Masthead from old e-newsletter winter
News & Events

March 2014

Berkshire Grown online   

Make a difference -- support local farms, join Berkshire Grown here
A young farmer writes about Berkshire Grown

Read the story in Huffington Post

Berkshire Grown: A Case Study of an Organization Vital in

Creating a Local Food System in Western Massachusetts
By Rafi Bildner, Founder, October Mountain Farm, in Huffington Post

"As a new farmer with little experience, and new to the food and agriculture community in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, the first thing I did ...was to look for to get me started..." 

"...Berkshire Grown has established itself as a true umbrella organization for local food here in Western Massachusetts. They provide essential resources for small farmers, and have created a true brand for local food in the region..."    
& then join us at the March Maple Dinner!

Your support helps us keep farmers farming. 


 Support Cricket Creek Farm!



Cricket Creek Suzy w sign Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown, MA has launched a Kickstarter campaign.


They need solar power and to renovate their barn to sustain themselves financially.


You can make a difference.


Keep Berkshires Farming -- support a local farm!


Learn more here HFM 11 Maggie's Round cheese








The projects will significantly alter the bottom line of the business, year after year. The Stone Barn project will generate additional revenue, and the solar array will substantially reduce operating costs. Instead of a one-time investment in a piece of equipment, this project will help this small farm on an ongoing basis.


Berkshire Grown "keeps farmers farming" through services to farmers and educating farmers, buyers and all of us who eat; we encourage you to read


Farm Bill Reflects Shifting American Menu and a Senator's Persistent Tilling

By Jennifer Steinhauer  


Read more in The New York Times 


"The farm bill signed by President Obama last month was at first glance the usual boon for soybean growers, catfish farmers and their ilk. But closer examination reveals that the nation's agriculture policy is increasingly more whole grain than white bread.


"Within the bill is a significant shift in the types of farmers who are now benefiting from taxpayer dollars, reflecting a decade of changing eating habits and cultural dispositions among American consumers. Organic farmers, fruit growers and hemp producers all did well in the new bill. An emphasis on locally grown, healthful foods appeals to a broad base of their constituents, members of both major parties said.


"'There is nothing hotter than farm to table,' said Representative Bill Huizenga, a Michigan Republican from a district of vast cherry orchards...  KEEP READING 


 "Sustainable farming needs math as much as mulch, says one veteran"


"There are certainly many other people like myself," [says Tom Willey of T & D Willey Farms, a successful modest-sized farm]

"that are operating profitable organic farms of modest scale. But why is there not more proliferation of the modest-sized farms that are financially successful?


"I think there's a conundrum with the legions of young people being attracted to local and organic agriculture. They seem to be a bit hesitant about getting involved in what I call production agriculture, which is feeding a hell of a lot of people besides yourself. And they seem to be more strongly attracted to the Jeffersonian concept of having your little piece, your couple of acres, and farming mainly for self-sufficiency and some very small-scale marketing in their community...."  Keep reading


What We Are Reading:

Support Your Local Slaughterhouse [even if you don't eat meat]

By NICOLETTE HAHN NIMAN in the New York Times

BOLINAS, Calif. - LATE on Saturday, Feb. 8, news broke of the
recall of 8.7 million pounds of beef that had come through a Northern California slaughterhouse. Social media buzzed with tweets and posts pronouncing it the latest example of a dysfunctional industrialized food system incapable of producing safe meat. "Buy local!" "Know your farmer!" "Eat grass-fed beef!"


The problem was that this slaughterhouse, the Rancho Feeding Corporation, didn't handle only commodity beef.

Here, amid wind-swept pastures of coastal California in the epicenter of the nation's sustainable food movement, dozens of small- and medium-scale farms and ranches, including mine, have been affected by the recall. These are grass-based operations, many of them certified organic, whose owners have labored for decades to create a food stream that is humane, ecological and wholesome.


Nicolette Hahn Niman is an owner, with her husband, Bill Niman, of  BN Ranch in Northern California and the author of the forthcoming book "Defending Beef."


 Keep reading 

BERKSHIRE GROWN collaborates with many groups. Join us at their events:

Writer Douglas Whynott, author of the new book  

The Sugar Season: A Year in the Life of Maple Syrup, and One Family's Quest for the Sweetest Harvest, will be giving a reading and a talk at  


The Bookloft in Great Barrington, Massachusetts,  

Sunday, March 9th at 4pm.  


Barrington Plaza (332 Stockbridge Rd/Route 7) in Great Barrington. Call (413) 528-1521 for more information 413-528-1521 

The Berkshire International Film Festival and partner Monument Mountain Regional High School presents a very special community screening of the award-winning documentary

 narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges and directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush.
Immediately following the screening, a panel discussion will discuss the film and the surprising face of hunger in Berkshire County. Panelists  will include Senator Ben Downing, Representative William "Smitty" Pignatelli, Andrew Morehouse of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Monument Mountain student food activist Zoe Borden and Peter Stanton of The Nutrition Center of the Berkshires.

Thursday, March 13
Dinner - 5:30 p.m.
Film - 6:30 p.m.
Monument Mountain High School
600 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA
Cost: FREE  


 Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires

 Annual Member Meeting & Board Elections

Friday March 14, 2014 at 7pm

immediately followed by a FREE public screening of

Symphony of the Soil, $10 or 10 BerkShares to join the

First Congregational Church * Main St, Great Barrington, MA


The public is invited. All are welcome.

Wild Oats Market hosts Maple Sugaring Tour at
Ioka Valley Farm, Hancock, MA

Saturday, March 15, 10:30 am - Open to All

Find out what maple sugaring is all about and enjoy samples of this natural treat when you tour Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock, Mass., just minutes away from Jiminey Peak Mountain Resort. Meet at the Ioka Sugar House on Rte. 43 at 10:30 am on Saturday, March 15. Learn about and sample the different grades of syrup and the variety of maple products that Ioka makes.

Wild Oats Market will also provide participants with coupons for $2 off any local product that the co-op carries costing $10 or more (Ioka's syrup is on sale at the co-op throughout March).

Ioka Valley Farm has more than 9500 taps and two modern boilers housed in its renovated sugar house. The farm is approximately 15 miles south of Wild Oats Market.

To register for the tour, please email, call the store at (413) 458-8060, or sign up at Wild Oats Customer Service. Info at Wild Oats web site.




Berkshire Grown is collaborating with the Berkshire Visitors Bureau in 2014 on Taste Berkshires.
In the spotlight,
Berkshire Grown members: Cricket Creek Farm, Chocolate Springs and Table Six restaurant at the Kemble Inn.
Looking forward to more local food heroes in future Taste Berkshires posts!

Join a CSA - Community Supported Agriculture - Farm:  Indian line farm Become a member of a farm, provide funds now for a farmer, and begin picking up your share in June.

What a delicious way to support a local farmer!

See the list of CSA's on Berkshire Grown's Map-o-licious. 

Quick Bites






 If you are traveling through Massachusetts check out this map, support our local farmers throughout the state!



BG logoStay In touch!

Berkshire Grown's e-newsletter comes out monthly.  Please send information to, thanks!  Join Berkshire Grown here.

Barbara Zheutlin, Director
Sheryl Lechner, Outreach Coordinator
Suzie Fowle, Program Associate