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When my nephew was a toddler in New York City, he thought the ringing of the doorbell meant that dinner had arrived. While take-out may not be daily fare for most Pioneer Valley residents, restaurant food makes up a growing share of our diet. Nationwide, we now source more than a third of what we eat from restaurants. Many local restaurants take pride in their relationships with local growers and their seasonal menus, and they are celebrating the delicious results during CISA's annual Restaurant Days on August 19th and 20th. At the link, you'll find a list of participating restaurants, special menu items - and prizes!

Tasty meals aren't the only beneficial result of restaurants' local sourcing. Restaurants are an important market outlet for many farms, and restaurant buyers, chefs, and farmers work together in a variety of creative ways. Some chefs like to browse at farmers' markets, while others design menu items in response to farmer input about special varieties or plentiful produce. A few restaurants operate their own farms, purchase CSA shares, or work with farmers in advance to plan for the coming season. The distributors that connect farms and restaurants are an important part of the infrastructure of our local food economy, increasing efficiency for both farmers and restaurants while reducing the number of trucks on the road. In 2013, Local Hero member restaurants spent more than $2 million dollars on local farm products.


Our profiles of Magpie Woodfired Pizzeria, Auntie Cathie's Kitchen, and local distributor Squash, Inc. tell some of these stories in depth. Take a night off from cooking on August 19th or 20th, and tell the restaurants you visit how much you appreciate their support for local farms! When dining at your favorite restaurant, enter to win a gift certificate from either Wilder Hill Gardens or Randall's Farm and Greenhouse


Margaret Christie 

Special Projects Director

Taste the View: A Local Harvest Dinner and Auction to Benefit CISA
The Lone Wolf will be preparing a sumptuous feast for CISA's local harvest dinner and auction, Taste the View, on Friday, September 19th at Quonquont Farm in Whately. The event features great food, good company, and a tempting array of auction items. Would you like to attend a dinner/cooking class with wine for six? Take a vacation in beautiful Bend, Oregon? Do you like local meals, Christmas trees, or maple syrup? Come and bid on these and other exciting auction items. Tickets are limited, so get yours soon to save your seat at the table! More information and tickets here.
Volunteer with CISA!
Volunteers are needed for our annual harvest dinner and fundraiser, Taste the View, on September 19th. From picking up food donations at local farms to arranging flowers, setting-up the venue, or serving meals, we have a job for you. Contact Judy to sign up.
"Locally Grown" Kid and Baby
We've added a new line of child-sized T-shirts to our merchandise options. Perfect for the babies and children in your life, and a great gift for new parents! These blue shirts and onesies are 100% organic cotton and made in the USA. Click here to order yours today.

Accepting applications for Whole Farm Planning for beginning women farmers
Holistic Management International's Whole Farm Planning program is an opportunity for women who have been farming for under ten years to gain skills and build a network of other women farmers. The course touches on a variety of topics, including business planning basics, marketing, goal-setting and financial planning, time management, reading the landscape, land and infrastructure planning, leadership and communication skills. This is a 10-workshop series beginning in November 2014 with seven one-day sessions held in winter and three on-farm field sessions in spring. Dates, times and locations for the workshops are to be decided. Participants must attend all 10 sessions and the class size is limited to 20 Massachusetts residents. There is a sliding scale fee for this series of $50-$500, and scholarships are available. Find out more about the program and download an application on our website, or contact Devon for more information.

The list just keeps growing! We've got recipes and food preservation tips for melons, corn, peaches, and blueberries in Valley Bounty. August is the peak season for a lot of hot-weather vegetables and fruit, so this is a great month for preserving. Valley Bounty always includes preservation information, and we have a food preservation resource list on our website.

Not sure where to find it all? We can help! Search our online database or download our app to find a particular food or farm product, look for the farm stand or farmers' market closest to you, or discover which restaurants, retailers, and other businesses are doing a great job supporting local farms.  

Greenfield's Magpie Woodfired Pizzeria and Springfield's Auntie Cathie's Kitchen have strong ties to area farms and are known for their dedication to cooking delicious, locally sourced meals. We hope that our profiles, written by summer interns Lucy Dean Stockton and Melanie Sharick profile, inspire you to visit one of 54 restaurants participating in CISA's Restaurant Days!

Squash, Inc, is a local distribution company that has been building links between local farms and restaurants (as well as grocery stores, schools, and specialty food producers) for decades, and this year we are proud to honor them with a 2014 Local Hero Award. Read our profile and find links to local press coverage of this vital business here

Our Press Room offers a one-stop source of news about food, farms, and agriculture in the Pioneer Valley. This month, you'll find a thoughtful editorial from the Recorder on the challenges of dairy farming, and a three-part series from NEPR on the business of local farming. You can also listen to our weekly interview series on WRSI with local businesses: the South Hadley Farmers' Market, Mountain Pasture Berry Farm, Squash, Inc. Plus lots more!

Photo courtesy of WGBY 
New farming documentary from WGBY: "A Long Ro
w in Fertile Ground"
WGBY has created an original documentary focused on modern agriculture in the Pioneer Valley, "A Long Row in Fertile Ground." Featuring interviews with many Local Hero farmers and CISA's own Phil Korman, the film provides insights into the unique agricultural landscape and heritage that defines our region, and highlights the voices of many people who are carrying on our agricultural tradition. The film is available for free online, and stay tuned for opportunities to see it on a big screen this fall!

Summer is here, and local farms are sharing more than their food and farm products. On August 23rd alone, you can attend Red Fire Farm's Tomato Festival, a food preservation workshop at Just Roots, and Atkins Farms' annual Tasting Fair. A week later, head to Seeds of Solidarity for a percussion workshop. Find lots more on CISA's Events Page.

Do you value the news you get from CISA? Join more than 600 others in supporting CISA's work. We've been sustaining local agriculture by building connections between farmers and the community since 1993!


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