November 2009 Issue
Sign Up
Quick Links
Winter produce

November brings the end of the summer farmers' market season and the closing of some farmstands. But it's still the season for delicious local root crops, greens, winter squash, sweet potatoes, apples, cheese, milk, meat, and more. And thanks to growing public demand for local food year-round, it's easier and easier to fill your table with delicious locally-grown food. CISA has created a web page on winter availability, with information about winter CSA shares, winter farmer's markets, late-season farmstands, and more. And you can continue to use CISA's on-line farm products guide to find warm woolies, locally grown wood, and other products that never go out of season!

Margaret Christie
Special Projects Director

Photo by Jason Threlfall

CISA Researches Mobile Unit for Freezing Fruits and Vegetables
CISA has received funding from the Department of Agricultural Resources and the USDA's Federal State Marketing Improvement Program to investigate options for building a mobile quick-freeze unit that can be used on farms to freeze fruits or vegetables for sale at farmstands, retailers, and other locations. Our investigation will include:
  • Interest from growers;
  • Interest from consumers and wholesale buyers in local frozen product;
  • Regulatory hurdles related to mobile processing in Massachusetts;
  • Options for adding blanching capacity so that more vegetables could be processed;
  • Ownership and management options.
Farmers interested in using such a unit, we'd like to hear from you! Contact Margaret Christie, Special Programs Director, at 413- 665-7100 if you might be interested in a mobile quick freeze unit that could travel to your farm.

Help CISA bring Winter Fare to Northampton!
The first annual Northampton Winter Fare will be held January 9th, and CISA needs help organizing this midwinter farmers market and celebration of local food. There are a variety of tasks that need doing, and chances for people with a range of skills and time availability to get involved. A meeting on the Northampton Winter Fare is scheduled for 6 pm on Wednesday, November 11, at the Solidago Foundation (located on the third floor of Thornes Marketplace in Northampton). If you're interested in being on the volunteer planning committee, learning more about how you can help, or just want to stay in the loop on the planning, contact Claire Morenon, Program Coordinator, at 413-665-7100.

Want to help out with Winter Fare in Greenfield? An established committee there is seeking new volunteers. Contact Claire if you're interested in supporting that effort as well.

Send us your recipes
Last month we invited you to submit winter squash recipes for the new recipe page on our web site and Valley residents responded with many, many soups, a pretty amazing cake, and a few other ideas. Check them out and get inspired!

This winter, we're focusing on the oddball root vegetables. It's easy to store root veggies like rutabaga, turnips, radishes, and celeriac for the winter, but many of us need a little help cooking these less well-known storage crops. Email us your favorite recipe to us and we might highlight it on our recipe page. Poetry or song featuring your favorite root vegetable also gladly accepted; for inspiration, see Aaron Falbel's Ode to Celeriac, originally published in the Greenfield Recorder and reprinted in The Kitchen Garden newsletter (scroll down).

Book Reviews
We're including the occasional book review in our enews and on our web site. Jennifer Williams, Office Manager, reviews Just Food by James E. McWilliams, for us this month. If you'd like to review a book, please let us know.

Garlic and Arts ad designs
Thank you to everyone who visited CISA's booth at the Garlic and Arts Festival on October 3 and 4. We appreciated all the hard work that people put into designing an advertisement in support of locally grown foods.

Stock photo.

Cleaning produce for Real Pickles
Local Hero members featured on WGBY
Making It Here and On the Menu, two locally produced WGBY public television programs, have featured several Local Hero farms and businesses in the past few weeks.

Swartz Family Farm, hydroponic vegetable growers from Amherst, will be the focus of the November 16th episode of Making It Here (airs at 7:30 pm). Note, too, the Swartz' new winter CSA option! Real Pickles in Greenfield, creators of naturally fermented and raw pickles, sauerkrauts and more from local and organic vegetables, was also highlighted in a recent episode.

On the Menu, WGBY's restaurant and cooking show, had chef Deborah Snow of Blue Heron Restaurant on its October 22nd episode. Chef Snow made leg of lamb using meat from Leyden Glen Farm. The "On the Road" portion of the show visited Chicoine Farm, grass-fed beef producers in Easthampton. Local Hero member Teddy Smiarowski Farm was featured in "On the Road" during the October 8th episode, and Fairweather Farm plugged edible flowers in a four minute segment on October 15th. To view the episodes of On The Menu, you'll need Itunes software.

Still looking for your local holiday turkey
We've called around to our Local Hero farms and have learned that many of the birds have flown the coop! A few birds can still be found roosting in the area. But be quick because the coops empty quickly!

Looking for sweet potatoes and other veggies to accompany your meal? Finding them is easy. Simply enter your search term in the "Find it Locally" button on our web site and hit "go."

Enterprise farm has openings in winter shares
Enterprise Farm still has a few spots remaining in their winter/spring farm share program. The Enterprise share is a bit different from most, in that they work with organic farmers up and down the East Coast (a regional "foodshed") to supply their members with fresh-picked fruits and veggies throughout the winter. Carolina sweet potatoes and Georgia strawberries, Florida avocados, citrus, peppers, zucchini, and cooking greens: the Enterprise winter share allows members to eat warm-season crops all winter, and forgo the California produce. It's their way of changing the food distribution system, reducing food miles and sustaining local and regional farmers. For more info, call 413.665.8608 or email

Changes at the Food Bank Farm
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has decided to close its long-running CSA at the Food Bank Farm after this year's harvest season and transfer CSA operations to Ben Perrault and Liz Adler, owners of Mountain View Farm, who will continue to farm the Food Bank Farm land as they have been for the last two years. Ben and Liz will also continue to contribute a sizeable portion of the harvest to The Food Bank in lieu of rent. Current Food Bank Farm CSA members have been invited to join Mountain View Farm's CSA in Easthampton, or to join a new CSA, temporarily called the "Next Barn Over" and managed by Food Bank Farm founder Michael Doctor and Ray Young, a former Food Bank Farm manager. The Food Bank believes that everyone has a right to fresh, naturally-grown local produce, and will continue to source produce and other products (including eggs from Diemand Farm and milk from Our Family Farms from local farms and the MassGrown program of the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program. The Food Bank distributes more than 800,000 pounds a year in fresh produce from these sources combined.

We have a list of Local Hero-member CSAs on our web site. The Next Barn Over can be contacted at, and Mountain View Farm can be reached at

Other Local Heroes in the news
Find out more about what is happening with our Local Hero farm and business members on our web site. We are tracking their appearances in the local and national media for you.

CISA staff photo.

Farmland with open view.
Students vote with their forks at Hampshire Regional
Fertile Ground, a grassroots farm to school program in Williamsburg, and Hampshire Regional High School are working together to improve the health and appeal of school lunches. During the first week of November, Hampshire Regional food service staff prepared new dishes made with fresh, local ingredients such as cucumber-apple salad, roasted local potatoes, and confetti-rice salad. Students were encouraged to vote with their forks! As part of the effort, Fertile Ground has been teaching 7th and 9th grade health students about the importance of eating fresh, healthy and local foods with Healthy Communities grant support from Cooley Dickinson Hospital. "Fertile Ground's work at our school complements the efforts of a school Wellness Committee to improve the nutritional value of school lunches and get students to eat healthier foods served," says Patricia Clem, Principal at Hampshire Regional High School.

Stock photo
Below are a few upcoming farm and farm-related events of interest. Additional events, in November and beyond, can be found on the events page on our web site. You'll be thankful (hint, hint) that you did.

  • Come to the world's largest hard cider celebration, featuring cider making, tasting and orchard tours during the 15th annual Cider Days on Saturday and Sunday, November 7 & 8. Be sure to stop by the CISA table at Apex Orchards on Sunday.

  • On November 21st, Nasami Farm is offering a hands-on workshop that focuses on propagating dormant hardwood cuttings from both deciduous and narrow-leaved evergreen species. Pre -registration is necessary.

  • Food Bank Farm in Hadley opens its store from 8am to 5pm to its CSA members and non-members alike for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 24th and 25th.

  • Be sure to check out CISA's events page for updates and additions throughout the month.
    Please do not take images or content to use on your own site or project without CISA's explicit permission. Please feel free to link to our newsletter. Archives can be found at

    Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
    is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

    Phone: (413) 665-7100

    Forward email

    Safe Unsubscribe
    This email was sent to by

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