In two short weeks, people all around the country will gather with friends and family for a harvest celebration -- even as we, as a nation, have grown increasingly disconnected from our agricultural history and from the people who grow our food, we celebrate Thanksgiving each November with plates that represent the Massachusetts harvest.

In the aftermath of one of the most divisive elections in living memory, we've been having conversations in the CISA office about the power of this harvest meal, which is about bounty, but which also endures as a celebration of unity and connection. As you make plans for your Thanksgiving supper, consider how you can build connections within your community: seek out local farmers and food producers to support. Make space at your table for people with nowhere to go. Slow down for a day, and make a pie with, or for, someone you love. Find ways to give to those who don't have enough.

We're thankful for our community and all the ways you support our work, and for the hardworking farmers who fill our tables, on Thanksgiving and every other day.

This Sunday: Clarkdale Cider Run!
Runners, come out this Sunday for a gorgeous 12K loop starting at Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield. All proceeds from this race will benefit CISA's good work, and there will be plenty of apples, cider, and prizes. Sign up online here by the end of the day Friday for a $5 discount!

Next Tuesday: screening of Forgotten Farms!
On Tuesday, November 15th, join us for a special screening of Forgotten Farms, a new documentary film that tells the story of the Northeast's dairy industry, and of the dairy farmers behind it. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and local dairy farmers. Find more details here, and get your tickets before they sell out!

Donate to CISA today
At CISA, we aim to thoughtfully consider the biggest challenges to the Valley's farms and how we can best serve those farms and our community. Your support makes our work possible, so make a donation today to help strengthen farms and communities for you, your family, and future generations.

CISA's Emergency Farm Fund finalized $55,000 in loans for the drought
We're pleased to announce that CISA's Emergency Farm Fund was able to offer $55,000 in loans to six local farms that suffered losses due to this season's extended drought. The Emergency Farm Fund is one way that we are able to offer tangible support to farms that are in need of emergency assistance. The Fund is now dormant, and will open again when farms face a similar emergency situation. Curious about how to support the Emergency Farm Fund, or CISA's other important work? Talk to Alexis Schneeflock, CISA's Development Director.

Yes, Thanksgiving is nearly here! We've got a special list of farms and retailers that sell Thanksgiving turkeys, and you can find your local potatoes, greens, apples, drinks, and basically everything else you need in our farm guide.

Winter farmers' markets
are opening for the season this month! Check out our farm guide for times and locations of winter markets near you. And don't forget that our SNAP & Save program will be doubling SNAP dollars at most winter markets all season long!

The winter holidays will be upon us, and many farms are now taking orders for your holiday roast, ham, goose, and other meats. Find whatever you're looking for in our farm guide.
Visit our press room for recent news stories, including coverage of the 22nd annual Franklin County CiderDays, a joint effort by The Gill Tavern and Upinngil Farm to give some fifth graders a real farm-to-kitchen experience, and a CISA opinion piece on some of the strengths and challenges of our local food system. 

You can also listen to our weekly radio interview series on WRSI with Local Hero businesses. Featured this month: Allan Zuchowski of Lazy Acres Farm in Hadley, Krunal Patel of the Keystone Market in Shelburne Falls, Lucinda Williams of Luther Belden Farm in Hatfield, and a special CiderDays cider tasting.

Local Hero Profile: Artisan Beverage Cooperative
A shared value of supporting local, sustainable agriculture made the merger of Green River Ambrosia and Katalyst Kombucha into the Greenfield-based Artisan Beverage Cooperative a natural decision. "We want to support the local economy," says general manager Garth Shaneyfelt. "That's why we became a worker co-op, because we're interested in staying here." Read the full profile here.
CISA's events page is constantly updated with farm tours, field days, festivals, and more! Here are a few upcoming highlights:

Gardening the Community's Annual Pancake Breakfast
Saturday, November 12, 10am, Trinity United Methodist Church, Springfield
Come celebrate GTC's youth, the close of the growing season, and the accomplishments of the past year. Enjoy a morning of stories, kids' activities, raffles, and more. Bring your families and your friends for a hearty breakfast of our much loved pancakes and other tasty foods. Find tickets here.

Nuestras Raíces Gala Celebration
Friday, November 18, 6pm, Elegancia Banquet Hall, South Hadley
The Gala, in support of Nuestras Raíces agricultural and community-building work in Holyoke, will feature a delicious Caribbean dinner by the Fernandez Family Restaurant, a keynote address by renowned urban farmer and thinker, Eric Toensmeier, original artwork in our silent auction, and terrific music from DJ Diamante. Find more info here.

Westfield Thanksgiving Farmers' Market
Saturday, November 19, 10am, Episcopal Church of Atonement
Many of the vendors from the summer season will return with seasonal products including winter vegetables and squash, jams and jellies, pickles, relishes, soaps and oils, baked goods, and sweets. Additionally, new crafters and artists will be introduced for holiday gift shopping. The $10 SNAP Match supported by a grant from CISA, and the Loyalty Card program will continue. More info here.

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!


Please do not take images or content to use on your own site or project without CISA's explicit permission. Please feel free to link to our newsletter. Archives can be found at


Phone: (413) 665-7100  



Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Thanks to our sponsors: