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CISA's 2014 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide has hit the streets, providing a wealth of information and inspiration to Valley residents eager to find local food and farm products. The Guide is the definitive resource on local farms and businesses that source local products, including restaurants, retailers, specialty producers, and dining services. Pick up your free copy at Local Hero retailers, farmer's markets, or farmstands.

The arrival of the hard-copy Guide coincides with the release of CISA's new app, which allows shoppers to access all the information in the Guide from their phones and devices. The app pulls regularly-updated information from our existing online database, and it is available for free in the Apple app store and on Google Play -- access links to both here.

Please help us spread the word about these resources for finding locally grown products! And 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 tshirt, hat, or water bottle. Thanks for your help, and enjoy the bounty of spring!

Philip Korman
Executive Director 
Photo credit: Mollie Babize
CISA Community Membership

Help ensure the future of local agriculture in the Pioneer Valley. Become a CISA community member today!

Auction Items Needed
CISA is looking for unique and fabulous items for our 2014 Auction at Taste the View: A Local Harvest Dinner to Benefit CISA. Do you have a vacation home that you are willing to share? A skill that you could teach someone? A one of a kind item that you have made? Last year, we had a trip to France, a chicken coop, a CSA share, and lots more. If you would like to donate something, please fill out our online donation form or contact Jennifer. Thank you! (Be sure to save the date for this great annual event: Friday, September 19th at Quonquont Farm).
CISA Evaluates Systems for Accepting SNAP at Farmers' Markets
A review of equipment and systems for accepting SNAP/Food Stamps at farmers' markets, conducted by CISA and Mass Farmers' Markets, found that currently available and next generation technology for accepting SNAP at outdoor markets is imperfect. Connectivity to phone lines or wireless is often spotty and existing systems are time-consuming for all users -- shoppers, market managers, and vendors. This work was done as part of CISA's participation the USDA's Healthy Incentives Pilot, a Hampden County study that found that providing SNAP/Food Stamp recipients with a financial incentive for purchasing fruits and vegetables resulted in a 25% increase in consumption of these foods. 

CISA Helps Farmers Consider Boston Public Market
New financial templates can help farmers evaluate potential returns from running a stand at the Boston Public Market, currently scheduled to open in June 2015. CISA's templates include estimated costs and allow users to input estimated sales data. The Boston Public Market is asking vendors to submit an "Intent to Apply" form by today, May 9th. Contact Kelly for more information on using the templates.

Newsletter Note
We've had some issues with our email newsletter database -- if this newsletter has come to the wrong email address, please contact Abby and she'll fix it!

Read about rhubarb and find a roundup of recipes both savory and sweet on our Valley Bounty page. Farmers' markets are open with bedding plants, greens, spring onions and garlic, sweet new turnips, radishes, and lots more, and asparagus is popping up at stands and markets all around the Valley! 


Nasami Farm
Photo credit: Cayte McDonough
Local Hero Profile: Nasami Farm

The drive to Nasami Farm in Whately winds its way through wooded groves and open fields, and the farm itself lies on 75 beautiful acres of forest, meadow, and stream. Visitors to the farm are sure to appreciate the serene landscape as well as the nursery's wide selection of native perennials, trees, shrubs, and ferns. Read our full profile here. 


2014 Local Hero Award Winner: Adams Farm

A multi-generational farm business that has operated on family land in Athol since 1946, the Adams Farm Slaughterhouse provides a vital service to livestock farmers in Massachusetts and surrounding states. Adams Farm is one of three winners of CISA's 2014 Local Hero Awards, presented each year to farms, businesses, or individuals who exemplify our mission of strengthening local farms and engaging the community in building the local food system. Read all about them here.


Visit our Press Room for interviews with Atherton Farm, Megan's Valley Garden & Landscape Supply and EIEIO Farm. You'll also find stories about farmers' market openings, meat production, and two brothers with neighboring farms (one cows, one sheep) in Franklin County. 

2012 Census of Agriculture Data Released
Every five years, the USDA conducts the national Census of Agriculture, giving us an in-depth look at farm size, production, sales, and the demographics of farmers. County-by-county data for the 2012 census was released last week and we are busy crunching the numbers. Our preliminary analysis shows that over a five-year period, the total number of farms in our three-county region rose from from 1,960 to 2,161. Despite the greatest recession since the Depression, total farm sales rose from $121 million to $128 million, though the average sales per farm dropped from $60,562 to $57,587. The number of farms selling direct to consumers jumped 24% and direct sales of food from farms to all of us went up almost 17%. Stay tuned as we release more analysis next week at!

Former CISA Interns Make Agricultural News
...Building Local Foods Infrastructure in Maine

Interns do a tremendous amount of work at CISA. We're grateful for their help and are always interested in their future activities -- especially when they go on to do work related to food or agriculture. Marada Cook interned with CISA while at Hampshire College. After returning to Maine, she and her sister took on the management of the local foods distribution company started by their father, Crown O'Maine Organic Cooperative. Marada and Leah Cook and a partner also founded a Maine frozen foods business, Northern Girl. Crown O'Maine recently became a worker-owned cooperative; read more in the Maine Organic Farmer and Gardener.

...and Promoting Urban Agriculture in California
Discussing urban agriculture in a recent article in Grist (Urban Farms Won't Feed Us, But They Just Might Teach Us), former intern Eli Zigas recognized that "a fresh strawberry is a memorable lesson in seasonality." Eli's first fresh-from-the-field strawberry was picked here in the Pioneer Valley, while he delivered Local Hero signs and labels to a Whately farm. Since then, he's become a staffer for SPUR, a non-profit devoted to good planning and good government in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he's made the case that agriculture and food production have an important role in improving cities.

Plant sales! Gardening classes! Farm tours! Plus festivals with clever names celebrating pollinators (Bloom!) and asparagus (Beers and Spears, also known as the WGBY Asparagus Festival). Find it all on CISA's Events Page

Do you value the news you get from CISA? Join more than 500 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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