CISA's July 2010 eNewsletter
August 2010 Issue
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Dear Jennifer,

Corn and college students are two of the many things we're good at raising here in the Pioneer Valley. This month's newsletter combines them both!

Intern Deidre Nelms begins a three-part series that explores how corn is grown in the Valley, what it's used for, and how farmers make complicated decisions about the best way to care for their land, feed their animals, and sustain their successful businesses.

Another intern, Molly Sauvain, brings us profiles of local restaurants that will whet your appetite and inspire you to patronize Local Hero restaurants, especially during CISA's Restaurant Days Celebration, August 17th-18th.

The intersection of local food and intellectual pursuits reminds us of the many ways that state and federal policy impact local farms. At the end of the legislative session, Massachusetts legislators passed bills that create a state Food Policy Council and promote healthier food choices in schools--two new laws that have the potential to increase the amount of locally grown food available for all.

Philip Korman
Executive Director

Photo by CISA staff.

Eighty Jarvis in Holyoke
Taste Tickets on sale August 16
Tickets for Taste the View, to be held on Friday, September 24, go on sale to the general public on August 16 via the CISA web site. We sold out last year, so be sure to order your tickets early. If you want to receive a print invitation, let us know. The evening features sumptuous small plate samplings from the fertile fields and creative kitchens of Local Hero restaurants, farms and other businesses. You'll also have the opportunity to bid on and win some incredible items during silent and live auctions. The list of auction items is growing daily. We recently received a two-day workshop at the Culinary Institute of America; you can learn how to cook like a gourmet chef from the top culinary instructors in America and support CISA's efforts on behalf of family farms at the same time!

Celebrate the bounty of summer at a Local Hero restaurant
Locally grown ingredients + great chefs and local restaurants = Delicious Food! Chefs at and owners of Local Hero restaurants make a commitment to using local ingredients, and CISA invites you to join with them in celebrating the bounty of local farms on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 17 and 18. During this 7th annual two-day event, participating restaurants will highlight dishes featuring locally grown ingredients. Show your support for local agriculture and excellent food by dining out at one of the 45 participating Local Hero restaurants. To see a list of participating restaurants and a selection of menu offerings, visit

We've also posted profiles of some of the chefs participating in this year's event on our web site. Check them out to get an inside look at each restaurant's story, insight into just who that person is behind the kitchen door, and why and how their restaurant supports the "buy locally grown" message.

Give your time to Taste the View
CISA needs help preparing for Taste the View. We need assistance with such pre-event tasks as setting up tables and decorations, picking up items from farms and restaurants, and helping with food preparation (culinary experience preferred but not required). We also need a cadre of volunteers to staff the event on September 24. Evening and daytime hours are available--including Saturday, September 25 for tear-down. All positions may require some heavy lifting. For details, please contact Ann Pemberton, Volunteer Coordinator, at 413-665-7100 x18 or visit the volunteer page on our web site.

Learn how to be a family farm ambassador
CISA is hosting a training session on Thursday, August 19 at 7 pm for anyone interested in serving as a community outreach volunteer for CISA at local food and farm events this summer and fall. As an outreach volunteer, you'll help promote small farms and help spread the word about the benefits of buying locally grown food. Plus, you'll earn free entry into some of the best agricultural events in the area! Anyone interested in attending the training should contact Ann Pemberton, Volunteer Coordinator, at 413-665-7100 x18 to reserve a space.

CISA is on Facebook!
CISA has launched a Facebook page as a way to give you timely updates about what's in season, where you can find it, and what you can do with it. "Like" us and help spread the word!

Zucchini/Summer Squash Recipes
Last month we invited you to share your favorite recipes for the huge bounty of summer squash and zucchini that comes pouring in around this time. We got some great submissions, including Fried Zucchini Sticks from The Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland and a Sweet Zucchini Pie. Check them out and feel free to send your own favorite recipe to Claire Morenon, Program Coordinator.

Updated farm resource page
We've expanded the pages on our web site that list resources for farmers to include more tip sheets, guides, and links on a wider variety of topics. If you know of any excellent resources that we should post or subject areas we should explore, please forward your thoughts to Claire Morenon, Program Coordinator.

Photo by Ben Barnhart

Corn: The symbol of summer and much more
Sweet corn is one of the symbols of summer in the Valley. You can track the season in the progress of the corn growing alongside our roads, and the first corn-on-the-cob on the table is a sign that summer is really in full swing. Corn is a symbol of another kind, though, in Michael Pollan's books and essays about our industrial food system, where he declared "If you are what you eat, and especially if you eat industrial food, as 99 percent of Americans do, what you are is 'corn.'" Corn grown in the Valley fuels people, animals and, now, greenhouses. This month, we focus on sweet corn and corn for heating.

Local Hero farms among 1,000 great places
A couple of months ago, we posted a call from the Commonwealth for great places in Massachusetts. With over 12,000 nominations received, selecting the 1,000 Great Places of Massachusetts must have been a tough task. But we couldn't be more pleased that several Local Hero members were included in the final list: Songline Emu Farm in Gill, The Benson Place in Heath, Bashista Orchards in Southampton, and Mike's Maze in Sunderland.

Photo CISA staff.
Wine sales at farmers' market
The small wineries of Massachusetts pushed the state legislature this summer to allow wine sales at farmers' markets. Because of their small scale, local wineries have limited access to distribution opportunities. Opening farmers' markets to wine sales would provide these farmers with the opportunity to sell their product directly to the public - a financial lifeline for many small farmers. Farmers' markets across the state supported the measure, which called for wineries to get a temporary liquor license from local licensing boards. "Wine is a local food product that we'd love to have available at our market," says Ann Pemberton, market manager for the South Hadley Farmers' Market. The legislation was contained in the Economic Development Reorganization bill, which passed the House and Senate and was signed by Governor Patrick.
Find out about workshops, farm festivals, film screenings, and other local farm-related events on the Events and Education page of our web site. Be sure to bookmark the page and check it often as we regularly update the page throughout the month. Here is a sample of what's happening in August.
  • Interested in Raw Milk? Head over to the New England Raw Milk Symposium from 9am to noon on Friday, August 13 at UMass. $20 for NOFA members and $25 for non-members.
  • Blog in support of farmers' markets during the week of August 23-28. It's easy and fun. Learn more at In Our Grandmothers' Kitchen.
  • Nasami Farm in Whately is hosting an Intro to Seed Saving workshop on Saturday, August 28 from 9 am to 1pm. This hands-on workshop includes a foray into the farm's sanctuary. Pre-registration is necessary.
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CISA | 1 Sugarloaf Street | South Deerfield | MA | 01373