The Bounty of Local Food and Farm Products Grows in Western MA!

UPDATE: Read about CISA’s 2011 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide HERE.

CISA’s 2010 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide

Let CISA help your family be a Local Hero by picking up their new 2010 "Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide" and discovering local products, farms, restaurants, retailers, and much more!

Summer is almost here, and the bounty of locally grown produce and agricultural products continues to grow. Western Massachusetts farms are geared up to provide everything from asparagus and alpaca wool to zucchini and zinnias. But where to begin your search for the best that Valley farms have to offer? With the annual Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide, a free full-color publication distributed by Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) during the week of May 24th.

This year’s Guide contains more than 60 pages of farm and local agricultural products listings, including 202 farms, 46 restaurants, 28 retailers, eight landscape and garden centers, and 24 other businesses and institutions that make, sell, or serve locally grown goods. Readers will also find a farm product seasonality calendar, a farm and garden locator map, profiles of this year’s Local Hero Award recipients, and information on the growth of the area’s local food system.

During the week of May 24th the Guide will be distributed in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the Amherst Bulletin and The Recorder, and will arrive in portions of Hampden County through the Springfield Republican after the Memorial Day weekend. The Guide can also be found in the produce sections of several local retailers, including Atkins Farms Country Market, 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, select Stop & Shop stores, and Whole Foods Market.

“We are delighted to celebrate local agriculture and provide this free resource” says Philip Korman, Executive Director. “The bounty of local produce grows and grows, with more farms, restaurants and farmers’ markets — including winter markets — providing the best of the harvest to our community throughout the year.”

This year, the number of farms and restaurants involved in CISA’s Local Hero program increased by 7% and 15% respectively. CISA has also seen an increase in the number of Community Supported Agriculture farms (CSA) in operation, up to 33 from last year’s 27. Last year, Local Hero CSA farms provided 5,000 farm shares, which in turn supplied produce to more than 20,000 people. According to Korman, “This is in line with the trend over the last five years, where the number of farms selling directly to the public is up, and direct sales doubled to $9 million in Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties.”

An online version of the Guide (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 2010 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide is a service of CISA with support from Berkshire-Pioneer Resource Conservation & Development Area and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.

Founded in 1993, CISA is a nationally recognized community organization comprised of farmers, institutions and residents working together to strengthen local agriculture by building connections between farmers and the community.  Located in South Deerfield, CISA is the creator of numerous innovative programs, including Senior FarmShare, Agriculture Infrastructure programming, and the Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown® public awareness campaign. CISA is an equal opportunity employer provider and employer.To become a member of CISA and learn more about CISA’s work visit http://www.buylocalfood.org or call (413) 665-7100.

1 Comment

  1. June 16, 2011 at 5:58 am

    CISA’s 2011 Locally Grown Farm Products Guide

    Released this week, CISA’s 2011 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide provides a wealth of information and inspiration to Valley residents eager to buy local farm products, eat local food and support local farms. The Guide is full of resources to help anyone begin a local food journey or continue to expand their enjoyment of locally grown goods.

    CISA’s Guide grows bigger every year, reflecting the growth of local agriculture and the explosion of interest in local farm products. Just since 2008, the number of farmers’ markets has increased by 52%; CSA farms selling farm shares by 64%; and Local Hero member farms by 20%. The Farm Products Guide allows consumers to find and use more locally grown farm products, contributing to a strong and resilient local economy, protecting rural landscapes, and ensuring that fresh, healthy food is available in our region.
    “The Guide will help you find great food and farm products throughout the Valley,” 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 getting easier with more farms, restaurants and farmers’ markets – including winter markets — bringing the best of the harvest to our community throughout the year.”

    CISA’s Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide provides helpful resources and steps you can take to increase the amount of locally raised food and farm products your family buys. Some suggestions include:

    1. Seek out local foods when you shop. Look for the Local Hero label and use the Guide to find the 200 farms, 32 food retailers, 45 farmers’ markets, 36 CSA farms selling farm shares, 50 restaurants, 6 landscape and garden centers, and 11 specialty products producers that are Local Hero members.
    2. Ask your school to purchase more ingredients from local growers and specialty food producers.
    3. Celebrate local agriculture! Host a local foods potluck or attend one of the 37 farm festivals listed in the Guide.

    This week the Guide will be distributed in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the Amherst Bulletin and The Recorder, and will arrive in portions of Hampden County through the Springfield Republican. 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, select Stop & Shop stores, and Whole Foods Market.

    An online version of the Guide, at http://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.


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