By: Eric Fisher
SOUTH DEERFIELD, Mass. (abc40) — For those looking to stay local and buy local, the 11th annual Locally grown farm products guide has returned to farm stands throughout Western Mass.
The guide, published with the help of advertisers by CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture), contains a complete list of everything local. Farmer’s markets, farm stands, retailers that sell local products, and even restaurants that serve up local food are all easily found in the 59 page publication. And it looks a little different this year.
“It’s dressed up these days,” says Margaret Christie, Special Projects Coordinator for CISA. “It’s glossier, it’s something we expect people to keep around for a while.”
Farmers abc40 spoke with like the guide, because it increases the connection between separate businesses, giving them power in numbers.
“I would say CISA has played a big part in hooking farmers up wtih each other, and getting more interactoin and communication with each other,” says Allison Landale, Manger of The Bars farm in South Deerfield.
An increasing number of restaurants are also trying to market themselves by advertising the local food they cook with. And their customers keep them in check as well.
“A lot of customers come in and they’re interested in making sure we’re buying from local farmers and supporting them,” says Mark Krause, who owns Esselon Cafe in Hadley.
The guide also lists what local farmers are growing, and what’s in season in a given month. Recipes for some of the local produce are also included.
You can find a copy of the guide at retailers and farm stands through the summer. An online version is also available by logging on to www.buylocalfood.org.