Berkshire Grown Shares Farmers’ Stories

In the past, Berkshire Grown events like the Harvest Supper and Lamb Jam connected the community with farmers and chefs while also raising funds for our work to support local foods and farms. With these events like these off the table for 2020, we created this 5-minute video so you could hear directly from farmers how your support of Berkshire Grown keeps farmers farming.
 
In fact, five minutes was not long enough to capture all the great stories our farmers shared. We offer these four short 3-mintue segments - full of laughter, love of animals, inspirational thoughts, and great anecdotes about farming in the Berkshires. While we may not be able to gather together right now we can still be connected. Click on the images and spend some time with these six Berkshire farmers.
 
Remember, when you donate to Berkshire Grown, you support our local food economy. DONATE TODAY to celebrate local farms and food, to sustain our Berkshire food economy, and to Keep Farmers Farming!
Anna Houston and Rob Perazzo took their dreams "off the shelf" and started Off the Shelf Eggs. In this outtake from our recent video, they talk about participating in Farmers Markets, how much they love their animals, and what it means to nurture pastured-raised chickens and grass-fed lambs.
Elizabeth Keen says “farming in the Berkshires feels like farming in a bubble” – where people are invested in supporting farmers. Elizabeth still gets excited on harvest days because she knows that someone in her community is going to eat the food she grows on Indian Line Farm.
Don Zasada describes himself as a steward of the land, and talks about how
connecting people to the land that grows their food is the most important thing they do at Caretaker Farm in Williamstown, MA.
Ashley Amsden and Michael Gallagher talk about the challenges that come with making their farm financially sustainable, and how they balance “scaling up” with raising a family on the farm.
Shop the Holiday & Winter Farmers Markets
December 19 & 20!

Local Farms and Producers bring Fresh Food to you
just in time for the Holidays!
Both Holiday Farmers Markets will feature the abundance of locally grown and produced foods in the Berkshires. The offerings of local producers range from winter squash, greens and root crops to apples, meats, cheeses, honey and maple syrup, as well as baked goods, jams, ferments, and cider. 

You can also count on finding delicious prepared food (to take home) at both markets – market favorites Off the Shelf Farm will make their egg sandwiches and North Plain Farm will be grilling sausages in Great Barrington for you to take home to eat (or in your car...). And at Greylock WORKS, the Break Room offers coffee, treats, and a full breakfast and lunch menu focused on regional farms.

Admission is always free and SNAP benefits are available (with Market Match!) at both markets.
See you at the Market!
Wear a Mask and
Buy Your Fresh Cut Christmas Trees Locally!
Image courtesy Seekonk Tree Farm & Nursery
Forthill Farm, 325 Forthill Ave, Pittsfield
Frederick Christmas Tree Farm, 360 Washington Rd, Hinsdale
Ioka Valley Farm, 3475 Route 43, Hancock
Jaeschke's Orchard, 736 Crane Ave, Pittsfield
Seekonk Tree Farm & Nursery, 32 Seekonk Cross Rd, Great Barrington
Taft Farms, 119 Park St North, Great Barrington
Windy Hill Farm, 686 Stockbridge Rd, Great Barrington

Or Enjoy a Live Tree Indoors!
Ward's Nursery, 600 Main St, Great Barrington

Go to Find Food & Farms, and search "Christmas Trees" for more details.
Berkshire Grown
Makes Holiday Cooking and Gift Giving Easy!

Browse Berkshire Grown's website pages Shop Local Now or Find Food and Farms for farm stands, produce and specialty products. Discover the very best in local food and farm products. From pasture raised meats, preserves, jellies and jams, artisanal cheese, baked goods, maple products to charcuterie and more, there is something special for every one at your table or on your list!
MX Morningstar Farm Store. Photo: Maria Zordan
Jellies, Preserves and Jams

Chacuterie, Honey, Special Sides & Sauces
Local Baked Goods & Sweets

Go to Shop Local Now for
Maple Products, Soaps, Candles, Teas, Herbs, Ciders & Wines
The Old Mill, South Egremont, MA
What we are reading:

Goodbye, U.S.D.A., Hello, Department of Food and Well-Being

It’s time the secretary of agriculture leverages the department’s impact for more than the benefit of agribusiness.

By Ricardo Salvador and Mark Bittman
New York Times Opinion, December 3, 2020
At best, only a small number of farm families actually make a living primarily from farming, while Big Food posts record sales and profits. Phot Credit Ben Stechschulte/Redux
With just one cabinet appointment, President-elect Joe Biden could tackle economic inequality, the rural/urban divide, climate change, the growing mistrust of science, systemic racism and even the coronavirus.

That appointment is Secretary of Agriculture.

Some view the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) as a backwater that matters only to the nation’s two million farmers. But this perception is at odds with both the department’s actual budgetary allocation and its history: Two thirds of the U.S.D.A.’s $146 billion annual outlay goes to programs addressing nutrition and food insecurity, not to agriculture (or forestry, also in the department’s domain). Read full article here.
Berkshire Grown connects you with local farmers, restaurants, and food producers. DONATE TODAY to celebrate local farms and food, sustain our Berkshire food economy, and Keep Farmers Farming! Support your favorite local eating establishment.

Make a contribution in the amount of $100 or more and receive a Berkshire Grown baseball cap!
  To pay via check or phone, make payable to Berkshire Grown, mail to:
PO Box 983, Great Barrington, MA 01230 or call (413) 528-0041.
Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Now more than ever, connections to local food and farms hold our community together. 

Berkshire Grown's 2020 Guide to Local Food and Farms is the region's best guide to farms, farmers markets, and restaurants offering local foods. Use this Guide to find farm stands, CSA farms, pick-your-own farms and orchards, as well as locally sourced, value-added products like charcuterie, preserves, and fermented foods.

Connect to the Guide here to see descriptions of Berkshire farms, farmers markets, restaurants and local food businesses, with addresses and a detailed map. Pick up a printed copy at your local grocery store or farm stand. Keep it handy and use it frequently!
Stay in Touch




Berkshire Grown's e-newsletter comes out monthly. 
Please send information to  buylocal@berkshiregrown.org.
Follow us at Instagram@berkgrown

Margaret Moulton, Executive Director
Andrea Caluori, Program Manager
Jess Camp, Program Manager
Sharon Hulett-Shepherd, Membership and Office Manager
Join Berkshire Grown here.