October 2010 Issue
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Phil with Mary Nourse, board member

Last week, more than 450 people attended Taste the View, CISA's fall fundraiser. Each year at Taste the View, we are reminded that it takes a community to feed a community. There's no banquet hall in the Valley that serves great local food and can hold the number of people who care passionately about local farms and food. Instead, we relied on more than 50 farms, over 35 other Local Hero members, and 100 stalwart volunteers to transform an indoor arena at the Three County Fairgrounds into a harvest feast. At the event, we celebrated the work we've done together to expand the Local Hero program, encourage year-round seasonal eating, build the local food system and improve access to healthy local food for all members of our community. We started our meal with thanks for all of the people who grew, prepared, displayed and served the food to us. As you enjoy the bounty of the fall, we hope you'll consider supporting our work by becoming a community member or making an additional gift beyond membership, and remember to thank all those in the community, especially our farmers, who make local, fresh and healthy food available for you and your family.

Phil Korman
Executive Director

Photo by Ben Barnhart.

Thank you for Taste the View
Thank you to all of the sponsors who helped make Taste the View possible and all the farms and businesses that supported this effort in a myriad of ways. Of course, an event of this magnitude would not be possible without all of the magnificent volunteers who donated more than 350 hours of their time, talents and energy to Taste the View.

Green stamps to benefit CISA in October
Members of River Valley Market selected CISA as the October recipient of funds through its Green Stamps program by a margin of two votes! Throughout October, shoppers at River Valley Market can donate money they earn through bicycling to the co-op or bringing reusable shopping bags. Additional donations for CISA will also be collected at store registers during October. Thank you in advance to everyone who supports CISA through the Green Stamps Program. And best wishes to Grow Food Northampton, which narrowly missed being selected. They will be the Green Stamps recipient for November.

Help CISA bring Winter Fare to Springfield!
Winter Fare is a vibrant, diverse, one-day winter farmers' market that has become an annual event in Greenfield and Northampton, and CISA is bringing it to Springfield this December! In addition to an amazing array of locally-grown foods, Winter Fare features workshops on eating and growing locally, a barter fair, hot soup, and educational displays. We need volunteers to help with planning and advance promotion of the market, as well as help running the event. Please contact CISA's volunteer coordinator Ann Pemberton at volunteer@buylocalfood.org or 413-665-1700 x 18 for more information.

CISA helps farmers improve business
Even in the height of the growing season, farmers are thinking about the long term needs of their businesses. In September, CISA offered five workshops and farm tours for farmers and their wholesale customers. Responding to farmer demand, the workshops focused on everything from energy conservation to financial record keeping. Chef Karen Powers from Harvest and Home participated in two of the five workshops. "I'm committed to using local foods," she said. "It was particularly helpful to see what is available during the winter months, and then to see in the Greenhouse Workshop what I might use to extend my own growing season." More workshops are planned for this fall and winter, including a series focused on farm labor and a Meet and Greet for chefs, restaurant owners, retailers, specialty food producers and farmers on Monday, November 15.

Save the Date
We are delighted that the Young@Heart Chorus will hold a benefit performance to support CISA's good work on April 10, 2011, in John M. Greene Hall at Smith College. Mark your calendars so you don't miss this opportunity!

Whole Farm Planning for Beginning Women Farmers
Applications are still being accepted for this year-long program consisting of one-on-one mentorships, on-farm field days, business planning workshops, and a network of women farmers with shared concerns. Applications due October 8. See our website for details.

Opportunity to hang with CISA
Looking for office space? Join CISA and other leading community groups at our location in South Deerfield. Details can be found on our classifieds page.

Poster making at Garlic and Arts
Thanks to all of the adults and children who stopped by our booth at the Garlic and Arts festival. CISA staff reviewed all the submissions and selected our three favorite posters in support of locally grown food.

Photo by Ben Barnhart.

New Salem Preserves cider syrup
Local Hero Profile
It's apple season, and kitchens across the Valley are filled with the sweet smells of applesauce, apple crisp and apple pie. This is the time of year when the urge to snuggle in sweaters, walk the fall foliage, and hunker down for the winter seems nearly irresistible. For Carol Hillman and Bob Colnes, autumn looks more like a bustling of activity. Read more.

Regulatory hurdles wear on farmers
The summer issue of Northeast Organic Farming Association's Natural Farmer magazine focused on regulatory challenges for farmers. Two of the articles featured Local Hero members: Red Fire Farm (page 17) and their experience with farm labor regulations, and Robinson Farm's (page 34) challenges in building a new cheese-making facility.

Grain CSA still accepting shareholders
The Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA still has a few shares of heritage varieties of wheat, spelt, corn and beans available. Learn more at the Wheatberry Open Farm Day on October 19th or visit the website for details. Sign-up deadline is October 15th.

Photo by Molly Sauvain
Saving Energy on the Farm
The Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP) has been recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) as one of the nation's best state-run energy efficiency programs. A total of only 18 top programs from 14 states were recognized. MFEP partners with USDA, state, industry, and nonprofit organizations to streamline and improve access to technical and financial assistance available to Massachusetts farmers for reducing their energy demand and increasing their profits.

Hunger Awareness Month
September was Hunger Awareness Month and local media did a great job covering the different ways that local farms and food advocates are working together to bring more local food to everyone's table. Listen to WFCR's two part series on food deserts in Springfield and the community's response to this dilemma. Or read the September 30 edition of the Daily Hampshire Gazette to learn about how students from Hopkins Academy scoured the fields of Niedbala's Potato Farm in Hadley to glean (that is gather produce left after harvest) food for the Food Bank of Western Mass.

Getting more salad bars into schools
Whole Foods Market in Hadley raised $4,258 to fund salad bars in local public schools through the Great American Salad Bar project. A salad bar costs about $2,500. This includes the actual salad Bar--a 5 well Cambro, NSF-approved unit with all of the insert pans, cutting boards and utensils as well as the shipping costs. Schools can apply to receive a salad bar through November 1.

Kids promoting locally grown
Eleven year-old Birke Baehr spoke passionately about local and organic agriculture at a TEDx event in Asheville, North Carolina. If all kids thought like this, CISA could close up shop in a few years.

Photo CISA staff.
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 ahead.
  • On Saturday, October 9, head over to Easthampton for a scarecrow building competition. From 10 am to 2 pm Mountain View Farm and Park Hill Orchard are offering free straw and twine as well as apples and cider to get you in the mood.
  • CISA's own Margaret Christie will host Preserving Food: Canning, Freezing, Drying, Storage on Tuesday, October 19 from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Greenfield Community College's Downtown Center. Register with Greenfield Community College by email or phone at 413-775-1803.
  • Just Roots, a local citizens' group, will host a public forum on Sunday, November 7th at 2pm at the Greenfield High School, to help define the highest and best use of the Greenfield Town Farm as a community resource.
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Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
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Phone: (413) 665-7100