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Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown. You've seen the bumper sticker - you probably have one on your car! We often talk about how fortunate we are to live in an area where that message resonates so strongly, where so many people care about supporting local farmers and value the amazing taste and variety that local farmers produce. 


And really, we're talking about you! We're inspired by the ways in which so many of you have embraced local agriculture, by buying directly from farmers, or looking for local choices on restaurant menus and at local retailers. It is a part of your lives.


So this summer, we encourage you to share that inspiration and help CISA spread the word: be an ambassador for local farms and food! Meet a friend at the farmers' market. Prepare a special local dinner for loved ones. Pass along resources (like the Farm Products Guide), recipes, and home food preservation tips. Forward this newsletter. Tell your coworkers about your favorite farm stand or farmers' market. Ask at restaurants and retailers about what's local, and let them know that it's important to you as a customer. 


Share your passion with your community, and be a local hero!


 The CISA Staff




Save the Date for Taste the View
CISA's fall fundraiser, Taste the View, will be held on September 14th, 6:00-9:00pm at Quonquont Farm in Whately. Tickets go on sale on August 6th. 


Help make CISA's fall fundraiser a success
CISA is seeking volunteers for our September 14 event, Taste the View. From decoration, design and set-up to food pick-up and kitchen help, we've got a job for you! To find out more about these and many more exciting opportunities please contact Sarah Stout, Volunteer Coordinator, at or (413) 665-7100 x19.


CISA Emergency Farm Fund Distributes $93,000 for Hurricane Irene Recovery 

CISA's new Emergency Farm Fund offered zero-interest loans to assist farmers and farm businesses struggling to meet their immediate needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Since October, the $100,000 revolving fund has made loans to eleven farms, totaling $93,000. The fund is now dormant and will reopen in the future when local farms face a similar emergency situation. Farms receiving the loans include McKinstry Market Garden in Chicopee, Hager Brothers Farm in Colrain, Lyonsville Valley Farm in Colrain, Dave's Natural Garden in Granby, Bug Hill Farm in Ashfield, The Bars Farm in Deerfield, and Czajkowski Farm in Hadley.


The creation of the loan fund was catalyzed by a $50,000 matching grant provided by an anonymous donor. Since then business and individual support has been heartfelt and impressive, with gifts from $5 to $20,000 pouring in. Whole Foods Market and The Farm Table at Kringle Candle each contributed $20,000. Other large donors included Farm Credit East, The Beveridge Family Foundation, Easthampton Savings Bank, Smith College, Florence Savings Bank, Deerfield Academy, and numerous individuals.


Senior FarmShare is underway

Through the Senior FarmShare program, CISA is providing 365 low-income seniors with a share of the local harvest. CISA partners with thirteen local farms and eleven seniors centers to serve seniors throughout Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties. We're also excited to partner with Grow Food Northampton, which sponsors eighteen shares in Northampton. Distributions, which run for ten weeks at the peak of the growing season, are starting up. For more information about this innovative and important program, click here.


Your help needed!

Publication of CISA's Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide is a one of our biggest spring projects: this year, we printed 75,000 copies. We'd love to know what you like about it, and how you think it could be improved. Please take our short survey, and we'll enter you in a drawing for a CISA hat or water bottle.


Welcome, Kelley and Sarah
CISA is pleased to welcome two new staff members. Kelley Manson, CISA's Development Director,
brings with her 26 years of non-profit development experience and will provide strategic direction and coordination for CISA's fundraising efforts. Sarah Stout, Development Associate, joined the CISA staff in March 2012. She works with the community membership program, outreach, fundraising events and other development initiatives. She also serves as CISA's volunteer coordinator. Read their full bios.


CISA logo and tagFarm Profile: Sunset Farm

At Sunset Farm in Amherst, nearly all of their fields are open to pick-your-own, offering a wide range of vegetables as well as small quantities of more common pick-your-own crops like strawberries and peas. Bill Gillen, who owns the farm with his wife Connie, says, "I love the idea of having a beautiful place for the neighbors to come down to." Read all about Sunset Farm.


Farms and Food in the News

Visit our Local Heroes in the News page to find several recent stories about Mountain View Farm, Northampton Brewery, Cook Farm, Barstow's Longview Farm, and Simple Gifts Farm.


Find recent interviews with The Bars Farm, Hadley Garden Center, and Atlas Farm, in our Press Room.


Alert from Local Hero member Atkins Farms: don't be discouraged by the construction. They are open! Visit their Facebook page for updates and alternate routes.  

Massachusetts FY2013 Budget Signed - Some Good News!

The state budget is signed and the Dept. of Agriculture funding was increased to include monies for bee inspection, the 4-H program and for 'buy local' groups across the state. In addition, funding for CISA's  Senior FarmShare program was included in the budget for the Office of Elder Affairs and, as a result, 365 low-income elders in the Valley will receive 2013 summer farm shares. The entire western Mass. legislative delegation was extremely supportive with statewide leadership provided by Senator Brewer (Chair, Senate Ways and Means), Senator Rosenberg (President Pro Tem), Senator Downing (D-Pittsfield), and Senator Knapik (R-Westfield); and Representative Kulik,(Vice-Chair, House Ways and Means) Representative Markey (D-Dartmouth), and Representative Gobi (D-Spencer).


U.S. Senate Passes Farm Bill - Attention Turns to the House

The Senate passed a Farm Bill with a better outcome for the small farmers in New England. It now goes to the House, where huge cuts are likely to be proposed for SNAP (food stamps) and beneficial program changes for local farmers. Please visit our partners websites for details: the New England Farmers Union and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.


Support your favorite farmers' market (and some other ones, too!)

American Farmland Trust is sponsoring an "America's Favorite Farmers' Market" contest.  You can vote with your mouse, but we suggest some other options, too: vote with your feet, by making your favorite farmers' market a regular part of your schedule, and checking out other markets in the region, as well. Vote with your dollars, by prioritizing local food in your weekly food budget. Vote with your head, by supporting farm policy that works for diverse, family-owned New England farms. And vote with your time: ask the manager of your farmers' market how you can help, or visit farms to find out more about local agriculture, or learn to prepare or preserve foods in season so that you can eat locally year round.

As the growing season gets going, the number of food and farm events increases! We include a couple of teasers here, but urge you to visit CISA's events calendar for a full listing of forums, festivals, films, and much more.


Live Arts Performance to benefit Grow Food Northampton
Sunday, July 15, 6pm-8pm
Wildlife Sanctuary, Arts & Industry Building, Florence
Zany Angels Dance Theater Company and Stephen Katz Celloist will perform. $10 suggested donation and 75% of proceeds will benefit Grow Food Northampton. It is going to be a fun, entertaining, community filled event! For more info, click here


NOFA Summer Conference
Friday-Sunday, August 10-12
Umass, Amherst
Save the date for the 38th Annual NOFA Summer Conference. Frank Morton and Representative Chellie Pingree have been confirmed as keynote speakers. For more information click here.  

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Phone: (413) 665-7100  



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

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