Local Agriculture: Spring on the Farm

Local Agriculture: Spring on the Farm

Farm life follows the path of the seasons. In March and April, it’s time to start planting leafy greens and root crops as one prepares for the warmer months ahead.  It is also a time of new life on a farm when animals are born.  At living history museums such as Old Sturbridge Village and the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, MA, folks can visit baby animals each spring such as newborn lambs, calves, and piglets!  Read the rest of this entry »

Locally Grown Farm Products Guide

CISA’s 2012 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide

CISA Farm Products Guide 2012

“The Guide will help everyone find great food and farm products whether you live in the Valley or are visiting it,” says Philip Korman, CISA’s Executive Director. “Buying more local farm products is a great way to have a positive impact on the local economy, the environment and our community, while providing good food for your family. And best of all, it is easier than ever before, with more farms, restaurants and farmers’ markets — including winter markets — bringing the best of the harvest to our community throughout the year.”

Released this week, CISA’s 2012 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide provides a wealth of information and inspiration to families in Western MA eager to buy local farm products, eat local food and support local farms in the Pioneer Valley. The Guide is full of resources to help everyone find local food and farm products and help our communities scale up the local food system.

CISA’s Guide grows bigger every year as the availability of local food grows and the demand continues to skyrocket. This year the Guide includes a new agritourism section with delicious itineraries for farm, festival and restaurant visits in every season.

An online version of the Guide, available at www.buylocalfood.org, lets users search by product and location. It provides comprehensive lists of Local Hero farms, restaurants, grocery stores, and more, along with a continuously updated report of what’s ripe and where to find it.

The Guide can also be found in the produce sections of several local retailers, including Atkins Farms, Big E’s Super Market, select Big Y stores, Cornucopia Foods, Foster’s Super Market, Green Fields Market, McCusker’s Market and Deli, Randall’s Farm and Greenhouse, River Valley Market, State Street Fruit Store, and Whole Foods Market. In addition, copies will be available at Chambers of Commerce and distributed outside the region by farmers.


CISA is a nationally recognized organization of farmers, community members and advocates working together to strengthen local agriculture by building connections between farmers and the community. Founded in 1993, CISA runs a number of innovative programs, including Senior FarmShare and the Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown® public awareness campaign. Learn more about CISA at www.buylocalfood.org or call 413-665-7100.

Carrie Saldo of Connecting Point features CISA Farmers’ Markets on WGBY in a recent interview:

Connecting Point writes, “Over the last 5 years, the number of farmers’ markets in the region doubled, and 49 markets now offer locally grown food in all seasons of the year! The array and display of goods is bountiful with items from maple syrup and honey to meat, flowers, vegetables and fruit. Producer Dave Fraser, along with Phil Korman, Executive Director at CISA, spent the day with the folks at the Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland as they prepared for the Springfield Farmers Market.”

Q&A: Share Your Love for Your Local CSA


(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Have you signed up for your local CSA yet? CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) are great ways to get fresh local fruits, vegetables and other farm products while supporting local farming. Tell us about your favorite CSA here in Western MA, and what you love about your local farm share.

  • Tinky Weisblat writes, “We go to Wilder Brook Farm in Charlemont. It feels like family—and you can pick your own food out so if you don’t really need four heads of lettuce that week you don’t take them!”
  • Jennifer Shiao Page writes, “We love Brookfield Farmin South Amherst. We love biking to pick up our share every week in the summer. We love seeing friends and neighbors there. We love the all-natural, no-sugar-added popsicles that they sell at the farm store. We love buying local milk and yogurt there too. We love pick-your-own strawberries, herbs, edamame, and more. We love visiting with the chickens and pigs. When my parents come visit, and we take them to Brookfield, they tell us that it feels like they are on vacation!”
  • Dan Finn writes, “If you are a member of UMass Five College Federal Credit Union they will give you a 0% loan for six months to help pay for a CSA. Pretty cool!”
  • Kathie Crivelli writes, “Riverland Farm in Sunderland, Mountain View Farm in Easthampton, Next Barn Over in Hadley, Simple Giftsin North Amherst, Brookfield Farm in South Amherst, on and on and on it goes… Sign up!”
  • Melissa Adams writes, “We’re a member at Crabapple Farm (Chesterfield) for a veggie/produce share & will be getting a cheese share there from Cricket Creek Farm in the Berkshires (Williamstown)!”
  • Kara Kitchen writes,Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton!”

Q&A: Family-Friendly Farms for Pumpkin Pickin’ in Western MA


Where’s a good place to pick pumpkins with the kids in Western MA?

  • Patricia McCarthy Krutiak recommends, “Whitney’s Farm Stand. Route 8. Cheshire, MA.” (Berkshire Co.)
  • Heather Dunham Katsoulis recommends, “Westview Farms Creamery in Monson (Hampden Co.); Austin Brothers Valley Farm in Belchertown (Hampshire Co.); and Fletcher Farm in Southampton (Hampshire Co.).
  • Jessica J Logsdon recommends, “Whitney’s Farm in Cheshire.” (Berkshire Co.)
  • Nancyjo Craig Rongner recommends, “We always go to McCray’s Farm in South Hadley. You can visit the animals, grab ice cream or lunch, and head out to their pumpkin patches via wagon ride. Mt. Tom provides a really pretty fall backdrop as the leaves change.” (Hampshire Co.)
  • Rebecca Sutton Heath recommends,” Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock… hay rides pumpkins, animals and games… oh, and corn maze- so much fun!” (Berkshire Co.)
  • Kate Erickson recommends, “Fletcher Farm  in Southampton off Route 10. Free hay rides and a kid play area.” (Hampshire Co.)
  • Amanda Florek recommends, “We are heading to McCray’s Farm this weekend!” (Hampshire Co.)
  • Jennifer Hoffman recommends, “Apex Orchards. Shelburne.” (Franklin Co.)
  • Heather Richardson recommends, “Randall’s Farm and Greenhouse in Ludlow.” (Hampden Co.)
  • Rebecca Trow Addison writes, “I haven’t found any places in the Greenfield/Amherst/Northampton areas.”
  • Anna White recommends, “Howden Farm in Sheffield, MA.” (Berkshire Co.)

“That’s How A Pumpkin Grows” is Brian Vogan‘s first music video from his debut children’s CD, Little Songs.

Direction and illustration by Alberto Cerriteno and animation by Fashionbudda Studio.

[Photo credit: (ccl) Stephanie Wallace]

Strolling of the Heifers Supports Local Family Farms

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The 9th annual Strolling of the Heifers Weekend

As a way of connecting people with the food they eat, Strolling of the Heifers happens this weekend in VT, supporting local family farms in the region - a fun event for the whole family! (Photo credit: Storm)

Just over the board in Brattleboro, Vermont, the first weekend of June is always Strolling of the Heifers weekend — three days of events packed with fun for the whole family, but with a serious purpose: connecting people with the food they eat, so that family farms in the region can survive.

The weekend’s theme will be “Milk ‘n Jazz: A Moo-sical Extravaganza,” so expect to hear jazz (and lots of other music) throughout the weekend.

The 9th annual Strolling of the Heifers Weekend, starting Friday, June 4th and continuing through Sunday, June 6th, is highlighted, of course, by the world-famous Strolling of the Heifers Parade, Saturday June 5th at 10 a.m. sharp on Brattleboro’s historic Main Street.

When it’s over, the crowd follows the parade to the Green Expo at the Brattleboro Common and the Dairy Festival on the Brattleboro Retreat grounds to enjoy more music, visit vendors and educational booths, hear speakers on farming, gardening and sustainable living, and sample a wide variety of local foods.

The weekend’s kickoff is roundtable entitled “Slow Money — Investing in Local Food Systems” on Friday, June 4th from 1 to 3 p.m. (with optional lunch noon to 1 p.m.) at World Learning, Kipling Road, Brattleboro, led by Woody Tasch and other leaders of the national Slow Money movement.

Friday evening of Strolling Weekend features Brattleboro’s regular first-Friday Gallery Walk, with art galleries open throughout downtown and elsewhere in town. A large block of Main Street will be closed to allow entertainment of all sorts, including a marching performance by the town’s own New Orleans Brass Band Project.

On Sunday, the weekend is rounded out with a Royal Farmer’s Breakfast Feast featuring local and organic foods at the Chelsea Royal Diner, and a self-guided Farm, Food and Fiber Tour.

Visit http://www.strollingoftheheifers.com for complete information and these and many other events.

Photo credit: (ccl) Storm

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