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I left the Pioneer Valley for one hot, wet week at the end of June and returned to full-on summer. Asparagus and strawberries, those ephemeral and individual wonders, are gone. Farms and markets now offer the bounty of midsummer: vegetables too numerous to name, the stalwart meats, dairy products, and sweeteners, and dazzling, multi-colored fruits. 


I always return to the Pioneer Valley with a renewed appreciation for our many sources of locally grown food: farm stands, CSAs, restaurants, retailers, and a farmers' market every day of the week! This summer, two Pioneer Valley farmers' markets, Greenfield and Northampton, celebrate their 40th anniversaries. In Greenfield, founding vendors will cut birthday cake for all on July 19th at 10 am. Many newer markets - there are now 44 in the Pioneer Valley - have brought local food and farm products to neighborhoods where they were previously unavailable. 


The growth in farmers' markets is a plus for Valley residents, offering convenience, variety, delicious food, and congenial gathering places for neighbors and visitors. Often, markets provide music, kids' activities, tastings, and demonstrations as well as farm products. Our markets need us, too. More markets require more customers in order to provide an adequate return to farmers and to support the market's staff, infrastructure, and outreach. Our full list of Pioneer Valley markets is here. Support your local farmers' market! And happy July eating.


Margaret Christie 

Special Projects Director

Photo from last year's In the Field and Under the Sky 
Farm to Table Dinner to benefit CISA
Saturday, August 2nd, 5pm-8pm
Whole Foods Market in Hadley presents the second annual In the Field and Under the Sky
farm dinner at Enterprise Farm in Whately, MA. Enjoy locally grown food prepared by top chefs, gorgeous farm scenery, live music by MilkBottle, and craft beer and wine, all while supporting local agriculture. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Local Hero Restaurant Days
August 19th and 20th
Join us in celebrating the local farm bounty and supporting our local food economy by visiting any of your favorite Local Hero restaurants during Local Hero Restaurant Days on August 19th and 20th. Enjoy special menu items and a delicious commitment to local food among friends and family. Stay tuned to CISA's website for participating restaurants and menu items as the date approaches.

Photo courtesy of Next Barn Over 
Farm Tour at Next Barn Over Farm
Saturday, July 19th, 2pm-4pm
Join CISA and Kestrel Land Trust for an afternoon behind-the-scenes tour of Next Barn Over Farm, 15 Lawrence Plain Road in Hadley. Come take a tour of this Local Hero farm in all its July lushness, led by farmers Ray Young and Tory Field. Learn about their sustainable, justice-driven approach to farming and why they chose to protect their farmland with an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) through Kestrel Land Trust. Space is limited, RSVP required. Please RSVP to Judy at CISA. Rain date is Sunday, July 20th.

Two volunteer opportunities to help CISA at farm dinners this summer
We are seeking volunteers for the In the Field and Under the Sky farm dinner mentioned above. This benefit for CISA is on Saturday, August 2nd from 5pm to 8pm at Enterprise Farm in Whately. You can also help make our fall fundraiser, Taste the View, a success. This event is on September 19th, and volunteer opportunities are available all that week. From decoration and set-up to food pick-up and kitchen help, we've got a job for you! Contact Judy to help out.

Seeking donations for Taste the View
We are still looking for unique and fabulous items for our 2014 auction at Taste the View. If you would like to donate something, please fill out our online donation form or contact Jennifer. Be sure to save the date for this great annual event: Friday, September 19th at Quonquont Farm.

Wear your support for Locally Grown!

Check out our newest item in the CISA store: a three pocket apron for working in the yard or garden! Plus, we have a fresh supply of our popular purple t-shirts, USA made, of soft organic cotton. Take a look here. Order now while we still have many sizes in stock.

Find recipes and food preservation tips for garlic scapes, local dairy products, strawberries, and cherries on the Valley Bounty page. The list of what's in season now just keeps growing! July highlights include blueberries, raspberries, corn, and tomatoes.


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

With the July heat comes blueberry season! To celebrate, CISA has two Local Hero Profiles to share with you: Middlefield's Blue Heaven Berry Farm and West Granville Blueberries. Each of these multi-generation, family run blueberry farms have been in operation for over 50 years. Read about their labors of love here.


Visit our Press Room to read an excellent, in-depth piece from The Advocate about local dairy farms, see an editorial from The Republican in support of CISA's goal to double the amount of local food in our diets in the next 20 years, and listen to interviews with several fascinating local businesses: Atlas Farm, Chase Hill Farm, Richardson's Candy Kitchen, and The Gill Tavern.

Gardening the Community purchases land
Exciting news from Gardening the Community, a Springfield-based youth development and urban agriculture organization: in June, Springfield's City Council voted unanimously in support of GTC acquiring the lots at 200 and 206 Walnut Street. Gardening the Community has been managing youth-run gardens in vacant lots in Springfield since 2002, and this is their first land purchase. Learn more about their plans here.

Tuesday Market and The Bagshare Project reducing waste
Northampton's Tuesday Market has partnered with The Bagshare Project to produce nearly 1,000 reusable bags, which will be available at the market starting July 22nd. This is part of a longer-term goal to eliminate the use of plastic shopping bags at the market. Learn more by reading the Tuesday Market's blog here

Summer is here, and there's lots of food and farm fun to be had! Cooking and preserving classes, farm tours and open houses, and lots more on CISA's Events Page. Here is just a small selection of what's coming: 


Greenfield Farmers' Market 40th Anniversary
Join Greenfield Farmers' Market vendors as they celebrate 40th years of providing Greenfield and surrounding towns with fresh vegetables, fruit and locally grown products each Saturday! Founding farmers Tom Clark, Rich Pascale and Juanita Nelson will be present to share their thoughts on how the market started and what it has meant to them. They will also have a birthday cake donated by Green Fields Market, so stop by for a piece as Mayor Bill Martin helps with the honors of cutting it!


Bug Hill Farm Open House
Sunday, July 20, 12pm-5pm, Bug Hill Farm, Ashfield
Come for the second annual Open House, featuring demos, workshops, tastings, tours of the farm and pick-your-own berries! All CISA Community Members will receive a complimentary bottle of Rhubarb Rush and a recipe card with recommended uses. Bring your membership card. (Not a member? Join here!)

NOFA Summer Conference
August 8th-10th, UMass Amherst
150+ workshops on farming, gardening, land care, nutrition and food politics, live entertainment, dinner meet-ups, conferences for children and teens, farm tours, and much more! Early Bird discount ends July 11th. Click here to register. 

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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