Parenting Green: Learning & Connecting Through Locally Grown Food

The Language of Local Food

One year my family planted brussels sprouts… We watched this plant grow and grow and it was almost fall and nothing had appeared at the top of the plant yet. I was expecting buds within the leaves at the top of the plant much like a cabbage or broccoli grows. Only later did we discover the whole time these little buds were being made along the length of the stalk beneath the foliage. It was so cool!

In celebration of the harvest time, we spend a lot of time as a family eating.  And it’s good eating. Super fresh and delicious plums like you’ve never had from the supermarket in the winter, delicious corn that pops right off the cob (and lets not forget about the butter and salt, that’s super delicious too), cucumbers so crisp and refreshing it almost replaces the need to shower, and soon to be soups of fall squashes put to puree.

Creating an association with eating that starts with where our food is grown, is a certain way of instilling a language around vibrant and healthy living. Weather you only have room for pots of veggies growing on your patio, or you can dedicate a spot in your yard for a garden, or even if none of those apply to your family’s ability to integrate growing food at home, taking regular visits to a farm can certainly help create that context. Just as we pick up our language, as infants being immersed in the spoken word, so is true of the rest of the information we store, especially around food choices and where we get it…

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Find the best fruit pickin’ in Western Mass for 2009!

2009 Guide for Families to Discover
Locally Grown Farm Products in Western Massachusetts

Summer’s here and so is the 2009 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide, a free publication distributed by CISA during the week of June 22nd, 2009. Valley farms provide everything from asparagus and alpaca wool to zucchini and zinnias, so there’s never been a better time to buy locally grown products. The Guide features information on 181 farms, 40 restaurants, 30 retailers, 7 landscape and gardening centers, 11 institutions, and 5 specialty producers involved in the Local Hero program, as well as recipes, seasonal eating tips and information on how you can support local agriculture beyond eating locally grown fruits and vegetables.

An online version of the Guide is always available at and 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.

Support local economies and sustainablility – buy locally grown farm products!

Guide for Families to Discover Locally Grown Farm Products in Western Massachusetts

Locally Grown: The Farm Products Guide

CISA’s Farm Products Guide, a comprehensive guide to eating and buying locally produced food and farm products, is coming soon to newspapers, food retailers, farm stands, farmers’ markets and visitor centers near you!

This year’s Guide has a new look and feel and features a fresh new layout, helpful information about how to eat locally year-round, and profiles of leaders in the local food and agricultural community of western Massachusetts.

As in previous years, the 2008 Guide also contains listings of area farms and farm stands, local restaurants that use local food, retailers of local food and farm products, and regional farmers’ markets. Read the rest of this entry »

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