September 2010 Issue
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Dear Jennifer,

The bounty of our farms is never as readily apparent as it is each September. Farmstands, farmers' markets, and grocery store produce aisles are bursting with locally grown corn, tomatoes, squash, peaches, apples and a myriad of other fruits and vegetables. Delight in the abundance of fresh local produce while you can. At the same time, learn more about ways of preserving this bounty for the coming months when some of your favorite items are not so readily available. But don't despair if you are not a preserving maven. Many of our farms are extending their seasons and planning for winter markets - a win, win situation for us all.

The advent of September also marks the start of the school year, and nothing could be better for lunch than locally grown food. If you pack a lunch for your kids, getting locally grown food into the lunch box is fairly easy. We've got some tips on packing a local food lunch on our web site. If your child eats a school prepared lunch, you'll be pleased to hear that more and more schools are purchasing food from our local farms. But as an article in the Boston Globe recently attests, getting locally grown food into all school lunches will take time, money and a lot of will power. One step you can take is to find out what your local school is doing to celebrate Massachusetts Harvest for Students, organized by the Massachusetts Farm to School Project from September 27 to October 1.

And if you really want to indulge in some great locally grown food this September, be sure to get a ticket for Taste the View.

Tracie Butler-Kurth
Community Membership Coordinator

Eighty Jarvis in Holyoke
It's your guide, help us improve it!
CISA's annual farm products guide is the Pioneer Valley's comprehensive guide to eating and buying locally produced food and farm products. To help make the 2011 edition more user-friendly, we have created an online survey to gather feedback from current recipients of the publication. Surveys completed by September 30th will be entered into a raffle for a CISA baseball cap (available now at our online store). Take the survey now!

Get ready to Taste the View
New England fish chowder, vegan corn and tomato chowder, vegetable gratin with cream and asiago cheese, slow braised pork shoulder with salsa cruda and white bean ragout, fresh corn with cumin butter, crunchy rustic breads ... and to top it all off ... seasonal berry shortcake with whipped cream! These are just a few of the items that Blue Heron Restaurant and numerous other Local Hero restaurants, farms, food retailers, and institutions will be serving up at Taste the View, September 24th. Don't forget to buy your tickets!

Help CISA Taste the View
Want to have fun, meet community members with shared interests and values, and help CISA raise much-needed funds for its programs? CISA is looking for volunteers to help with the set-up, production, and clean-up of Taste the View (see above). We need your help to transform the main arena at the Three County Fairgrounds into a wonderful showcase of local farms and the foods they produce. Volunteers will help set up tables, assemble decorations, run electrical cords, and help with post-event deconstruction on Saturday, September 25. We also need servers, help getting materials from farms, and some help with food prep (commercial kitchen experience helpful but not required). Contact Ann Pemberton, Volunteer Coordinator, at or 413-665-7100 x 18, if you want to help.

CISA has the chance to win 1% of the 2010 annual income from FRESH, the documentary film that examines how farmers, thinkers and entreprenuers are re-inventing our industrialized food system. Vote for CISA today! Don't forget to share the link with your friends via your email, Facebook, Twitter, website and blog accounts. The more votes you help us get, the more likely we are to win this grant!

First Whole Farm Planning class graduates
For the past several months CISA has been bringing together women farmers with fewer than 10 years experience to learn about whole farm planning. Each of these 17 women created a holistic management goal and mission statement that focuses on the social, environmental and financial aspects of her farm. During this 10-session program, the women focused on both the "big picture" and the nitty gritty details of operating a farm business. The first class graduates on September 26. Congratulations to all on their hard work. CISA is now forming the next class, slated to begin in November and finish in the summer of 2011. Participants must commit to attending all 10 workshops. More information and an application can be found on the Women In Agriculture section of our web site.

Cover art design by Allison Bell.

Local Hero Profile
This month, we profile Paul Lagreze of New England Wild Edibles. He works with his family in the woodlands of western Massachusetts to gather and cultivate some of the freshest mushrooms around. Read more on our website.

WGBY explores CSA farming model
As part of its Eco-Exchange series, Springfield's public TV station WGBY is airing a half hour program tonight, Thursday, September 9, at 7:30 pm that explores the inception of the Community Supported Farming model. Film crews from WGBY have been capturing footage and interviewing local farmers (including Local Hero members) since last March - and each of the four farms featured use the CSA model differently. Did you know that one of the first two CSAs in the United States started --and still operates -- in the Berkshires? Watch tonight and find out more.

Local grain
Wheatberry Farm and Bakery and their Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA was mentioned in a New York Times article on efforts that small farms, bakeries and flour mills are taking to make bread baked locally from local grains.

A Southern View of a New England staple
Christine Anne Piesyk, a former Amherst resident who lives in Tennessee, shares her view of Atkins Farm and its importance in her life in an article for Business Clarksville.
Toddler with veggie in mouth
Toddlers and Brussel Sprouts
The farm to school model, at its heart, is about providing our kids with healthy, fresh food. It's our job to provide children with a nutritious diet so they have the raw materials they need to focus on their job: figuring out how the world works. We are lucky to be living in one of the most fertile and abundant farming areas in the Northeast, and the farm to school logic is being applied to more and more Massachusetts schools each year. With faith in the power of a good meal, a few powerhouse organizations and individuals are working to extend this model to preschools. Read more.

Grow Food Northampton fundraises and finds farmers
Grow Food Northampton is actively fundraising to buy 117 acres of farmland in Florence. They've also selected their "anchor" CSA farmers. Read more.

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 happening in September.
  • Want to preserve some of this great September produce for the winter? Attend NOFA's Food Preservation workshops, being held across the state on Saturday, September 11 and September 18. All workshops are $50.
  • Hampshire College is hosting an exhibit called "The Politics of Food," including a collection of photographs titled "When Tillage Begins" by CISA Board member and Hampshire College CSA Manager Nancy Hanson. The exhibit runs now through October 25.
  • From Homeschool Half Days, to a monthly Friday drop-off program for 4-5 year olds, to mornings on the farm for parents and "backpack babies," there is much to see and do at Red Gate Farm in Buckland beginning in early September. And don't forget about Red Gates' adults-only dinner on Saturday, September 11 to support farm programs.
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

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