Winter farmers' markets and the new year

Amherst Winter Farmers' Market
Elizabeth Solaka photo
Now that we're in mid-February, you may have forgotten about your New Year's resolutions -- but this is the perfect time of year to commit to connecting more with your community and to supporting local farmers. There's no better place to carry out those commitments than the winter farmers' markets!

Read all about it in CISA's monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

And if you're looking for some seasonal cooking inspiration, check out Valley Bounty, CISA's weekly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette!

Amherst Winter Farmers' Market Customer Focus Group

Saturday, February 16, 11am-12:15pm 
Have thoughts about the Amherst Winter Farmers' Market? Want to help them improve and strengthen the market? Join them for a customer focus group this Saturday at the market!

Local Hero profile: Blossoming Acres

Photo courtesy of Blossoming Acres
Blossoming Acres in Southwick is known for having fresh, delicious sweet corn (in addition to lots of other veggies, baked goods, and more!) at their farm stand. So in 2018, one of the wettest years in recent memory, that commitment to fresh meant strapping on knee-high boots to trek out through flooded fields. 

HIP update: program pauses at the end of February

HIP (Healthy Incentives Program) will pause temporarily at the end of February. The program will resume in the spring, but a start date hasn't been announced yet. 

Stay tuned to the HIP Facebook page for updates on the program.

Connect with the MA Food System Collaborative to support efforts to fund HIP year-round.
Early bird savings for Local Hero enrollment ends tomorrow!

Many Hands Farm Corps, Amherst
Farms, restaurants, retailers, specialty producers, landscapers and garden centers, and institutions can save $20 on Local Hero membership by completing the online application form by 2/15. Don't miss out:  save on a year of benefits as a member of CISA's flagship program!

CISA's Emergency Farm Fund announces $65,000 in loans

"Local farmers are accustomed to managing challenging weather situations, but last summer and fall brought record-setting rainfall to our region," says Philip Korman, CISA's executive director. "This damaged crops and reduced yields throughout our region, which caused financial hardship for many farmers. We decided to reopen the Emergency Farm Fund to provide the resources needed to help farmers get through to the next growing season."

Read more about how this past season's record-setting rainfall affected farms, and how CISA's Emergency Farm Fund helped bridge the gap, in The Recorder.
Nominate your Local Hero!

Chicopee Public Schools, 2018 Awardee
Do you know someone doing great work for local food and farms? We want to give them an award! Since 2003, CISA has recognized farmers, institutions, businesses, and everyday community members whose work helps sustain local agriculture. Awardees will be honored at CISA's annual meeting. Nominations are due February 22nd.  

Limited-edition CISA t-shirts!

Now available: a very cool, limited edition, mushroomific t-shirt designed by local artist Maggie Madole! This is the third in a seasonal series of t-shirts created in honor of CISA's 25th anniversary.

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!
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Job opportunities, land, equipment.
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