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In the fall of 2007, a small group of volunteers began planning Greenfield Winter Fare, a one day farmers' market held that February. In the same year, Enterprise Farm began opening their farmstand one day each week all winter, and several farms offered winter CSA shares. Four years later, Amherst boasts two weekly winter markets, Northampton has one, the Springfield Winter Farmers' Market runs twice a month, and the Greenfield market will be open the first Saturday of every month. Across the state, 30 farmers' markets will operate this winter, many of them stocked with food grown here in the Pioneer Valley.


All of us who shop and eat locally can be proud of this success! Even in this year of very challenging weather, farmers have worked to produce a wide variety of crops so that Valley residents can eat locally grown food all winter long. The infrastructure for winter sales has also improved, with farmers developing effective winter storage systems, erecting greenhouses for winter production, and adding frozen and canned products. 


Because of the many challenges faced by farmers this year, income from winter sales will be more important than ever. Check out CISA's list of winter markets, farmstands, and farmshares to find the best winter source of local food for you. With the steady support of customers from across the Valley, winter market options for growers will continue to increase, providing opportunities for new farmers, and for farmers newly diversifying into production for winter sales. And we can all gather around our tables for warm soups, slow-cooked roasts, fresh greens, fine cheeses, and the many other pleasures of local eating in wintertime. 


Margaret Christie 

Special Projects Director

Looking to make a year end gift that packs a powerful punch?

Look no further! Your gift to CISA keeps our farmers right where they belong: on their farms, farming. It strengthens the local economy by keeping our farms, restaurants and food businesses humming. It ensures that consumers know where to buy local in order to find the freshest, healthiest food for their families. And it works to preserve the unique rural character of our communities. Now that's one gift that packs a powerfully tasty punch!


Join us and make your gift today, it feels good! Donate online or send your greatly appreciated gift directly to CISA at One Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, MA 01373.


Your Donation Hard at Work: CISA by the Numbers

245 low-income seniors received a share of the local harvest through CISA's Senior FarmShare program.

318 businesses are members of the Local Hero Program.

454 farmers and food businesspeople attended 59 workshops, tours, and one-on-one trainings.

726 community members support CISA's programs.

2000 people attended Winter Fares in Springfield and Northampton.

55,000 copies of Locally Grown were distributed in the Valley.

$1,500,000 dollars spent by Local Hero restaurants  on local farm products each year.

$9,000,000 dollars of farm products were sold direct to consumers in the Pioneer Valley between 2002 and 2007, doubling figures from the previous five years.

...and 9 CISA staff members thank you for your support!


Resources for Farm and Food Businesses

New CISA tipsheets on labor law and management include information on farm apprenticeships, hiring and management, wage and hour laws, and the H2A program. Our winter workshop calendar is very full, with at least 11 workshops on marketing, wholesale sales, energy, and more. 


Local Hero Yarn! CISA yarn 

Local Hero farmer and CISA Board Member Diane Roeder, of Sojourner Design, has donated forty skeins of yarn to benefit the work of CISA! From beginning to end, it's a product of local talent, with fleece from Diane's sheep and gorgeous color donated by Gail Callahan, The Kangaroo Dyer. Available only until it's gone at WEBS in Northampton for $22.95 per skein. 


CISA's Emergency Farm Loan Fund - Now Reviewing Applications

Pioneer Valley farmers who suffered agricultural losses due to Hurricane Irene can apply for zero interest, $5,000 to $10,000 loans here. Thank you to all the donors to the Emergency Farm Loan Fund!

Tammy Sapowsky of Sapowsky Farms in Granby grows fruits and vegetables, competes in ranch horse herding contests, and processes applications at Hampshire College. On our Local Heroes in the News page you'll also find recent stories about Northampton restaurant Bistro Les Gras' free community Thanksgiving meal and this season's harvest of grain in the Valley.


Profile: Northampton Cooperative Auction Association
The Northampton Cooperative Auction Association has provided a one-stop market outlet for farmers with animals to sell since 1949. Buyers include agents for large slaughterhouses, local farmers, and people who want to choose live animals to raise up or to eat. Learn more about how a livestock auction fits into our local food system.


Buy local... Christmas trees and holiday decorations!

Locally grown trees, wreaths, roping, and cemetery boxes are available now at farms and farm stands across the Valley. Make a family excursion of choosing and cutting a tree, or pick one that's all ready to go. Either way, local trees, wreaths and greenery are fresh and long-lasting, and they smell good, too. Decorate your house while feeling good about your carbon footprint and your support for the local economy! See our list of local farms that sell holiday greenery.   


Winter Sources of Locally Grown Products

Is your larder running low? Find out which farmers' markets and farmstands are open and which farms offer winter CSA shares here.

New Report: Local Foods Are Working for the Nation

Greenfield native and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan's summary of a new USDA report on local food includes highlights which will be familiar to local residents here in the Valley: (1) local markets are important for many farmers; (2) local food is moving through restaurants, retailers and distributors as well as through direct market channels like farmers' markets; (3) local doesn't necessarily mean small; and (4) local means jobs. 


Give your input to the Sustainable Knowledge Corridor Project 

A consortium of agencies in the Springfield/Hartford region is working to set priorities for transportation, environment, and economic development for the region. CISA is working with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to assess food security and set priorities related to food and agriculture. The project is looking for input from residents: let them know how you prioritize jobs, housing, farmland protection, and other important goals. 

Visit CISA's events calendar for a full listing of festivals as well as workshops, forums, films, and more. Here is just a small sample of what you'll find on our website.   

  1. Northeast Organic Farming Association 25th Annual Winter Conference
    Saturday, January 14, 2012
    Worcester State University, 486 Chandler St, Worcester, MA
    Featuring Keynote Speaker John Jeavons: "Food & Our Future." Come enjoy 65 workshops, dozens of exhibitors and vendors, a children's program, and the NOFA/Mass Annual Meeting. Click here for more details. 
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Phone: (413) 665-7100  



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

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