October 2009 Issue
Sign Up
Quick Links
CISA bumper sticker

The USDA has just put up a new website, Know your Farmer, Know your Food. Spearheaded by Greenfield native and USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, the site notes that "American farmers feed our nation and the world, but they are all local to somewhere."

People sometimes ask us what our definition of "local" is, and are sometimes surprised when we respond that we don't consider there to be only one answer. Our Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally GrownŽ marketing and public education program operates in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts--primarily Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties, and some parts of western Worcester County and eastern Berkshire County. We work in close collaboration with other organizations, however, and sometimes do projects with state- or region-wide impact. And some of the members of our Local Hero program may use other definitions for their particular needs, and we understand that as well. Big Y World Class Markets, for example, operates stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and they consider products grown in those states to be locally grown. Greenfield's Market, close to the Vermont border, considers products from southern Vermont to be local to them.

If you're trying to eat more locally grown food at home, you may also find that your approach differs from that of your neighbors or friends. For some people, the challenge of a "hundred mile diet," with strict (if self- enforced) rules and carefully defined exceptions, provides big motivation for changing the way they source and choose their food. For others, smaller, gradual changes and more flexibility may work better. In my own family, we've successfully moved many foods that we used to eat regularly-orange juice and bananas are two examples-to the "treat" category (chocolate and coffee? Not so much). But we're content to include these items in a mix of foods that primarily revolves around the seasonal rhythms of our gardens, our neighbors' fields and orchards, and our pantry and freezer.

In general, I think flexibility is a good thing. Sometimes, though, flexible definitions can become meaningless, and claims based on them don't offer much value. In an article on the efforts of national or international businesses to promote themselves as "local," the Jackson Free Press quoted a market research professional, who gave this phenomenon an upbeat spin, saying "Big companies have to be much more creative in how they articulate local... It's a different way of thinking about local that is not quite as literal." For more on the increasingly crowded field of voices trumpeting "buy local" take a look at the Jackson Free Press piece, "The Local Lie".

After reading it, I recommend creating a genuinely local supper with your family and friends. It's the season for cozy food -- squash soup, roasted root vegetables, apple pie, hot cider. Enjoy!

Margaret Christie
Special Projects Director

Senior FarmShare recipient
Thank you Eat the View volunteers
Eat the View , CISA's annual benefit, would not have been possible without the extraordinary dedication of committed volunteers. We extend a heartfelt thank you to the members of our Eat the View committee, led by Michele Marotta (pictured left) and Ann Gibson, who donated their time, energy and talents to making this event a huge success.

We would also like to thank those volunteers who helped out in the final days of the event, who assisted at the event, and who helped us after the event.

In addition, we applaud our sponsors for all of their support as well as Joe Edelman at GroundCrew for helping to recruit volunteers and to the folks at Hillside Pizza for feeding the setup crew on Thursday and Friday.

A full recap of Eat the View will be posted on our web site later this month.

Senior FarmShare update
CISA recently received a gift of $5,000 from The Food Bank of Western Mass in support of its Senior FarmShare program. This gift is made possible by an anonymous Food Bank donor, who designated the gift to help Western Massachusetts residents in need of food assistance with food purchases. CISA's Senior FarmShare program makes it possible for more than 300 low- income elders to share in the bounty of our local farms. The program is in danger of being eliminated due to loss of state funding. Help save this vital program.

Winter Farmers Market - get involved
CISA is working on bringing Winter Fare, a mid-winter, one-day farmers' market, educational event, and celebration of local food to Northampton, and we need help! CISA is also supporting the Winter Fare effort in Greenfield, which has an established committee that welcomes new members.

Send us your recipes
Starting next month, we'll be featuring seasonal recipes in our enews and on the new recipe page of our web site. This fall we're focusing on winter squash. Do you have a favorite warming squash soup to cook as the days get cooler? Any brilliant ways to use squash in delectable desserts? Email us your favorite recipe to us and we might highlight it here!

Emailing CISA - .org
When CISA launched our new web site a few weeks ago, we formally changed our web site address from www.buylocalfood.COM to www.buylocalfood. ORG. Likewise, our email addresses underwent similar transformations. Any messages sent to the .COM extension will not be received. Please update you address book with the .ORG extension accordingly. We want to hear from you and respond to your requests.

Web Site Upgrade
We've made a change on our web site that should make it easier to navigate and find all the information you seek (about local food and farming, that is!). The new drop-down menus are not compatible with Internet Explorer 6.0, which is an outdated browser that works for fewer and fewer web sites. So if you're having trouble, it's time to update! You can do that for free.

Photo by CISA staff.

Donna and Tom Calabrese
Profile: Calabrese Farm
In 1950, Joe Calabrese left his career as a pig farmer in Agawam to start his own vegetable farm in Southwick. Calabrese Farm, now 200 acres with 80,000 sq. ft. of greenhouses, is presently run by Joe's son Tom, and his wife Donna. Their produce is sold wholesale, and can also be found at their roadside stand. Read more.

Order your holiday turkeys
Fall has officially arrived and that means it's time for the carnivores in the audience to think about ordering their holiday turkeys from a local farm. Be sure to order early as these birds have a tendency to fly the coop quickly. Looking for sweet potatoes and other veggies to accompany your meal? Finding them is easy. Simply enter your search term in term under the "Find it Locally" button on our web site and hit "go."

Spreading the word via Youtube
Atkins Farm and the Northampton Tuesday Market have both posted videos on Youtube. Haven't had the time to venture out to these locales? Perhaps these videos will inspire you to make a trek to both.

Submitted photo.

Farmland with open view.
Springfield resident seeks urban chickens
Laura E. VanSteenvoort is seeking to change the Springfield ordinance that prevents her and other residents from keeping and raising chickens in the city. Many towns and cities in western Massachusetts prevent people living in property zoned residential from having chickens, roosters, goats, sheep and other farm animals. In Northampton and Easthampton, chickens - not roosters -- are allowed. Chickens are also allowed to be kept in sections of Holyoke deemed "residential agriculture." Source: Springfield Republican on 9/20/09.

Rice Fruit Farm seeks new owners
After closing the doors of its farm stand last March, the owners of Rice Fruit Farm in Wilbraham have decided to put the orchard up for sale for $1.85 million. The farm, owned by Jesse Rice, who is 90 years old, had been managed by his son Wayne until his unexpected death in 2007. Town officials would like to see the site remain in agricultural operation. A 150 acre parcel of the farm has already been preserved through local conservation efforts and the state APR program. Source: Springfield Republican on 10/6/09.

Photo from CISA files
Below are a few upcoming farm and farm-related events of interest. Additional events, in October and beyond can be found on the events page on our web site. Don't be afraid to visit (hint, hint).

  • Winterberry Farm in Leverett will be shearing sheep as part of its Fall Wool Festival on Saturday, October 17, from 9am to 4pm. Free and open to public.

  • Plant some garlic at Open View Farm in Conway on Saturday, October 24, from 10am to 2pm and share in a robust farmers' lunch.

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

  • 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 www.buylocalfood.org.

    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 jennifer@buylocalfood.org by communications@buylocalfood.org.

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