded professional, one dog, one cat and small mixed poultry flock on 6 acres. Irrigation water available. Great access to recreation opportunities and local farmers' market. Sunny, well insulated house, great views. $450/mo inclusive per person. Call (413) 475-0864 or email

For Sale: Terrific sales on locally grown FSC- certified hardwood flooring and lumber from the Massachusetts Woodlands Co-operative, Call 413-397-8800 for details on cherry, birch, maple, ash and oak.

For Sale: TARM - Wood/Oil dual fuel hot water boiler - Type OT70 - rated at 270,000 btu. Older unit, ideal for green house operation. Unit has domestic twin hot water internal tanks as well. Unit is complete with all controls, Carlin oil burner, etc, all in working order. All manuals for installation & operating instructions. Reason for sale - we installed a new Tarm gasification boiler with extra large storage system. Can be seen at Saw Mill Site Farm Horseradish Products. Call Terry Grinnan at 413-665-3005 or 1-888-798-7232 for further information or to arrange viewing.

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

Please do not take images or content to use on your own site or project without the CISA's explicit permission. Please feel free to link to our newsletter. Archives can be found at

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
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CISA | 1 Sugarloaf Street | South Deerfield | MA | 01373