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It often surprises people to learn that winter, not the growing season, is the busiest time of year for most of CISA's staff. But when you work with farmers, you quickly learn that winter is the time to get things done. So what are we working on now?

Winter Fare at the Greenfield Winter Farmers' Market is coming up next week! Come on out for a special day of workshops, music, activities for kids, and a food swap to be held at the monthly Greenfield Winter Farmers' Market from 10am-1pm on Saturday, February 21st at the Greenfield Middle School. We're still looking for volunteers, so contact Judy to help out!

This is the sign-up period for membership in our Local Hero program. Do you know a farmer, restaurant owner, retailer, specialty food producer, landscaper, or other business owner that would benefit from CISA's promotional and technical assistance work? Send them our way! Details about membership are here, and the enrollment deadline is March 2nd.

CISA's winter workshop series, focused this year on marketing and brand communications, is underway. Our workshops are geared towards farmers, but contain information relevant to lots of types of businesses. Find details and sign up here.

And, finally, we're hiring! See below for more information on our job postings.

CISA Staff

CISA is hiring! 

CISA currently has three job openings: Office Assistant, Program Associate, and Program Coordinator. Review of applications will begin February 27th, and the postings will remain open until the positions are full. Please spread the word! Full job descriptions here.    


Volunteers needed for CISA's annual meeting & potluck

CISA's annual meeting will be held Friday, March 27th from 6-9pm at the Northampton Senior Center. We need volunteers to help set up the event, receive food from guests, and organize potluck buffet lines. You can volunteer for the whole event, or sign up for a single shift and enjoy the rest of the annual meeting. Email Jennifer or call 413-665-7100 to learn more or to sign up.


CISA Days at Great Wall Chinese Restaurant 

Great Wall Chinese Restaurant in Florence is generously donating 10% of their sales to CISA on Sunday, February 22nd. Support CISA and enjoy a great meal at the same time! And if Great Wall's generosity inspires you, contact Judy to talk about ways your business can support CISA.     


Staff transitions

CISA's Development Director, Kelley Manson, has left CISA to develop her photography business, Saw-whet Photography. We wish her the best of luck, and encourage you to check out her lovely nature photography! We're delighted that our Major Gifts Officer, Alexis Breiteneicher Schneeflock, has moved into the role of Development Director.


Tomorrow is Valentine's Day! If you're giving flowers, check out the freesias grown in Whately by LaSalle's Florist -- there was a great article in the Gazette about them. And here's our list of Local Hero restaurants to meet all your night-out needs.

Mary McClintock's weekly "Savoring the Seasons" column in the Recorder introduced the concept of a "fifth season" for seasonal eating -- this is the season to use things up, and we're in it! Late winter is the time to get creative about eating up storage vegetables and fruits and frozen and canned foods before the coming spring. Our weekly Valley Bounty column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette has recipes and inspiration for those winter foods, including ideas for warming lamb stews, savory uses for apples, tons of ideas for the versatile carrot, and more!

Winter farmers' markets are going strong! Check out our list of winter markets here.

Local Hero profile: Brook's Bend Farm
Suzanne Webber and Al Miller started farming in Montague over ten years ago, and today they raise British Shetland sheep for lamb, mutton, and fiber. They have also opened up their land to several other independent enterprises, making Brook's Bend farm a hub of activity and a true community resource. Read all about them here.

Visit our press room for recent news stories about Local Hero farms and businesses, including a lot of coverage of the winter farmers' markets in Northampton, Amherst, and Springfield, and an opinion piece from CISA staff about the role of agriculture in our local economy. Also featured is a special WGBY CISA segment on local grain production in Massachusetts, featuring Hungry Ghost Bread and Upinngil Farm.

You can also listen to our weekly radio interview series on WRSI with Local Hero businesses New England Wild Edibles and Coyote Hill Farm.  


Remembering Dorie Goldman of Backyard Bakery
We were so sad to learn of the death of Dorie Goldman, owner of Backyard Bakery, in January. The Gazette published a nice remembrance of Dorie, and Dorie had just taped a "Local Hero Spotlight" interview with CISA and Monte on WRSI, which aired before her death. We share it here as a testament to her infectious excitement about her passions, which included her sourdough bread business, cycling, and the outdoors.

Massachusetts Food Systems Plan update
"What we're really doing is trying to map out the future of food and agriculture in the state," says Cris Coffin of the American Farmland Trust in a recent interview on WRSI with CISA's Phil Korman about the Massachusetts Food Systems Plan. The listening session mentioned in the interview has passed, with a lot of enthusiastic participation!
Listen to the interview to learn more about this project, or visit the Food Systems Plan website.

More on the new Commissioner of Agricultural Resources
Last month, we announced that Governor Baker had chosen John Lebeaux as the state's next Commissioner of Agricultural Resources. The Boston Globe published a detailed piece about the new Commissioner, his goals, and some of the challenges of his new role. Read it here.

Visit CISA's events page for events, workshops, conferences and more. Here's a sample of the activities coming up:


Winter Fare at the Greenfield Winter Farmers' Market
Saturday, February 21st, 10am-1pm
Greenfield Middle School, 195 Federal Street 

Come on out to the Greenfield Winter Farmers' Market on February 21st for a special Winter Fare day! A full day of free workshops, activities for kids, a Food Swap, and more, plus the amazing range of great local food and crafts that await you monthly at this market. CISA will match all SNAP/Food Stamp purchases up to $10. Details here.

Seed Swap!

Saturday, February 28th, 10am-1pm
Smith Vocational High School, 80 Locust Street, Northampton  

Learn about seed saving. Celebrate the magic of seeds. Share seeds that you've saved from your farm or garden (or seeds that you've purchased). Take home seeds to plant. Meet other people who see regionally adapted seeds as an important part of a healthy food system. Come even if you don't have seeds to share! Details and registration here.


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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Phone: (413) 665-7100  



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