Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It: Eat More Kale

May 15, 2013
Valley Advocate
Maureen Turner

You love your community’s farmers’ market, your local farm stand, your CSA farm share.
But sometimes, even in the best of relationships, we begin to take our beloved for granted.
Forget the flowers and boxes of chocolate. Here’s an easy way to show your love for the Pioneer Valley’s rich agricultural scene: CISA’s Local Hero Challenge.

This is the 20th anniversary of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture), and to mark that milestone, the South Deerfield organization is asking supporters to accept monthly challenges designed to “connect to more local farms, put more local food on your table, and share your stories about growing, buying, and eating local.”

“People are excited about local food,” said Margaret Christie, CISA’s special projects director. And local growers have responded to that enthusiasm; the Valley now has 49 farmers’ markets and 55 farms that sell CSA shares.

“Those farmers have stepped up for us,” Christie said; the Local Hero Challenge is an opportunity for locavores to return that love.

No need to fear; the challenges are fun and easy. This month, for instance, they include bringing a friend to a farmers’ market and sharing, via social media, your favorite recipe for the delicious asparagus that’s (finally!) popping up in the Valley. In March, participants were called on to visit a sugar shack; last month, they were asked to share their favorite uses for local greens.

Are you up for the challenge? If so, sign up at Participants will be entered in a raffle to win a “local treat.” They’ll also be doing their part to help reach CISA’s 20-year goal of doubling the amount of local food in Valley diets to 25 percent.