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Scream for CISA ice cream!
CISA is marking its 15th year of supporting local agriculture with a limited edition ice cream flavor, aptly named CISA Berry Local Blueberry. Created by Bart's Homemade, the ice cream is made with blueberries from The Benson Place in Heath and can currently be purchased at Cornucopia Foods, Foster's Market, Green Fields Market and the River Valley Market. Additional retailers as well as Scoop Shops and some area restaurants will also carry the ice cream through the summer months. A portion of all sales of CISA Berry Local Blueberry will go to support CISA's mission. Gary Schaefer and Barbara Fingold, owners of Bart's Homemade, hope that their special ice cream will help draw attention to CISA's work and will inspire other local food producers to create product partnerships with CISA. Pick up a pint today and learn how you can support CISA as well.
Women in Ag Network about the Net
On a recent May evening, a group of nearly 20 women farmers took a break from their spring farm duties to gather for the Women in Agriculture Network workshop "Making the Internet Work for Your Farm," led by Sarah Swartz of Swartz Family Farm and Barbara Parry of Foxfire Fiber and Designs at Springdelle Farm. Both presenters are full-time farmers, not web experts, so they were uniquely well- equipped to offer accessible information to the gathered group of farmers about their experiences developing user-friendly websites that meet their farms' needs. Sarah's farm continues to break new ground with their online ordering system and variety of products, while Barbara has attracted quite a following through her popular blog, SheepGal, which focuses on daily farm activities. They also shared tips on attracting customers to a farm website, such as utilizing social networking sites like Facebook and holding online contests to get readers engaged. The group of workshop attendees--fruit and vegetable growers, fiber farmers and artists, and meat producers--listened intently to Barbara and Sarah's advice on how to keep websites updated and relevant despite busy farm schedules. After the workshop ended, the participants exchanged questions and advice over dinner, with a small group sticking around for an impromptu lesson on Twitter, which one attendee has used with great success as a tool for keeping people in the loop about her business news.
CISA's Women in Agriculture Network creates a space for women farmers to build their skills, network, exchange ideas, and socialize. Since 2004, we have offered quarterly workshops on a range of topics relevant to farmers, including marketing, tractor maintenance, avoiding injury on the farm, applying for grants, and managing farm finances. Women who farm, who are interested in agriculture, and those who support them are welcome to attend. Contact Devon at 413-665-7100 to receive updates about our activities or for more information. The next Women in Ag meeting is scheduled for early July. Details will be posted to CISA's online events calendar. Be sure to check back often.
Save Senior FarmShare!
CISA and our farm partners have been offering free shares of the harvest to low-income seniors since 2004. The program is now at risk because the Massachusetts Senate did not include it in their budget, though the House of Representatives did. The differences in the state budget will now be resolved in conference committee. We are asking the community to contact their Massachusetts legislators to request the conference committee to adopt the language and funding that is in House budget Line Item 9110-1900, which would fully fund the program in fiscal year 2010. Contact information for legislators can be found at http://www.mass.gov/legis/city_town.htm.
CISA also welcomes businesses and the community to make donations to support the Senior FarmShare program. Donations can be made securely online or by calling the Development Office at 413-665-7100. Please indicate that your gift is for Senior FarmShare.
Circle October 2nd on your calendars
That's the date for CISA's annual Eat the View benefit. This year's event will mark the culmination of CISA's 15th year of strengthening local farms and communities. Go to www.buylocalfood.org to find out how you can help make our celebration of local food and agriculture a huge success.
Thank you volunteers
CISA would like to thank Amy-Louise Pfeffer, Katy and Tyll van Geel, Molly Corbett, Craig Fear, Rob Ralston, Sue Zegarra, and Rudy Perkins for representing CISA at recent farm festivals and other events. These and other community outreach volunteers help CISA to spread the word about Local Hero farms and the benefits of supporting locally grown agriculture. Look for CISA's table later this summer at the Tuesday Farmers' Market in Northampton and Greenfield's Farmers' Market as well as at Whole Foods Market every Thursday.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Missed out on a recent news story about CISA? We've created a page on our website that allows you to catch up with the latest information local news outlets are reporting about CISA. You can even listen to the most recent episode of The Bill Dwight Show featuring Phil Korman, our executive director.
Photo by CISA staff.
Local Hero Profile
In this month's farmer profile, we've decide to present our three Local Hero awardees. The awards are given annually in recognition of outstanding achievement in furthering CISA's mission of linking farmers and community members, to nominees that have made a noticeable impact on sustaining agriculture in western Massachusetts. An award presentation will take place next spring during CISA's annual meeting.
"We applaud our 2009 Local Hero Award recipients and we honor the impact they have had in promoting sustainability and community through their commitment to local food and agriculture," says Philip Korman, executive director of CISA. "Our Local Hero awardees are individuals who can serve as role models for all of us and can help us to create and nourish long term change."
Red Fire Farm share available at WGBY auction
Missed out on signing up for a CSA this year? Red Fire Farm is participating in WGBY's auction. You could be the lucky winner. Enter your bid today!
M&M Green Valley Produce Now Serving Hot Dogs and Kielbasa
M&M Green Valley Produce is excited about the addition of their new roadside hot dog cart, serving the highest-quality Blue Seal hot dogs and kielbasa, along with condiments such as Heather's own chili, relish (made from local produce), and minced meat sauce. It is a nice complement to their offering of fresh local fruit and vegetables and homemade pickles and jams. Jon and Jeff recommend that you try the NY Style Weiner, which comes with specially seasoned minced meat, diced onions, and mustard. It has turned into a crowd favorite!
Real Pickles Deemed one of the Best
The culinary magazine, Bon Appetite, selected Local Hero member Real Pickles to represent Massachusetts in its guide to the best things to eat, drink and buy in all 50 states. Real Pickles' pickles, sauerkraut, ginger carrots and other products are made entirely from organic Northeast-grown vegetables, most grown right here in the Pioneer Valley on family farms.
Strawberry Season has Started
Those delicious red berries are waiting for you. The sweet juicy taste of a locally grown, fresh-picked strawberry beats those well-traveled California berries anytime. You can pick your own at a number of Local Hero farms or pick some up at a local retailer. Just ask someone in the produce section where to find the locally grown strawberries or look for the green and yellow Local Hero logo.
Photos by Elias Polcheira and Ben Barnhart.
Local Potatoes are in the Bag
A couple of weeks ago, Frito-Lay launched a new ad campaign touting their local potato chips. Featuring some of the farmers who grow their potatoes, the ads explain that their chips are grown, processed, and marketed in specific regions of the United States. In a New York Times story on Frito-Lay's effort, "When 'Local' Makes it Big," and in various on-line stories (see, for example, "Local Industial?" from the Organic Consumers Association), proponents of locally grown food questioned whether a publicly traded, global corporation (Frito-Lay is owned by PepsiCo) will provide the same benefits to local communities as locally-owned, family-scale enterprises.
Local Hero farmer Jim Pasciesnik won't be featured in the Frito-Lay ads, but he's grown potatoes for them for 25 years. Pasciesnik grows 700 acres of potatoes in Whately under contract for Frito-Lay. "We start shipping to them in late July and go straight through October. From August through November, those are our potatoes in the bag," he says. The potatoes are processed in a plant in Dayville, Connecticut, and shipped regionally from that plant. "Frito-Lay is a really nice company to work with," Jim says. "Last year, when fuel prices went way up, they came to me and said they would raise the price they paid me even though we were mid-contract."
If you buy a bag of Frito-Lay chips during the late summer and fall, you can see for yourself where the potatoes were made into chips. As part of their new marketing campaign Frito-Lay's has created a "Chip tracker" on their website; enter in the special code from your bag and find out where the contents were processed. Let us know what you find out!
As more people are interested in eating food grown close to home, thanks in part to the work of CISA and similar organizations around the country, local processors and specialty foods producers have responded by sourcing locally grown ingredients. Still, processing capacity in our region remains limited. Regional plants such as Frito Lay's provide additional production, processing, and marketing options available to growers in our region.
Legislature Looks at Small Plots
The Massachusetts Legislature's Joint Committee of Natural Resources, Environment, and Agriculture is currently considering House Bill 715, An Act Relative to Small Plot Farming. This bill would extend to farming operations on small parcels the same rights and protections granted to farmers on larger acreage. It's particularly good for people farming small plots in residential neighborhoods, but could also benefit larger farms who farm some smaller parcels.
Plant a Row for the Hungry
The Franklin County Huger Task Force is encouraging home gardeners and others to increase their vegetable plot by at least one row for the benefit of hunger relief programs in the area. Plant a Row is a national program started by the Garden Writers Association. For more information on how you can support the program locally, contact Dino Schnelle at 413-773-5029 x 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also learn about what is happening in Franklin County at http://plantarowwmass.blogspot.com.
America's Favorite Farmers' Market
American Farmland Trust has launched "America's Favorite Farmers' Market" contest. Vote for your favorite market and help it win "No Farms, No Food" tote bags to hand out to customers. One small, medium and large farmers' markets with the most votes at the end of August wins. Vote today! Don't see your favorite market as an option? Make sure that your market enrolls in the contest. Farmers' markets can register to join the contest by visiting, www.farmland.org/marketmanager.
Attention Job seekers
Looking for a job in agriculture? The Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development has a number of online job postings from area farms. In the job category, choose Farming, Fisheries and Forestry Occupation. Then enter your zip code, search radius and press "search."
Photo by Jason Threlfall.
Listed below are a couple of upcoming farm and farm-related events that we wanted to draw your attention to. Additional events in June and beyond can be found on the events page on our website.
On Saturday, June 13, Seeds of Solidarity, a 2009 Local Hero award recipient, is hosting a tour of their farm in the morning (10am to 11:30am). Learn about their solar greenhouses, energy efficient buildings, abundant market gardens, solar electric and hot water systems, and biodiesel vehicles. Then stay for a potluck picnic and the afternoon workshop on no-till gardening (using permanent raised beds, mulch and 'the cardboard method') to build fertile living soil, produce abundant food and mitigate climate change. All events are free. Located at 165 Chestnut Hill Road in Orange, Mass. For more information visit www.seedsofsolidarity.org or call 978-544-9023.
Johnson Hill Farm in Buckland will be hosting its annual Lavender Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 27 and 28, from 10am to 4pm each day (rain or shine). Learn how to cook with lavender, take a self-guided tour of the farm, gather wild flowers and make a wreath, and take a walk through the lavender labyrinth (13th century, eleven-circuit design, divided into four quadrants). And if the weather permits, each day will include a dove release. For more information visit Lavenderland.com.
Be sure to check out CISA's events page for updates and additions throughout the month.
Job opening: Farm Helper wanted for June 20-27, July 17-22, and August 27-31. Small dairy goat farm located in Leverett with chickens and roadside farm stand needs help during these dates. Approximately 4 hrs/day - morning and then evening. Includes milking 8 goats, routine farm chores, some weeding/hoeing or picking of vegetables/flowers. Contact Stillwagon Farm at email@example.com. Stipend dependent on experience.
Job opening: Real Pickles is a Local Hero business, based in Greenfield, Mass., producing raw, naturally fermented pickled foods from local, organic vegetables. We are seeking help, beginning late June. Up to 5 days/week in summer, up to 3-4 days/week in fall and beyond. 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 413-325-3372.
Job opening: Production Crew needed to help bottle and package Appalachian Naturals' products. Hours will vary from 8am-2pm or 8am to 5pm--some weekdays and weekends. Pay is $9-$12/hr depending on experience. Prior restaurant/kitchen or line cook experience preferred as sanitation and speed/rhythm is key to safely bottling the products. For a full job description visit Appalachian Naturals online.
Job opening: Atlas Farm, a certified organic vegetable farm, seeks a market assistant to help run our stand at the Amherst Farmers' Market. Assist with stand set up, take down, customer service and overall stand maintenance. Hours are 6am to 4pm Saturdays from now through November. Seeking a self-motivated individual with an attention to detail, ability to work quickly and efficiently, awareness and interest in local agriculture and strong customer service skills. Must be able to lift 50 pounds. Contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Job Opening: Seeking a farmer interested in creating a new community-supported agriculture farm operation in Northern Berkshire County for the 2010 growing season to provide sustainably-raised CSA shares for participants across all income levels. Experience with or knowledge of community-supported agriculture; commitment to building relationships between people, food, and the land. Looking for either a farmer ready to start a new farm operation, or an existing operation looking to add or convert to CSA. The farmer will work with a core group of community members who will support recruitment of shareholders, create strategies for making shares accessible to mixed- income levels while insuring the farmer full share compensation, and develop community outreach and education programs. For more information, please email NorthBerkCSA@gmail.com or call David at 413- 664-7254. Or, send a cover letter and resumé to: Northern Berkshire CSA, TARGET HUNGER, 61 Main Street, Suite 218, North Adams, MA 01247. References will be requested at a later date. Review begins immediately with the hope of securing a farmer for the CSA by early fall.
Job opening: Mountain View Farm is looking for farm managers for 2010 to help manage 90 acres of organic vegetables grown for over 1300 CSA shares. We are looking for serious applicants with experience who can operate tractors and implements, lead a large crew, perform in stressful situations, work long hours, and have a positive attitude. We are especially interested in applicants who would consider making a multi year commitment. Managers would be involved in all aspects of vegetable production from planning to distribution. Very competitive year round salary commensurate with experience. Please send resume to email@example.com or call Liz or Ben at 413-329-0211.
Job Opening: Produce Department Manager, River Valley Market Northampton, MA. River Valley Market is now seeking a Produce Department Manager to join our management team. The job description includes responsibilities for purchasing, merchandising, supervision, achieving margins, meeting payroll and sales budgets, and participating in management team meetings. Qualified applicants will have a minimum of one year retail produce purchasing and supervision experience. For the nitty gritty details see our website. Send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to PO Box 1245, Northampton MA 01061 or drop it off at Customer Service in the store at 330 North King Street, Northampton MA. No phone calls, please.
Internship opening: The Heritage Seed Farm (www.growseed.org) has openings for interns in Colrain to help grow rare world wheat and vegetables with CR Lawn of fedcoseeds.com and Eli Rogosa. Stipend available. Work on an ecological farm will include seed-saving and biodiversity conservation, wild habitats for beneficial pollinators, organic soil fertility, composting and rotations, worksongs in Hebrew, artisan cuisine with heritage foods. Call 413-624-0214.
Internship opening: Edible Pioneer Valley, a local publication focusing on local food, farming and cuisine seeks an intern for Summer 2009, with the option of extending into Fall 2009. Ideal candidate will have an interest and background in local food and food politics, with an understanding of their relationship to the environment, the economy and the enjoyment of local cuisine. Internship will cover a broad range of areas and will be a fantastic opportunity for the intern to learn about publishing, editing and marketing a magazine, along with the potential to have their own writing and/or photography published. Duties will include updating website, compiling events listings, editorial fact- checking and occasional research and reporting assistance. Open to interns from all areas of study, but specifically looking for someone with excellent writing skills, knowledge and interest in subject matter and great organizational abilities. Send inquiries to email@example.com.
For Sale: Organic Compost approved for organic farming and gardening, picked up or delivered. $36 per cubic yard. Delivery fee varies. Inquire for details. Call Bob at 413-774-5631 or visit www.martinsfarmrecycling.com.
Pasture Land available: 1-2 acres of pasture available in North Amherst, no charge. You'll need to provide temporary fencing. We can provide water, attention, and perhaps shelter if needed. Please call Debbie at 413-549-0924.
Farm land available: One-acre tilled field in Hatfield backing up to CT River for seasonal use free of charge. Access to field for exploration in farming. Irrigation possible, barn access for storage, tractor with implements. We're excited to have good things happening on the land and to help someone realize a dream. Call Sarah or Tom 413-303-9121.
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 www.buylocalfood.com/Newsletterarchive.htm
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Phone: (413) 665-7100