Local food in the depths of winter
Winter Farmers' Market at the Hampshire Mall
Elizabeth Solaka photo
Winter farmers' markets
We're lucky to have farmers' markets running all winter long, offering vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese, plants, herbs, crafts, body products, and so much more! 

Need seasonal inspiration?

Valley Bounty, CISA's weekly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, gives a peek behind the scenes at local farms and shares farmers' favorite recipes.

HIP is still running!
HIP (Healthy Incentives Program) provides an instant rebate when you use SNAP to buy produce from participating local farms. If you receive SNAP benefits, you are automatically enrolled. The program is likely to pause sometime this winter, but an exact date hasn't been announced yet. For now, the program is up and running! 

Find HIP markets and vendors, and stay up to date on the program, on the
HIP Pioneer Valley Facebook page.
Local Hero enrollment is open

Many Hands Farm Corps, Amherst
Farmers, restaurants, grocers/specialty retailers/distributors, institutions, garden centers/landscaper designers, and specialty producers are invited to join CISA's flagship Local Hero program now. If you own a local farm or related business, join us to benefit from all the resources CISA has to offer. Or pass the information along to your favorite local business or farmer!

Details and application.
Local Hero profile: Bergeron Sugar House

Bergeron Sugar House, Leyden
Bob Bergeron's sugarhouse and home are in Leyden, near the Vermont border. He's been on the property for over forty years, but he first got involved with maple sugaring when he was fifteen. "It's been a long time," he tells me. "It's something that once you get into it, it's pretty hard to get away from."

Reflections on 2019
The lesson of 2019 appears to be this: forward movement is possible and necessary, but it exists alongside setbacks and challenges. As we envision a new decade with vibrant local farms, equitable access to food, and environmental sustainability, we must celebrate wins, look for opportunities for positive change, and work together to face the very real challenges before us.

Welcome, Emma!
We're excited to welcome Emma Gwyther as CISA's new Development Associate! Emma is a graduate of Sterling College, where she studied Sustainable Food Systems, and she will be the go-to person for community membership questions, monthly giving, and donations.

Upcoming workshops for farms and businesses

Making it Happen: Profitability and Success Workshop Series

The Carrot Project and CISA present "Making It Happen: Profitability and Success," a workshop series for farmers and food processors in January 2020. This three-part series will give you the financial management toolbox needed to improve your business decision making and profitability. This interactive course presents four tools - cash flow budgeting, scenario planning, enterprise budgeting, and sensitivity analysis - that "are fundamental and work well together to provide a comprehensive toolbox," according to a 2018 course participant.

Winter Workshops on Farm Labor Management

Are you a new manager, an aspiring manager or middle manager, or an experienced farmer looking to improve your management skills? CISA's winter workshop series will develop your skills for improving workplace culture and communication, giving effective feedback to those you manage, managing across cultures with dexterity and humility, setting clear performance expectations, resolving conflict in the workplace, and achieving workplace respect.

Details and registration.

Action Alert: Conservation Stewardship Program Comment Period

Are you a farmer who has used the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) or plans to in the future? Or someone who cares about farmers having access to conservation resources that help them protect our soil, air, and water while they farm? We need YOU to submit a comment now on new CSP rules!

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has the details. Learn more and take action!
Farmers, apply now for the Local Farmer Awards

Now accepting applications: the Local Farmer Awards, offered by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation in partnership with Big Y. Farmers may apply through January 31st for up to $2,500 for infrastructure improvements or equipment projects.
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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