What's in season, and how to get it
We're entering the height of the season now! All the heat-loving crops, from tomatoes and eggplants to peaches and raspberries, are just getting started. And of course, there's plenty of local meat available for grilling.

Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all here, and pick-your-own farms have made lot of adjustments to keep you safe while you pick. Find them all in our online guide -- but make sure they're open before you go!

Farmers' markets and farm stands are opening for the season, and restaurants and other local businesses are making constant changes in response to the pandemic. We're keeping on top of it all with the "Open this week" function on our online guide to food and farms! Filter the list for curbside pickup, home delivery, and other coronavirus-specific purchasing options. Find local food!

HIP (Healthy Incentives Program) provides an instant rebate when you use SNAP to buy produce from participating farms. The HIP - Pioneer Valley Facebook page is up to date with participating locations.

CISA's weekly Valley Bounty column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette focuses on what's happening behind the scenes at local farms. CISA staffer Noah Baustin, who has written Valley Bounty for the last year and a half, is leaving us in August for graduate school, and the column will be taken over by Emma Gwyther. Read the most recent columns here!
Local Hero profile: Letendre Farm
At Letendre Farm in Ware, you'll find eggs, hay, and sawdust, and soon, blueberries. Quite the range of products! Farmer Mike says that for him, the real joy of farming is a combination of an honest day’s work, taking care of the land, and taking care of those in his community. 

Shopper survey -- last call!
Local farms and food businesses have been working hard to adapt to the spread of COVID-19 so they can keep growing food and feeding our communities. You can help support them by taking our local food survey today! We want to understand how shopping habits have changed since the pandemic, and what your priorities are now.

New Food Security Infrastructure Grants: apply now  
The state has allocated $36 million to a new COVID-19 Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program for farms, local food businesses, farmers' markets, and other organizations in the state.
These new grants will provide substantial funds to farms and food businesses/organizations for a wide range of capital expenses. Don't miss out on this opportunity if you could benefit from funding to help adapt to COVID-19 disruptions, improve business viability, and increase your capacity to provide equitable access to fresh, local food.

Click here for complete details on these new grants. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until funding runs out, or until September 15, 2020. We recommend that you apply as soon as possible. Contact Kristen or Stevie if you would like help understanding what projects and costs are eligible, want support developing a competitive application, need a bridge loan to finance your project prior to grant reimbursement, and/or would like someone to review a draft of your application.
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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!
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