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You might think that these frosty mornings mean that things have slowed down in farm-land, but that's far from the truth.

Cranston's Christmas Tree Farm, Ashfield
Winter farmers' markets have opened around the Valley, packed with fresh local food, tasty treats, and holiday gifts. Cars are rumbling down country roads with freshly cut Christmas trees strapped to their roofs. And the farmers and artisans who create fuzzy fiber items, delicious jams, cheeses, wine, bread, and more, are geared up to provide you with the sweetest gifts for your loved ones.

Wishing you all good food, good company, and warmth through the holiday season!
The CISA staff
Seeking Nominations for Local Hero Awards
Do you know someone doing great work for local food and farms? We want to give them an award! Since 2003, CISA has recognized farmers, institutions, businesses, and everyday community members whose work helps sustain local agriculture. See our all-star recipient list here. Awardees will be profiled in next year's Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide and will be honored at CISA's annual meeting in 2017. Nominations are due December 22nd. Find criteria and nomination form here.

CISA aprons, ready to go!
Give the gift that grows the local food economy year-round
Give the gift of a CISA Community Membership to family and friends! Membership benefits include invitations to special events and discounts at Local Hero farms and businesses. And if you buy a gift membership, CISA will include an apron for the gift recipient. Still have more people on your holiday shopping list? We have adorable onesies, youth t-shirts, our new ladies cut Locally Grown t-shirts, and more in the CISA store.

Support CISA!

A year-end gift to CISA is a wonderful gift to our entire Pioneer Valley food and farming community! We are grateful for your support and friendship which has sustained our work for over 20 years. Help us raise $2,000 a week to reach our end of the year goal! Donate now online or send your check to CISA at One Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, MA, 01373. Thank you so much!

Winter workshops for farmers: Reducing Risk and Increasing Profitability with Sound Decision Making
Each winter, we offer a series of workshops designed to help farmers and small business owners strengthen their business practices. This winter's series focuses on financial planning and skill-building. Find the full schedule and details about each class here

A cornucopia of local gifts!
If you're planning to purchase a Christmas tree, wreath, or any other seasonal decorations, look no further! Many local farms and businesses offer locally and sustainably grown trees and greenery, and we've got a list right here.

Check out our ideas for local gift-giving here.

Winter farmers' markets are open and bursting with goodies! This season, get rewarded for being a regular customer at the Springfield Farmers' Market at Forest Park, the Greenfield Winter Farmers' Market, or the Northampton Winter Farmers' Market through their new customer loyalty programs! Stop by the market manager tables to learn more. Find market details here.

Looking for wintertime cooking inspiration? We explore a different seasonal food each week in Valley Bounty, our column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Take a look at recent pieces on pork, leeks, sage, and more!

Visit our press room for recent news stories, including a fun visit to Mass Appeal to demonstrate seasonal sides for holiday meals, coverage of the Simon Grinspoon Awards Ceremony, and more!

You can also listen to our weekly radio interview series on WRSI with Local Hero businesses. Featured this month: Old Friends Farm, Barberic Farm, and Cranston's Christmas Tree Farm.
Wreaths at Paul Bunyan's
Local Hero profile: Paul Bunyan's Farm and Nursery
Susan Lopes of Paul Bunyan's Farm and Nursery in Chicopee spends the whole year growing "the perfect Christmas tree." Read all about how she does it, and the other seasonal offerings at her farm, here!
CISA's events page is constantly updated with farm tours, field days, festivals, and more! Here's one upcoming highlight:

CISA Meet and Greet
Monday, December 7, 5:30-8:30pm
Bread and Butter, 68 Cowls Road, Amherst
Local Hero farmers, join CISA tonight at 5:30 for a panel discussion on increasing wholesale in your business. At 7:15pm, farmers and wholesale buyers are invited to participate in our annual networking event. More details here, or contact Devon Whitney-Deal at 413-665-7100, ext. 22.

Do you value the news you get from CISA? Join 1,100 others in supporting CISA's work. We've been strengthening farms and engaging the community to build the local food economy since 1993!


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