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CISA supporters and members, you are invited to our Annual Meeting!

The Annual Meeting will be held at the Holyoke Senior Center from 6-8:30pm on Thursday, March 31st. The evening includes a short business meeting, and we will honor CISA's 2015 Local Hero Awardees: Appalachian Naturals, Enterprise Farm, and Randall's Farm and Greenhouse.

A panel discussion will follow: "Creating and Sustaining Vibrant Farmers' Markets for All". Farmers' markets, because of their central locations and variety of vendors and products, have been the focus of much of the work related to increasing access to local food for low-income members of our community. This panel will focus on successful efforts to build thriving markets that serve people across income levels and on challenges facing markets in our region.

CISA's Annual Meeting is also a potluck, so plan to bring a dish for six if you can. Beverages will be provided. This event is free, but seating is limited to 150. To RSVP, please call 413-665-7100 or email Jennifer Williams. For more details about the event, click here.

CISA staff 
CISA's Local Food Calculator goes statewide!
Want to know the economic impact of choosing local? Plug your own food purchasing numbers into CISA's newly updated Local Food Calculator to see how big an impact your everyday food choices have on both the Pioneer Valley and the statewide economy. One example: shifting just $5 per week of your purchases to local fruits and vegetables contributes nearly twice as much income to the local economy as purchasing non-local fruits and vegetables. If every household in the Commonwealth made this shift, we would see an increase of 6,690 jobs and add over $350 million per year to the state's economy. Play with the calculator here, and let Kelly know if you'd like to add the calculator to your website!

Support Local Food For All by March 31st

We are aiming to raise $100,000 by the end of the month to support two programs that make local food available to more people, while ensuring that local farmers get paid fair prices for their food. Meeting this fundraising goal will enable us to offer a SNAP match of $10 at more farmers' markets through our SNAP & Save program, and to offer farm shares to more low-income seniors through our Senior FarmShare program. Help us make a difference!
March equals maple season! The first major crop of the year is arguably the sweetest, and there's nothing better than a plate of pancakes at a sugar shack while sap boils into syrup. We've got a list of Local Hero maple syrup producers here, and the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association has lots of information about sugaring all over the state.

It's not too late to sign up for a summer CSA share for a season of fresh vegetables (or fruit, or herbs, or meat ...)! We've got details about all the farm share options here.

And note that the winter farmers' markets are still going strong in Amherst, Northampton, Springfield, and Wilbraham! Find hours and locations here.
Live Well Springfield Seeks Mobile Market Manager
Live Well Springfield's mobile farmers' market is looking for a market operator. The Go Fresh! Mobile Market was created with the explicit goal of opening up affordable, healthy, culturally appropriate food access to Springfield residents, with a special focus on those most in need -- low income families and individuals living in "food deserts" or areas of the city lacking access to a full service grocery store or other farmers' markets. The project is designed to support the local food economy by buying seasonal produce grown by local farms as close to Springfield as possible. More information about the Go Fresh! Mobile Market and the market operator position are available here.

FSNE Seeks Nominations for Food Summit Delegates
Food Solutions New England (FSNE) welcomes delegate nominations to be considered for selection to attend the 6th annual New England Food Summit in Bridgeport, Connecticut, June 8-9, 2016.The New England Food Summits bring together delegates from across New England to strengthen collaboration for regional food system sustainability. Nominations can be self-nominations or third party nominations. The deadline for nominations is March 14th. More information is available here.
Visit our press room for recent news stories, including local coverage of CISA's Local Food for All campaign, James Beard Award nominations for Coco & The Cellar Bar and Hungry Ghost Bread, and a new home for Mi Tierra.

You can also listen to our weekly radio interview series on WRSI with Local Hero businesses. Featured this month: Michael Freeman of Freeman Farm, Ben Murray of Red Gate Farm Education Center, Sarah Bankert of Healthy Hampshire, and Charlie Sayer of River Rock Farm.

Local Hero Profile: Carr's Ciderhouse
Jonathan Carr and Nicole Blum, owners of Carr's Ciderhouse in Hadley, are first-generation orchardists and hard cidermakers. Their passion lies in making the highest-quality hard cider and other cider products, from the apple to the bottle. Read all about them here.
CISA's events page is constantly updated with farm tours, field days, festivals, and more! Here are a few upcoming highlights:

Massachusetts Maple Weekend
March 19-20

Sugar shacks and restaurants all around the state will be celebrating the sweetest crop with tours, events, and special menu items. Learn all about maple sugaring in Massachusetts and enjoy some delicious food! Find more information here.

The 7th (mostly) Annual Full-Belly Dance Party
March 19, 8pm
JCA Social Hall, Amherst
Dance the night away with the No-No's and Trailer Swift, enjoy local snacks and libations, and bring your checkbook to support local food security! Funds raised will support CISA's Local Food For All Campaign, the Amherst and Northampton Survival Centers, and Kestrel Land Trust. Check out the Facebook event page for more information.

CISA's Annual Meeting and Potluck
March 31, 6-8:30pm
Holyoke Senior Center
CISA's members and supporters are all invited for a potluck meal, a short business meeting, and panel discussion on Creating and Sustaining Vibrant Farmers' Markets for All. Seating is limited to 150, so reserve your seat by calling 413-665-7100 or emailing Jennifer. More details about the event 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!


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Phone: (413) 665-7100  



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