January 2010 Issue
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Local Hero Member Services Coordinator Devon Whitney-Deal

Happy New Year!
For CISA, the New Year signals the start of the open enrollment period for farms, retailers, restaurants and other food/farm-related enterprises in our Local Hero campaign.

When we launched this fee-for-service program twelve years ago, our goal was to increase awareness of local agriculture in western Massachusetts, to aid area farmers with the marketing of their products, and to create a brand that would be recognizable.

We never imagined that our yellow and green Local Hero logo and ubiquitous bumper sticker would become so widely recognized that 82 percent of local consumers would recall our advertisements and make a conscious effort to purchase local products when given a choice.

In exchange for a small fee, Local Hero members receive a variety of marketing and promotional services including a listing in the 2010 print edition of our highly regarded resource directory Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide, as well as on our online guide, and advertising discounts with local newspapers and radio stations. And of course, all Local Hero members receive access to our Local Hero logo to help with their own business promotions.

Local Hero membership is open to qualified farms, restaurants, retailers, institutions, specialty product producers and landscape/garden centers in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties as well as the western portion of Worcester County.

Since 1999, the Local Hero program has grown from 24 members to more than 280 local farms and related businesses in 2009. With your help, we can surpass 300 members in 2010. If you would like to join or recommend a farm or business for Local Hero membership, please let me know.


Devon Whitney-Deal
Local Hero Member Services Coordinator

P.S. Not a farm or farm-related business but interested in how you can connect with CISA and support our work? Learn about how to get involved, how to become a business partner or how to otherwise support all aspects of our work .

Photo from CISA file.

Program Director Kelly Coleman
Thank You for Supporting CISA!
All of us at CISA would like to extend a big THANK YOU to everyone who made a charitable gift to CISA in 2009 through our annual fund or community membership initiative. We are especially appreciative to everyone who responded to our matching gift opportunity in the last six weeks. You helped us raise more than $30,000 and surpass our goal of $25,000. These financial contributions directly support our daily operations and the work we do to help farms in western Massachusetts stay active. A full report on our work in 2009 will be available at our annual business meeting at Amherst College on Friday, March 12. Details to come!

Saving Senior FarmShare
Whole Foods Market in Hadley has selected our Senior FarmShare program to be the beneficiary of a "community giving day" also known as 5% Day. Five percent of the Hadley store's sales on Wednesday, January 13, will be donated to CISA to help purchase shares of local farm produce for low-income seniors in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties. To make a donation or learn more about Senior FarmShare, visit the CISA web site.

Winter Local Eating
There are more and more places to find locally grown farm products during the winter months. Don't forget Northampton's first Winter Fare this Saturday, January 9, 10 am-2 pm at the Smith Vocational and Agricultural School. This vibrant, diverse farmers' market and community event also features workshops, a barter market and soup café . Sponsored by River Valley Market, UMass Five College Federal Credit Union, Northampton Cooperative Bank, State Street Fruit Store/Cooper's Corner, and Cornucopia Foods.

Local retailers are sourcing more and more locally grown food, too. CISA has put together a winter shopping list to help you know what you can expect to find at markets and retail outlets and to encourage outlets to carry even more local products in the winter. Tell us what you find by shooting us an e-mail at info@buylocalfood.org. Our list of winter farmers' markets, farmstands, and other venues continues to grow.

Help Needed for Greenfield Winter Fare
Volunteers are needed to help with the 3rd annual Greenfield Winter Fare on February 6th. CISA is helping a dedicated crew of volunteers coordinate this annual event, a celebration of year-round local eating. The event coordinators are planning a series of workshops, potlucks, films and more in the days surrounding the farmers' market on Saturday, February 6, at the Greenfield High School. To volunteer, send a message to devon@buylocalfood.org.

Positive Feedback
Our report on the feasibility of HACCP guidelines for salad greens grown on small diversified farms prompted this positive feedback from a federal reviewer. "I'm really happy with this report. It's well written and documented and contains some really good info." In addition the reviewer noted, "It's important for grantees to prepare readable and thorough final reports. A lot of good work occurs under grant programs and well-written reports make it accessible to others." We appreciate getting this feedback on our work.

Reports on other projects funded through the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA can be found online.

Photo by CISA staff.

Joyce Ripley flanked by two of her sons.
Profile of Maple Corner Farm and Stumps Sprouts
If you're starting the New Year with any new resolve regarding food and exercise, we have a suggestion for you: get your exercise and some great locally grown food at the same time. This month, we profile two Local Hero businesses, each with miles of cross- country trails and their own kitchen specialties, Maple Corner Farm in Granville, and Stump Sprouts Guest Lodge and Cross Country Ski Center in Hawley. Read more...

Red Fire Farm expands with purchase of farm in Montague
Local Hero farmer Ryan Voiland expanded Red Fire Farm, home of award-winning tomatoes, with the purchase of 109 acres in Montague. Ryan began farming in his parent's Montague backyard, but has been based in Granby since 2001 Although he owns land protected through the state's APR program, he has also relied heavily on rented land with no long-term lease. He connected with Stanley and Helen Tuvek in Montague, whose agricultural preservation restricted property was listed on a New England Small Farm Institute web site. Ryan will continue farming in both towns and has already started to prepare the Montague property for organic certification -- a process that will take three years. Ryan and his wife, Sarah, eventually plan to live at the farm in Montague but are giving the former owners time to find a new home. Daily Hampshire Gazette 12/21/09.

Locally Grown Flowers Available in Winter
John LaSalle of LaSalle Florists in Whately told the Daily Hampshire Gazette (12/18/09) that he has 25,000 pots of freesia ready to bloom this month. They are available for purchase at River Valley Market, Whole Foods Market in Hadley, or directly from the LaSalle greenhouse in Whately, located just off Routes 5 and 10. During the summer, 75 percent of the arrangements LaSalles' produces are from their own cut flowers. "We know what cut flowers are supposed to be like," John told the Gazette.

Get Your Regional Oranges at Enterprise Farm
Local Hero farmer Dave Jackson of Enterprise Farm has been making the case for regional oranges for a few years now. From his perspective, food sourced along the Eastern coastline, especially food that only grows in warmer climates, is "more local" than food flown in from the other side of the country and beyond. And he's been able to turn this perspective into a unique winter CSA that has him trucking 100 boxes of produce grown on his farm or sourced directly from farms in the Southeast to the Boston area twice each week. Dave recently spoke to WFCR about his "more local" philosophy.

Photo by CISA staff.

Cover of "The Locavore Way" by Amy Cotler
Book Review: The Locavore Way
"Eating locally," says author Amy Cotler, "has pleasure and connection at its core." Her new book, The Locavore Way: Discover and Enjoy the Pleasures of Locally Grown Food, is full of both pleasure and connection, recipes, stories from real farms and markets, and snapshots of Cotler's own life ("my marriage vows: I cook, you clean"). Read more...

Lapinski Farm Loses Farmstand to Fire
A defective stove pipe is being blamed for the fire that destroyed a farmstand and greenhouse at Lapinski Farm in West Springfield on December 22. No one was injured in the blaze. More information can be found at the Springfield Republican and WWLP TV.

Sourcing local is a new restaurant trend?
For years now, Valley chefs and restaurant owners have understood the social, market and financial value of purchasing their ingredients from local farms. According to the National Restaurant Association, 2010 is the year that the rest of America's dining establishments catch on. Let's keep supporting our Local Hero restaurants -- who are way ahead of the trend - in 2010.

Submitted photo.
Below are a few upcoming farm and farm-related events of interest. Additional events, in January and beyond, can be found on the events page on our web site.

  • A long list of Local Hero farms, businesses, and friends are putting on the 2nd annual Full Belly Dance Party to support food security. This year's event benefits the Amherst and Northampton Survival Centers and the Kestrel Trust. January 16, 8pm-12 am, at the Northampton Center for the Arts.

  • Was getting your financial house - or rather farm - in order a New Year's resolution? Then come to CISA's workshop "An Introduction to Financial Management" on Thursday, January 28, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the Potpourri Plaza in Northampton (conference room at 241-243 King Street). Dennis Kaupilla and Bob Parsons from the University of Vermont will introduce our financial management series with a discussion of financial analysis, decision making, record keeping, cash flow analysis, capital, equity and more. Registration information and other CISA sponsored workshops for farmers can be found on the technical assistance section of our web site.

  • Enterprise Farm is hosting a "Locally Grown Pancake Breakfast" from 9am to noon on January 30th to benefit the Northampton Survival Center. The breakfast will feature local ingredients including flour from Four Star Farms of Northfield, maple syrup from Bree-Z-Knoll Farm of Leyden, bacon from Austin Brothers of Belchertown, and apple sauce from Bashista Orchards of Southampton. Tickets are $10 ($5 for kids under 12) and should be purchased in advance by calling 413-665-8608.

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
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Phone: (413) 665-7100