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Pick up your copy of Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide!

Our 2016 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide is officially out, and we can't wait to share it with you! Find out where you can pick up a copy here.

This year's Guide is the biggest yet, with information on 426 Local Hero farms, garden centers, restaurants, retailers, specialty producers, and dining services, plus farmers' markets, a seasonality calendar, a festival listing, and more!

It also highlights CISA's 2016 Local Hero Award winners, which are: Barstow's Longview Farm, an innovative Hadley dairy farm; Frank Martinez Nocito of the MA Department of Transitional Assistance; and Oona Coy and Ben James for their work establishing Northampton's Tuesday Market. Read all about these awardees here!
We're hard at work dropping copies at Local Hero retailers, farmers' markets, libraries, and other locations (there's a list of locations here, and we're updating it every day). Pick up your copy, and then let us know what you think right here!  
And don't forget that you can always visit our online farm guide for a searchable database of farms, food, and Local Hero businesses. 

CISA Staff

PS: Thank you again to our amazing community of local agriculture lovers - we raised almost $8,000 on Valley Gives Day and hit our $6,000 match to boot!

Asparagus is the first major green crop of the season around here, and we've got a list of farms that grow it here. You'll find locally grown asparagus at lots of Local Hero retailers and restaurants, too!

Farmers' markets are opening everywhere! Find details about all the region's markets, including opening dates, here. This year, we're working with even more farmers' markets to double SNAP/EBT purchases up to $10 through our SNAP & Save program. Learn more about it, and see a list of participating markets, here.

It's gardening season, and there are lots of greenhouses and garden centers bursting with locally grown flowers, vegetable and herb starts, and more. You can find them all here.
Hey, we're on Instagram! Follow us: @CISA_localhero!

Save the date: Mi Tierra benefit for CISA
Mi Tierra Restaurant is generously donating all profits from food sales during dinner on Monday, June 13  to CISA. Come on out for a truly delicious meal, and support CISA at the same time!

Senior FarmShare at the  
Mason Square Senior Center
Senior FarmShare application period open now
Low-income seniors are eligible to receive $125 in fresh, local produce for only $10 through CISA's Senior FarmShare program. We are working with 11 local farms and 14 distribution sites throughout Franklin, Hampden, and Hamshire counties to distribute produce to 475 eligible seniors this summer. Applications are being accepted until June 1, so apply or help us spread the word today! Learn more about the program, the eligibility requirements, and our partner farms and sites here.

CISA t-shirts, onesies, and more
Springtime often means lots of gift giving occasions. Visit CISA's merchandise page to order a onesie for your next baby shower or a new t-shirt for your 2016 graduate.
Auction items needed
CISA is looking for unique local or far flung items for the auction at our annual fundraiser Taste the View. Do you have a vacation home that you are willing to share? A skill that you could teach someone? In the past, we've had a week in Maine, gift certificates to local restaurants, handcrafted items, a CSA share, and lots more. If you would like to donate something, please fill out our online donation form or contact  Jennifer. (And be sure to save the date for this great annual event: Friday, September 23rd at Quonquont Farm.)

Welcome, Lisabeth!
Welcome to the newest CISA staffer, Lisabeth Jasniewicz! Lisabeth comes to us from Smith College's Office of Planned Giving and is our new Development Coordinator. She'll be working with donors and members and managing some of our fundraising events. We're thrilled to have her on board. See her bio here.   
Study shows aging Massachusetts farmers
A new study conducted by American Farmland Trust and Land for Good has found that 30% of Massachusetts farmers are 65 years of age or older. The study also finds that nearly 90% of those older farmers do not have a younger (under 45) farm operator managing the farm with them, suggesting that many of them may not have firm succession plans for their land and businesses. With nearly a third of farmers in the state likely to retire in the next ten to twenty years, the need for careful farm succession planning and management is clear. You can read the full text of the study here.
Visit our press room for recent news stories, including an interview with CISA's Phil Korman and Gardening the Community's Ibrahim Ali on food deserts and food access in western Mass, the season opening for farmers' markets around the Valley, and a new, cooperatively owned wholesale greenhouse in Indian Orchard.

You can also listen to our weekly radio interview series on WRSI with Local Hero businesses. Featured this month: Chris Reid of Bare Roots Farm in Chesterfield, Nate Nourse of Nourse Farms in South Deerfield, Molly Merrett of Beets and Barley in Haydenville, Donna Francis of the Great Falls Farmers' Market in Turners Falls, and Audrey Fountain and Jennifer Lutkus of Amherst Farm Winery.

Local Hero Profile: Intervale Farm "People's tastes have changed a lot since we started farming. They're more interested in food and in having access to a variety of kinds of food," says Maureen Dempsey of Intervale Farm in Westhampton. She and her husband Rick have been farming in the Valley for over 30 years, and have helped shape the local food economy into what is it today. 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:

Birds and Breakfast 
Every Sunday in May, 7am - 10am, Book and Plow Farm, Amherst

Birds and Breakfast is back for its 5th year of spotting beautiful birds and enjoying bountiful breakfasts! Details and registration here.

42nd Annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair
May 28th and 29th, Cummington Fairgrounds
Whether you raise sheep or just love wooly crafts, mark your calendar for this annual festival featuring fiber and woolcraft vendors, sheep shearing demonstrations, workshops for adults and children, and lots of delicious food. Details 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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