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Greenfield Bee Fest with Bee Spaces Awards

Greenfield Bee Fest

Greenfield Bee Fest at Second Congregational Church

This past Saturday Greenfield celebrated the 10th Annual Bee Fest at the 250 year old Second Congregational Church. The seventh minister of the church in the mid-19800s was Lorenzo Langstroth who, in his spare time, invented the modern moveable frame bee hive. The Bee Fest provides the occasion to remember and celebrate Langstroth and the way he changed bee keeping.

Bee Fest poetry

Bee Fest poetry presentation

There were lots of outdoor activities for the children who were learning about bees, most especially not to be afraid of  them, and not to bother them. They have important work to do. The indoor lecture portion of the even began with Bee Poems read by four young poets. They was enthusiastic applause.  The man in back of the young poet on her pedestal is Dan Conlon, beekeeper extraordinaire.

Pat Leuchtman and State Representative Steve Kulik

Then my big moment came when our State Representative Steve Kulik presented me with a Bee Spaces Award for my residential pollinator garden.

Bee Spaces Winners L+R Wisty Rorabacher, me, and Peg Bridges

Wisty Rorabacher accepted  the award on behalf of the Energy Park Volunteer gardeners, and Peg Bridges accepted her garden award. We got to compare notes. We know  a lot of pollinator flowers!

Bee Spaces award on our front porch

Henry wasted no time putting the Bee Spaces plaque, created by potter Molly Cantor, where it can be seen by all passers-by.

Bee Spaces Award Plaque

Bee Spaces Award Plaque closeup

This award is named for the precise 1/4 inch space that Langstroth discovered allows the bees to store honey and work without sticking all the honey comb together. Before he discover ‘bee space’ people had to destroy their bee skeps to get the honey out – and the bees had to do all that work all over again.  And of course, the other ‘bee spaces’ are the gardens that welcome and feed all bees. In Massachusetts there are over 300 types of bees.

Lilac Tree blossom

Fragrant blossom on our Lilac Tree

Summer is slowly arriving says our Lilac tree which has just begun to bloom and perfumes the air throughout the Bee Spaces in our garden.

Wedding Voyeurs at Mendota Lake

After spending our first day  in Madison at the Olbrich Botanical Garden, we settled in at the Edgewater Hotel and planned the rest of our stay, but got something unexpected – not just one wedding, but three.

Concert at the Edgewater Hotel

Bluegrass concert at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison Wisconsin

The bluegrass concert began – loudly  – at 7 pm but fortunately ended at 9 pm promptly.

Bride

Bride of wedding number 1

On Saturday morning we looked out our window and saw a Bride in a beautiful lace wedding dress walking across the  dock.

Bride and Groom

Bride, Groom and Photographers

She met her groom, and the photographers further out on the dock.

Wedding attendants

Mother of the groom and Wedding attendants

Meanwhile the mother of the groom and the  other wedding attendants were having their photographs taken on solid ground. After many many photographs had been taken, this group left the hotel terrace. But . . .

Flower girl

Flower Girl

suddenly a flower girl arrived on the dock.  She stood very still looking out over the lake. What was she thinking? Of her own future as a bride when she would walk down an isle? Then . . .

The Bride

The Bride arrives

and they both stood still looking out over the lake. What was the bride thinking?  Oh, what a glorious day for the happiest day of my life?  Oh, no. What am I doing? How will I last the day?

wedding attendants

Wedding attendants

The Bridal attendants arrived, and watched the last of the Bride and Groom  photos being taken.

Bride and Groom arrive

The Bride and groom arrive and continue taking directions from the photographers – and the videographer. Now bop along the dock!  Now give a cheer! Now – now – now.  It was quite a production.

We left our window and saw that 250 chairs had been set up in the hotel plaza, for this wedding, but there was also a double decker bus waiting to take many of the guests on a tour of Madison.

Then, as the sun was hanging low over the water, we saw another bride and groom walk out on the dock, with only a single photographer. Their photos were taken without noticeable instruction or fanfare – and we got no photos of  the third bride.

At least there were no disasters. Last summer I was a voyeur of a wedding in Pennsylvania – and there was a disaster just before the wedding was to begin.  However, a happy wedding ceremony – and a happy life –  does not depend on the roses.

Tovah Martin and Terrariums

Tovah Martin

Tovah Martin photo by Kindra Clineff

Tovah Martin, gardener and author, has devoted a good part of her life to houseplants. Most of us have a limited view of what houseplants we might put on our windowsills, but when she found herself working at the wonderful Logee’s Greenhouse in Connecticut she fell in love with the hundreds of houseplant varieties put into her care.

Over the years Martin has written books like Well-Clad Windowsills: Houseplants for Four Exposures, The Unexpected Houseplant: 220 Extraordinary Choices for Every Spot in Your Home; The Indestructible Houseplant: 200 Beautiful Plants That Everyone Can Grow; and The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature. Her knowledge about the needs and benefits of various houseplants, as well as their beauty, sometimes sculptural and sometimes romantic, is encyclopedic, and her prose is a delight touched with humor.

As a part of the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Greenfield Garden Club, the Club is bringing the notable and charming Tovah Martin to Greenfield on Sunday afternoon, June 5 to give a lecture on terrariums, followed by a book signing, and then a terrarium making workshop. This event will be held at the gracious Brandt House on Highland Avenue.

Martin looks at terrariums as a practical way to have a whimsical or calming snippet of nature at hand, no matter what kind of houseplant space you might have. When I spoke to Martin I asked when she became an expert on terrariums. “I’ve made terrariums my whole adult life. Actually even before that. And now I give workshops for every age group from Brownie troops to senior citizens,” she said.

Terrariums are always a popular type of garden from the charming berry bowls filled with a bit of American teaberry with its shiny petite foliage and red berries, to fish tanks turned into a woodland scene. “Terrariums are the smallest landscape you’ll ever have to design,” Martin said. Participants in her workshop should bring their own container but other terrarium materials will be provided. “Almost any glass can be used for a terrarium,” she said. She added that she has a pretty good eye and is frugal so she is a regular at Goodwill stores. No glass container is too humble, large wide mouth mason jars work just as well.

The New Terrarium by Tovah Martin

The New Terrarium by Tovah Martin

“Everyone should have nature by their side and terrariums make it easier. Terrariums are self watering, they almost grow on auto-pilot. Terrarium plants get the humidity they need, especially in the winter when our houses are so dry from the heating systems,” she said.

In her workshop she will demonstrate, and guide participants in the making of a terrarium that includes soil and plants, using surprising tools and giving useful tips. She will cover the basics of construction, and care from every angle including watering and light sources. Terrariums should not be placed in the sun, which is one reason they are such a good solution for the house that does not have much in the way of sunny windows, or possibly an office with limited light.

Beyond the closed terrarium that I am familiar with Martin points out that a terrarium is also an ideal environment for handling cuttings and making new plants, or for starting seeds. She said not all terrariums need to be closed and that even an open terrarium environment can help conserve moisture and will keep a plant happy with less work.

Extra pleasures on June 5: Michael Nix will be providing music, Kestrel of Northampton will be selling terrarium plants and supplies, and the World Eye will be selling books. Tickets are available at World Eye Books or can be ordered by calling Jean Wall at 773-9069. The cost of the lecture is $25 and $50 for the lecture and the workshop. Garden Club members get a discount of $20 and $40. For more information log on to the Greenfield Garden Club’s website http://www.thegreenfieldgardenclub.org/special-events.html

*   *   *

 

It is Plant Sale Season. Today the Bridge of Flowers is having their annual plant sale that will include shrubs, annuals and perennials; many are divisions of plants on the Bridge. There will be a great variety from asters to peonies to violets. Master Gardeners will be on hand to do soil testing. The sale will be held on the TrinityChurch’s Baptist Lot on Main Street in ShelburneFalls from 9 am to noon, rain or shine. All profits benefit the Bridge.

Next Saturday, May 21 is the Garden Club of Amherst’s plant sale under the tent on the Common next to the Farmer’s Market from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. Profits benefit conservation efforts and a scholarship fund.

On Saturday, May 28 The Greenfield Garden Club will hold its annual Extravagaza on the lawn of St James Episcopal Church on Federal Street from 9 am to 2 pm. In addition to plants donated by club members there will be a tag/book sale, a bake sale and face painting for the kids. Rain or shine. Profits benefit the grant program for area schools.

Between the Rows   May 14, 2016

 

Special Events Coming Soon

The ground is covered with snow, but we gardeners can feel our hearts beating faster as we sense spring and the special events that will remind us of the delights and work waiting for us. Here are the dates for some enjoyable and instructional special events.

February 17, Wednesday 7 pm – The first event is my own talk on The Making of a New Garden at the Shelburne Grange, Fellowship Hall, 17 Little Mohawk Rd, Shelburne. I’ll be showing photos of the beginnings of my new garden in Greenfield and talk about the decision to leave the house and garden in Heath where we lived for 36 years. The public is welcome and refreshments will be served.

February 20, Saturday 10am – 1 pm – The first spring workshop from Mass Aggie Seminars on Growing and Pruning Grapes, a Hands-on worksop given in Belchertown. Cost $50. Click here for full information about this series of programs.

March 5 – March 20 10am -4 pm – The annual Spring Flower Show at Mount Holyoke College at Talcott Greenhouse has chosen the theme “Emerald Isle.” It is free to the public and wheelchair accessible. Groups welcome with advance notice; call 413-538-2116.

March 5 – March 20  10-4 pm daily – The Annual Smith College Bulb Show. The theme this year is “The Evil Garden”  inspired by a book illustrated and written by Massachusetts resident the late Edward Gorey.  A donation of $5 is recommended. The free opening lecture at the Campus Center Carroll Room on Friday, March 4 at 7:30 pm will feature a talk by Thomas J. Campanella, PhD, FAAR, author of A Great Green Cloud: The Rise and Fall of the City of Elms.

March 19, Saturday  8:45 am – 2:15 am – The Annual Spring Gardening Symposium at Frontier Regional High school in South Deerfield presented by the Western Mass Master Gardeners Association will feature Keynote Speaker Karen Bussolini talking about Survival in the Darwinian Garden: Planting the Fittest. There will also be 14 different other presentations on topics from compost, soil building, hydrangeas, raised bed and container gardening and much more. $35. This program is the first of three symposia, others follow on April 2 and April 9 in the Lower Valley and then the Berkshires.

Master Gardener Spring Symposium March 21, 2015

Master Gardener garden plot

Master Gardener garden plot

Creating Your Own Eden is the name of this year’s fact and delight loaded Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Spring Symposium on Saturday, March 21 at Frontier Regional High School in South Deerfield. I can imagine a garden Eden where all the trees welcome insects to take a modest banquet from their leaves, where birds eat some of those insects, where weeds and flowers grow to provide food for caterpillars, some of which also get eaten, and where butterflies tour different flowers to gorge on nectar. Eden is a beautiful and sustainable garden.

Some of us already are sensitive to the dangers of pesticides and herbicides in our garden. Some of us are trying to do away with our lawns in order to add plants that support the insects, birds and butterflies that add so much beauty to the Eden that we all try to make of our garden. And yet, it can be so confusing. There is so much information. How will we take in all that information so we can use it?

The annual Master Gardener Spring Symposium is the perfect place to get information and have questions answered.

Keynote speaker Kim Eierman is not only a Master Gardener herself, she is a Master Naturalist, and operates EcoBeneficial, her consulting firm that supports the use of native plants and the creation of sustainable landscapes. I will be prepared to take notes when she speaks about EcoBeneficial Gardening: Going Beyond Sustainability, but I have already looked at her website,EcoBeneficial and found information that is clear and specific. For example, most of us do not have a large plot of land so while it is good to know that native oaks support over 500 types of insects and birds, we may not have the space for an oak tree.

The next best tree is the black cherry, Prunus serotina, which offers nectar and pollen to native pollinators and honey bees. The small red or black fruits are a favorite food of more than 40 species of birds and many mammals. It also serves as a host plant for over 450 species of moths and butterflies.

Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners growing food for the hungry

In addition to Eierman’s Keynote speech, an array of workshops is being offered. Morning sessions range from how to sharpen tools, to native shrubs for the garden, how to make a rustic twig trellis and more. In the afternoon Eierman will speak again, this time about Replacing the GreenDesert; – Native Turf Alternatives. Other afternoon sessions include how to make nutrient dense soil, attract pollinators and make lacto-fermented vegetables.

I will be giving an illustrated talk about sustainable roses in the afternoon. I have been growing pesticide and herbicide free roses on my Heath hill for over 30 years. When visitors come to the Annual Rose Viewing in June many of them ask how I grow roses with such clean foliage, and what they should do about the various problems their roses suffer. I am really no help at all in this area, because by chance, and sometimes by design, my roses don’t have disease problems. The fate of the sustainable rose is not in our hands, it is in the genes of the particular rose. I am happy to pass on the news that a new book, Roses Without Chemicals, by Peter Kukielski is now available. I met Kukielski when he was curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New YorkBotanical Garden, but he is now a part of the American Rose Trials for Sustainability. He is the king of sustainable roses.

A keynote speaker and workshops are not enough to prepare for spring. Vendors and book sellers will be on hand. My book, The Roses at the End of the Road, will be on sale for the event as well.

Registration forms are online and can be downloaded, then mailed in. The form lists all the workshop sessions so you can take your pick. The earlier you mail in your form, the better chance you have of getting your preferred programs. You can also order lunch if you wish. Questions? Email gardensymposium123@gmail.com and Lucy Alman will have the answers.

Between the Rows   March 7, 2015

Franklin County Fair – Int’l Year of Family Farm

Roundhouse - Franklin County Fair

Roundhouse – Franklin County Fair

The Franklin County Fair is always a celebration of family farms and gardeners. This view from the balcony gives only a hint of the perfect produce, creativity and business acumen of local farmers and gardeners.

Red Fire Farm at Franklin County Fair

Red Fire Farm at Franklin County Fair

Red Fire Farm is just one of the area’s most successful small farm, a testament to farmer Ryan Voilland’s farming skills, but also his people management and business skills.

Youth cattle judging at Franklin County Fair

Youth cattle judging at Franklin County Fair

The dairy farm is not yet dead in Western Massachusetts and these young people are keeping ideal of the family farm alive. Those are Ayrshire heifers. Beautiful Ayrshires are a rugged cattle breed suitable for our climate, efficient grazers and milk producers.

Youth sheep judging at Franklin County Fair

Youth sheep judging at Franklin County Fair

Sheep have long been a farm crop in this part of Massachusetts. These youngsters are keeping that tradition going. Our farms produce food AND fiber.

The United Nations has named this the International Year of the Family Farm to highlight the importance of the family farm all  around the world. It is easy to understand the importance of local food security, even here in the U.S., because of the vagaries of extreme weather. Family farms are also vital to rural community development. In our own area we are lucky to have CISA (Community Involved in Sustainable Agriculture) supporting family farms

 

Forbes Library Garden Tour June 14 in Northampton

Forbes Library Garden Tour

Forbes Library Garden Tour

Time for the Forbes Library Garden Tour June 14 10 am – 3 pm.

The time comes for many of us gardeners when we think we cannot carry on with our gardens, or houses, as they are. We are older, the children have gone, and we are not quite so energetic or willing to toil for hours in the summer sun over our weeds and slugs. The time comes to think about a smaller house and a smaller garden.

Something more than five years ago, Maureen McKenna had huge gardens in Leeds, children that needed to be chauffeured here and everywhere and a big house. She was getting weary. She and her husband sat down and realized they had to do something to make a change.

The change is the departure of older children, a smaller house, with a smaller garden on a much smaller lot in Northampton. It is one of the seven gardens on the tour to benefit the Forbes Library on Saturday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Most of the gardens are small urban gardens so this is a perfect opportunity for those of us who are not in our first youth to experience the varied delights of a small garden. In addition there is one expansive garden in a country hideaway on this tour.

I asked Mckenna if it was hard to leave a house and garden where her children had grown up. Her response? “Not really.”

“The gardens in my old house had been left by the former owner and were huge,” she said. “I had to do a lot of hard work to make it my own – and even then . . ..” So, with only one child claiming a broken heart, they moved to where they could do more walking and less driving.

In her new smaller garden she has managed to have a little bit of everything, a sunny garden, a large shade garden, vegetables and berries.  It is all very pretty and very manageable. Her house divides the property from the street to the back property line and separates the sun and shade.

Shade Garden

Shade Garden

The front door is on the shady side. McKenna says guests never go to the front door even though she wishes they would. I think the shady woodland garden seems quietly formal so I can understand the appeal of the sunny backdoor for neighbors and casual company. She said they splurged on this garden. When they were arranging with the landscaper for compost and mulch, he said they could do a plan, as well. The plan involved giving some dimensionality to the long flat space by creating a gentle slope to the front section of the garden and curves in the back section.

The shade is created by an enormous maple tree, a smaller Japanese maple, and a large conifer in the back corner. Underplantings include tiarella and ajuga, both in flower in early spring, as well as iris cristata, sedums, a variety of hostas, large and small, and golden hakone grass. The pale leaves of a variegated five leaf aralia light up a dim corner near the rear wall.

Between the back door and the street is a raised sunny garden where a small tree is underplanted with astilbe, hellebores, iris, marguerite daisies, tiarella, bleeding heart, lady’s mantle, creeping phlox, a hydrangea and some sage and thyme. This is a garden that says welcome to all.

On the other side of the back door is a small sheltered patio between the wall of the house and the side wall of the garage which is softened by a narrow garden of roses and other perennials and a burbling fountain.

Forbes Library Garden Tour - Raised vegetable beds

Forbes Library Garden Tour – Raised vegetable beds

The other side of the driveway includes raised vegetable beds and gravel paths. “We had the soil tested at UMass and there was a measure of lead so we thought raised beds would be a wise decision.” The McKennas also have a community garden plot where they have grow more vegetables, and raspberry and blueberry bushes, but these raised beds allow them to pick a fresh salad, or strawberries or raspberries for breakfast. I was surprised to see some raspberry canes growing so happily in a large container.

Forbes Library Garden Tour - strawberry bed

Forbes Library Garden Tour – strawberry bed

A final shady section of the garden next to the garage is being redesigned and replanted to eliminate even this tiny bit of lawn.

In this one garden are many examples of the way a small space can be arranged to accommodate our desire for beauty and sociability as well as fresh veggies, fruit and less maintenance.

For me visiting other gardens gives me a chance to imagine myself in very different spaces. Garden tour season is beginning, giving all of us the chance to see new and interesting ways of using space, new techniques, new plants and the way passions and unique personalities are expressed in our gardens. I expect to get a lot of new ideas over the next month.

Tickets for the this tour are $15 in advance sold at Forbes Library, Bay State Perennials, Cooper’s Corner, Hadley Garden Center and State Street Fruit Store.  And $20 on the day of the tour, sold only at Forbes Library and garden #1. There is also a raffle and a chance to win organic compost, gift certificates, garden supplies or a landscape consultation. Raffle tickets are 2/$5 or 5/$10 and are available at Forbes Library through the day before the tour as well as garden #2 the day of the tour. For more information contact Jody Rosenbloom at jody.kabloom@gmail.com or 413-586-0021.

Between the Rows   June 7, 2014

Full Weekend Monday Report – June 1, 2014

Nasami Farm Plant Swap New England Wildflower Society

Nasami Farm Plant Swap

On this Monday morning I can report on a full weekend beginning with a New England Wildflower Society member Plant Swap at Nasami Farm. I brought waldsteinia and tiarella and came home with Jacob’s ladder, an unusual epimedium, more tiarellas, a spicebush plant (very tiny) and an unusual native sedum.

Greenfield Community College Graduation

Greenfield Community College Graduation 2014

There  was a big crowd and a big tent for for the Greenfield Community College graduation Saturday afternoon. Granddaughter Tricia was graduation with honors and an Associate Degree in Accounting. She is very smart, and encouraging to all the students she has been tutoring over the past two or three years. She has been working at a bank while working on her degree.

Tricia in line for her diploma

Tricia in line for her diploma

Tricia and the young woman in front of her are wearing gold stoles to denote their entry into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Tricia and  her fiance Brian

Tricia and her fiance Brian

Tricia and her fiance Brian are both so proud of each other’s academic achievements. He graduated from UMass-Amherst with a psychology degree three years ago, and just finished the pre-requisites he needed to apply for a Physican’s Assistant program which will begin in January. He has been working at the Brattleboro Retreat to pay off student loans since graduation, and trying to save money for the new program.  These two are so smart, and disciplined. They will go far, but a first stop is a September wedding.

Chris and Bibi at work

Chris and Bibi at work

Son Chris stopped by over the weekend to  congratulate Tricia and to help us in the garden. Mowing, raking AND picking up the grass for the compost pile. What a guy!  Bibi, the elderly French bulldog, still has enough energy to supervise and cheer him on.

A great weekend! The garden is starting to look good too.

New England Wildflower Society Plant Swap

Tiarella and Waldsteinia for the New England Wildflower Society Plant Swap

Tiarella and Waldsteinia for the New England Wildflower Society Plant Swap

As a member of the New England Wildflower Society I have been invited to the Plant Swap at Nasami Farm in Whately at 9 am on Saturday, May 31.  While the invitation said bringing native plants was encouraged, it was not necessary. Invasive plants would be sent away ignominiously! At least one identified plant is required to participate. By bringing 6 plants I can bring home six new plants.

I bought my original Waldsteinia fragarioides at Nasami some years ago and it has performed as promised, replacing a good swath of lawn at the edge of the lawn. Waldsteinia is also known as barren strawberry because of the similarity of its leaves and little yellow flowers. No berries!

When it became difficult to get more Waldsteinia at Nasami I began adding Tiarella cordifolia with its foamy flower spikes, in pink or white, otherwise known as foam flower. Both of these ground covers spread nicely and tolerate a fair amount of shade. This section of (former) lawn is in shade for at least half the summer day. The Missouri Botanical Garden says tiarella  and waldsteinia “tolerates deer.”  I guess that means they will revive after being munched on. I have lots of deer in my neighborhood; they do come onto my lawn, but I have never seen any deer damage.

Participation in  the Plant Swap is only one of the benefits of membership. For more click here.  Next week I’ll show you my swaps.

CSA – Community Supported Agriculture is for You

Winterfare Market February, 2012

For some people the initials CSA are just another of those annoying acronyms that can make our conversations sound like an unintelligible inter-office memo. For some CSA means Community Supported Agriculture which encompasses delicious local food, help for the farmer, and a community of like-minded folk who enjoy fresh food, and enjoy knowing they are supporting farmers and farms, and the very land and environment that surrounds us.

Small farmers never think they are going to get rich doing what they love. They only hope they won’t go broke after a bad season. In the 1980s a new idea came on the scene when the first community supported agriculture farms were first organized. The idea is that people would buy shares in the farm and its harvest at the beginning of the growing year, essentially sharing the risks the farmer would face over the course of the season. Would there be flooding rains? Drought? Would blight kill all the tomatoes? Mother Nature can throw all kinds of disasters at a farmer. CSA members are essentially buying the harvest as crops are planted and becoming a part of a community – a “we’re all in this together” community sharing the risk, the worry and the joys of the farm.

When I first became aware of Community Supported Agriculture some years ago, there were not many CSA farms or people buying shares. The organizational elements were fairly standard. An individual or family would buy a share in the spring, and then as the May and June harvest started coming in they would pick up their weekly boxed or bagged share of greens, beans, radishes and vegetables of every type in season. Because man does not live by carrot alone, many CSAs also included a bouquet of summer flowers.

Now there are many more CSAs in our area. I spoke with Phil Korman, Executive Director of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) who said that in the three counties, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden, in 2009 there were about 4550 farm shares sold, but in 2012 that number had increased to about 7300 farm shares sold. Some of those shares were to people outside the three counties. The expectation is that the number has continued to increase but statistics are only collected every five years. Korman pointed out that those farm shares did not include winter shares which are now available.

In fact, there are now many more kinds of CSA shares that people can buy. In addition to the regular vegetable garden shares, there are shares for meat, fish, eggs, flowers, and grain.

The last few years have seen other changes in CSA distributions. Originally, a shareholder paid up, and then picked up that share weekly at the farm. Nowadays CSA shares can be delivered to various sites including schools, retirement communities, and work sites.CooleyDickinsonHospitalallows staff to pay for their share with a payroll deduction, and the share is delivered to the hospital.  Some people share a share with a neighbor

Hager’s Farm Market and Upinngill Farm sell vouchers. The Hager vouchers are dated for use throughout the season, but they can be used at the Market on Route 2 in Shelburne with the shareholder making his own choices, for produce or pies, eggs or yogurt. Upinngill’s vouchers are not dated. Several can be used at one time. In both cases, at the Hager Farm Market and the Upinngill farmstand, the vouchers provide for a discount, so you are saving money, as well as getting wonderful produce.

There are 15 CSA farms inFranklinCounty, inGreenfield, Montague, Gill, Leyden, Colrain,Sunderland, Ashfield, Whately, and Berndarston. Each CSA farm delivers its share one day a week. All of them are now signing up shareholders for the 2014 season.

Western Massachusettshas been “an incredibly receptive community” to desiring and buying local farm products Korman said. The first local, and now longest running CSA farm is Brookfield Farm inAmherst. The first Winterfare was created inGreenfieldby volunteers just a few years ago. Now farmers plant winter storage crops for the 30 winter farmers markets that are ongoing across the state. CISA was the first non-profit organization in the state and created the Local Hero marketing project.

Currently there are 55 Local Hero restaurants using local produce for a total of about $2 million a year. There are also 240 Local Hero farms. They sold between 2002 and 2007 $4.5 million worth of farm products, but that amount has now doubled to $9 million. Food coops account for $16 million in sales. Right now in the three counties between 10%-15% of our food is fresh local food, but CISA’s goal is to have 25% of our food grown and enjoyed locally.

I was shocked that we are eating so little local food, but Korman gently pointed out that the whole population ofFranklinCountyis only half the population of the city ofSpringfield. I can see that it will be a great day when everyone inSpringfieldgets 25% of their dinners from local farms. I have to keep reminding myself that not everyone lives in our beautiful and fertile valley or near a hilltown farm where fresh food is available for a good part of the year.

It’s finally getting warmer. It’s time to think about fresh salads, grilled vegetables and corn on the cob. It’s time to think about the possibility of joining a Community Supported Agriculture farm.

You can find a full listing and information about local CSA farms on the CISA website. http://www.buylocalfood.org/buy-local/find-local/csa-farm-listing/

Between the Rows  April 5, 2014