Paul and Elizabeth's
Jason Threlfall photo
It's the height of the growing season, and despite the dry weather, farms all around the Valley are bursting with tomatoes, corn, watermelons ... everything we local food enthusiasts look forward to all year long!

The chefs at Local Hero restaurants look forward to this time of year too, and they are having fun in the kitchen this month. Take a break from cooking in this heat and enjoy the best of the season at a Local Hero restaurant -- find them all here.

This month, we conducted interviews with 28 Local Hero restaurants and 22 of the farmers they support, and you can learn more about the people, the food, and the relationships here.

There are some deeply exciting farm to table events coming up in the next couple of weeks at The Gill Tavern, Bread and Butter, Bistro Les Gras, and at Crimson and Clover Farm with Wheelhouse Farm Truck. And don't miss CISA's Farm and Food Trivia Night at Taylor's Tavern on August 25th! Find details about all of these events here.

Taste the View: A local harvest celebration and auction to benefit CISA
Friday, September 23, 6pm
Quonquont Farm, Whately

Join us in celebrating the diversity and bounty of local food with a wide variety of small plates and featured dishes made almost entirely with ingredients from Local Hero farms. Catering will be provided by Chef Andy Cox, head of Dining Services at Smith College. The event features great food, good company, and a tempting array of auction items. Like to vacation on the water? Come and bid on a weekend in Maine or a weekend on the Cape. We have Arlo Guthrie tickets, dinner with Congressman McGovern, an introductory falconry session, and local staycations, so come and bid on these and other exciting auction items! Tickets are limited. Get yours soon to save your seat at the table! More information and tickets here.

CISA to expand work with beginning farmers
We're thrilled to announce that CISA has been awarded a $595,500 grant to provide business assistance to beginning farmers. We will work closely with partners and service providers throughout the state to expand assistance to 600 farmers over three years. Read more about it in The Recorder.
Do you know about CISA's exhaustive online guide to local food and farms?

Click here, and you can set your location to search for specific crops, farmers' markets, farm stands, retailers and restaurants that buy local food, pick your own farms, you name it! This is a great time of year to explore this resource, because it's August and pretty much everything is in season.

If you're looking for cooking inspiration, check out our Valley Bounty column, which runs weekly in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. We recently featured corn, tomatoes, kohlrabi, and zucchini.
Visit our press room for recent news stories, including plenty of coverage of CISA's Emergency Farm Fund offering zero-interest loans to orchards suffering from loss of stone fruit crops this season, and a peek into Fungi Ally's mushroom growing operation.

You can also listen to our weekly radio interview series on WRSI with Local Hero businesses. Featured this month: Joe and Donna Pease of Blue Heaven Blueberry and Raspberry Farm, Ipek Kursat of DewGreen Farm, Shawn Robinson and Liz Sheldon of ServiceNet's Prospect Meadow Farm, Rochelle Prunty and Natasha Latour of River Valley Coop, Chris Menegoni of Great Falls Harvest restaurant, and Rabbi Jacob Fine of Abundance Farm.

Local Hero Profiles: Restaurants!
Learn all about the restaurants who support local farms, and the farmers they work with, in our newest collection of  restaurant profiles! You can read all the profiles on our website, or by visiting any of the featured restaurants.

More than 60% of state in severe drought, but it's not all bad news
According to the US Drought Monitor, almost two thirds of Massachusetts is experiencing 'severe drought', including eastern parts of the Pioneer Valley. You can learn more about the drought conditions here. This extremely dry weather has posed serious challenges for farmers here, but farm stands are still full of produce, and the dry conditions make some crops, like tomatoes, even tastier! MassLive interviewed Red Fire Farm's Sarah Voiland about that phenomenon here (and don't miss their annual Tomato Festival on August 27th!).
CISA's events page is constantly updated with farm tours, field days, festivals, and more! Here are a few upcoming highlights:

Summer Special Harvest Dinner at The Gill Tavern
Tuesday, August 23, 6:30-9:30pm

The Gill Tavern presents a five-course tasting menu inspired by the summer bounty, sourced from their own gardens and neighboring farms, and celebrating all that is outstanding in the field. Reservations required -- details here.

Food and Farm Trivia Night at Taylor's Tavern
Thursday, August 25, 7-9pm

Join CISA for a night of fun! Study up on your local food, farm, and cuisine knowledge, and bring a team of 4-6 players to participate. Prizes for the first place team will include gift certificates from local restaurants as well as CISA swag!

Chicken and Waffles Dinner at Bread & Butter
Friday, August 26, 6-9pm

Come enjoy buttermilk fried chicken paired with traditional Liege-style waffles, plus traditional southern sides and a special selection of beers from Lefty's Brewing Company. Call Bread & Butter at (413) 230-3123 to make a reservation or for more information.

Meet the Farmer Dinner at Bistro Les Gras
Monday, August 29, 6-9pm
Farmers Tim Wilcox & Caroline Pam from The Kitchen Garden, Charlie Sayer from River Rock Farm, and Andrew Lacasse from What Cheer! produce will be on hand, along with Daniel Martinez, owner of Bistro Les Gras, to talk about farm to table dining, literally from the ground up! Reservations are required -- please call 413-320-4666 to reserve your table. The full menu is available here.

Dinner in the Fields with Wheelhouse Farm Truck
Saturday, September 3, 4:30-7pm
Crimson & Clover Farm and Wheelhouse Farm Truck are teaming up for an evening of community, celebration, and delicious food. Tickets can be purchased in advance 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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