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Journalists ranging from the New York Times to the Greenfield Recorder's local food columnist, Mary McClintock, have commented on the impact that the ongoing nuclear disaster will have on farms and farmers in the region.  In her column on March 30th, Mary quoted Michael Docter of Winter Moon Farm in Hadley:  


Everything I have ever owned, every piece of land I have worked, every seed sown and every bushel of food that I have ever harvested has been downstream from the Vernon Nuclear Plant. For years, I have often wondered "what if?" So much of what we do as farmers is manage risk. We diversify, we hedge against weather, we extend seasons, we sell directly to our neighbors. If we manage risk properly and make lots of friends, we can endure natural disasters. Even the devastation wrought by hail storms, drought, tornadoes, earthquakes - these are seasonal set-backs. Give us another growing season and we will re-plant. The Fukushima farmers are finished farmers. They have sown their last seeds.


The costs of energy- financial, environmental, and to human health- are among the risks that many farmers in our region are working to reduce.  I'm glad to have spring chores that remind me of the everyday miracles of sun, soil, and food:  planting seeds, preparing garden beds, caring for new lambs.  But as I go about this work, part of my mind is dwelling on the farmers of Fukushima Prefecture and the earth they've tended.  I remember that the work I can do in my own backyard is not enough.  Changing our appetite for energy will take all of us, working together.


Margaret Christie
Special Projects Director 


Young@Heart posterYoung@Heart ChorusTM Benefit Concert on Sunday!

Last chance to see The Young@Heart ChorusTM in a benefit concert for CISA and Safe Passage, April 10th at John M. Greene Hall, Smith College.  


Special thanks to our sponsors: 

Florence Savings Bank

Lathrop Retirement Communities

Smith College Museum of Art

Freedom Credit Union

Greenfield Cooperative Bank

Northampton Area Pediatrics

Northampton Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

People's United Bank

River Valley Market

CSA Sign-ups Happening Now!

Many CSAs fill up fast- use CISA's list of Local Hero CSAs to sign up now.  Remember that there are lots of options for bringing more local food to your table.  If a CSA isn't the right fit for you, consider a delivery service or on-line ordering service, such as those offered by Valley Green Feast or Swartz Family Farm.


Local Food for All

Many farms and organizations are working to make sure that all residents of our region have access to fresh, locally grown food.  There is still more work to be done, but options for using SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps) at farms and farmers' markets are expanding. For more information on a variety of local efforts to make locally grown food more accessible to people at all income levels, click here.  


Office Space Available in CISA's Building

Looking for office space? Join CISA at our location in South Deerfield. Details can be found on our classifieds page.

Concert poster design by Tom Pappalardo.

Sidehill Farm Profile

Amy Klippenstein and Paul Lacinski started off as gardeners, eventually growing much of their own food.  "[There was] one glaring exception," they report on their website:  "Yogurt.  We were eating nearly four quarts of yogurt a week, and the grocery bill was adding up. So we did what any sensible consumer would do in that situation. We bought three dairy cows."  Find out what happened next in our profile of Sidehill Farm.

Federal Budget Upheaval

There's a lot happening with the federal budget, and it's likely to affect programs that benefit local farmers. For example, RC&D, which administers the Farm Energy Program and the Forest Stewardship Program in our region, and ATTRA , the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, are both facing budget cuts. If you are interested in staying abreast of new developments, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition for action alerts.


 PVGrows Loan Fund For Food and Agricultural Infrastructure Businesses
CISA is a founding member of the new PVGrows Loan Fund, which offers below-market-rate loans to businesses that fill key gaps in the infrastructure of the Pioneer Valley local food system. Now accepting new applications. Next Deadlines: April 15th and June 15th.


Below are a couple of upcoming farm- and food-related events of interest. Find out about workshops, farm festivals, film screenings, and other local farm-related events on our web site.

  1. Young@Heart ChorusTM benefit concert for CISA and Safe Passage, 4 pm, Sunday, April 10th, John M. Greene Hall, Smith College, Northampton.   
  2. Mushroom Inoculation Workshop at Brook's Bend Farm, Montague, April 23, 9 am-5pm. Take home an inoculated log and grow you own shitake, oyster, and stropharia mushrooms! Register online or by calling 607-527-0607.
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.


Phone: (413) 665-7100  

Website: http://www.buylocalfood.org       


Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture is an equal opportunity provider and employer.                                                                           

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