HIP returns May 25th!

The Healthy Incentives Program is back! When you use SNAP to buy produce directly from participating local farms, you will get an instant rebate up to a monthly cap.

1. You must keep a small balance on your SNAP card to utilize HIP. The farmers' markets recommend saving $10 if you can.
2. You can use your full HIP benefit for May between May 25 and May 31.

Follow the HIP - Healthy Incentives Program, Pioneer Valley Facebook page for program updates.

HIP Action Alert: call your state senators today!

The MA Senate Ways and Means Budget was released Tuesday with $6.5 million for HIP. Senator Anne Gobi will submit an amendment to increase the amount to $8.5 million to ensure year-round operation of HIP. Please thank your state Senator for their help in getting the increase in the Ways and Means draft, and let them know you hope they will still support the amendment to make it year-round by signing on as a co-sponsor! 

Read more about HIP, its impact, and the importance of funding it year-round in CISA's most recent column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, co-written with The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. 

What's in season?

Otherwise known as Hadley Grass, the first truly thrilling veggie crop of the year! Find it here.

Buy local for your garden
Visit a local farm or garden center or nursery to get your garden growing!

Farmers' market and farm stands are opening!
Find plants for your garden, early-season vegetables, greens, and asparagus, and lots more as farmers' markets and farm stands open for the season! CISA's searchable online guide has details.
Local Hero profile: Andrew's Greenhouse
Though a nursery may look like a calm enough place, in reality, young plants are being prepared to withstand a harsh life outdoors. At Andrew's Greenhouse in Amherst, careful record-keeping, creative pest management, and a year-round commitment make it all work!

Support CISA today!
Asparagus? Local. Flowers? Local! Milk? Local. All thanks to Valley farms. You can also choose local by making a gift to CISA, the place farmers turn to for help and advice. 

Share your local food and farm photos with #localherophotos!
Intervale Farm
Elizabeth Solaka photo
Taking a photo the next time you're at the farmers' market, picking up your CSA, or cooking a beautiful meal using local food? Share it with us, and we might post it on CISA's Instagram! Tag us @CISA_localhero and include #localherophotos so we know you'd like us to share it, or email Noah. Be sure to let us know which local farm you got the food from!
2017 Ag Census is out now
Every five years, the federal government conducts a national census of agriculture, and the results of the 2017 Ag Census were released in April. At CISA, we're digging into these new stats, and in the meantime here's a snapshot from the MA Department of Agricultural Resources.

Local Farmer Award winners
Congratulations to all of this year's Local Farmer Award recipients! The Local Farmer Awards, funded by a group of philanthropic leaders and businesses led by The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation and Big Y, gave $142,500 in awards to 62 local farmers to fund infrastructure improvements on their farms.

Quick Links

Check out our press page for news stories about local farms and local agriculture, along with our weekly interview series on WRSI, monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and more!
Go to press page

Farm tours, film screenings, workshops, special local meals -- there's always something happening in the Valley!
Go to events listing

Job opportunities, land, equipment.
Go to classifieds
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