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Representatives from River Valley Market and GoBerry mingle with the cows on CISA's dairy tour.
Dairy farming is big business in Massachusetts agriculture, while only about 3% of the farms in the Pioneer Valley are dairy farms, they steward 18% of the agricultural land and account for 14% of the region's farm product sales. Many of these farms sell their milk wholesale, so the result of the important work they're doing isn't visible to residents, even those who put in extra effort to understand and support our local food economy. We want to change that!


Dairy buyers from grocery stores, restaurants, and dining services turned out recently for a farm tour and educational event organized by CISA at Mapleline Farm. The farmers from Mapleline Farm, along with Lucinda and Darryl Williams from Luther Belden Farm, told their farm's stories and talked about the unique challenges of dairying in the Northeast. To get some insight into what those challenges are and to learn more about how dairy farms are surviving, check out the press coverage of the event or visit our special webpage on dairy. It was truly gratifying to see so many local businesses devote staff time to building relationships with local farms and learning about the nuances of local agriculture.

June is dairy month, and luckily dairy products - while delicious on their own - are also a great companion to strawberries! Think strawberries and cream, strawberry shortcake, or a strawberry smoothie - yum! 

We hope you've seen the  2014 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide, with the beautiful multi-colored raspberries on the cover. We'd love to know how you use the guide. Take our short survey here, and we'll enter you in a drawing for a t-shirt, hat, or water bottle.   


Claire Morenon

Program Coordinator

Double-Header Farm Tour
June 29th, 10:00am - 2:00pm.
CISA's June farm tour will start at Pomeroy's Vegetable Farm in East Longmeadow (244 Hampden Road) at 10:00am. Bring a picnic lunch (or eat at a restaurant nearby) from 12:00pm - 1:00pm. At 1:00pm we will meet around the corner at Meadowbrook Farm (185 Meadowbrook Road) where pick-your-own strawberries are available. Please RSVP to Judy at CISA.

Taste the View 2013 
Photo courtesy of Soulful Life Photography
Help make CISA's fall fundraiser a success!

CISA is seeking volunteers for our September 19 event, Taste the View. From decorations and set-up to food pick-up and kitchen help, we've got a job for you! Contact Judy to help out.

New Staff Member at CISA
We are delighted to welcome Alexis Breiteneicher Schneeflock to CISA's staff as our first Major Gifts Officer. Alexis will start on June 18th and brings with her wonderful fundraising experience, most recently at The Trustees of Reservations.

Give your Dad a CISA Apron
Need an extra set of hands when working in the yard or on your latest craft project? Our new apron has three large pockets to hold everything you (or your dad) might need. $10.00 each, plus $2.50 each for shipping and handling. See them and place your orders here.

The list of what's in season is getting long! Find recipes for bok choy on our Valley Bounty page and check back on Saturday for ideas for using garlic scapes. Fill up on asparagus while it is still in season, and enjoy those strawberries! Not sure where to find it all? We can help:

Stephen Devine feeding calves

Local Hero Profile: Devine Farm

Devine Farm produces over 11,000 pounds of milk per day, stewards 300 acres of land in Hadley, and works closely with UMass as a hands-on learning laboratory for undergraduates. So why don't you know them? Read all about this 4th-generation dairy farm and their quiet contributions to the Pioneer Valley agricultural world here


We join many Pioneer Valley residents and business owners in our sorrow for the death of Chris Cavallari of Serio's Market in Northampton.


Visit our Press Room to read more about our take on the newly-released Census of Agriculture figures. You'll also find interviews with several fascinating local businesses - Northampton Brewery's J.O.E.'s Farm, Steady Lane Farm, and All Things Local Market. 

New Funds for Business Development Available at PVGrows Loan Fund
The PVGrows Loan Fund has announced $60,000 in funds are available to directly cover the costs of key business development services for local farm and food businesses. This investment in capacity building complements the financing options already available through the loan fund. Recent beneficiaries include Local Hero member Artisan Beverage Cooperative, where co-owner Will Savitri says, "The PVGrows Loan Fund has been an incredible source of help in our preparation for a major expansion. The technical assistance provided by these funds has allowed us to develop a brewery design and expansion plan, as well as providing us expert technical assistance to improve our business plan and financial projections in preparation for our largest round of financing to date."

Local Farms and Organizations Reach out to SNAP Recipients

Many local farms, farmers' markets, and community organizations are working to ensure that fresh local food is available to all residents of our region. They use a wide range of methods, including the following:

  • Donating food to food pantries or the Food Bank;
  • Matching SNAP dollars at farmers' markets, using a wide variety of creative fundraising techniques including Greenfield's Free Harvest Supper or the Northampton Tuesday Market's new market spinner;
  • Bringing food to neighborhoods that lack a supermarket, via farmers' markets, CSA shares, or the Go Fresh Mobile Market;
  • Individual farms and organizations like Grow Food Northampton and CISA's Senior FarmShare program support discounted CSA shares, while the UMassFive College Federal Credit Union offers their members a no-interest loan to finance CSA shares.

CISA's list of farmers' markets that accept SNAP benefits is here; our CSA list also indicates which farms provide discounted shares. Ask your favorite farm or market how you can support their efforts to make sure all residents of our region can eat fresh local food! 


Looking Ahead: New England Food Vision Released
Attendees of CISA's Annual Meeting heard about an effort to outline New England's capacity to increase our food self-reliance over the next 50 years; the full report is now available here.
Looking Back: Good Food Timeline 1941-2014
If you are interested in reviewing the history of the local food movement and its link to "good food" (defined by the Kellogg Foundation as food that is healthy, affordable, fair, and green), Michigan State University recently released The Local Food Movement: Setting the Stage for Good Food, which includes a one-page Good Food Timeline.

Festivals and Events
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:

New Lands Farm Tour, June 14th, West Springfield. Learn about the farm, their CSA, and the farmers, most of whom are immigrants and refugees. Bring lunch and have a picnic!

Revisioning Sustainability Conference: Campuses as Catalysts for Regenerative Food Systems, UMass Amherst, June 22-25th, 2014. 

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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