Fresh from Berkshire Soils:
Pick Your Own, Sip, Preserve, and Enjoy the Fall Harvest
Image courtesy Caretaker Farm, Williamstown.
Autumn in the Berkshires. For most people that phrase brings to mind the most crisp air, brilliant foliage, and a clear even light. For those who grow food on Berkshire farmland it means making their fall harvest of fruits, vegetables, specialty products, and pasture-raised meats accessible to consumers, chefs, community food pantries and meal sites, grocers and distributors. Produce grown in Berkshire soils take on a deep richness unique to the cool fall season.
During October be on the lookout at your local farm stand, food co-operative or grocer for a cornucopia of local apples,  pears, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, celery, chard, garlic, leeks, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, and winter squash, plus an abundance of specialty products such as fresh-pressed apple cider, and fermented hard cider, as well as hand-crafted cheese. A number of outdoor farmers markets will continue to run through mid- November, offering SNAP/HIP to qualified shoppers. Visit Berkshire Farmers Markets for updates.
Visit a farm and, as a bonus, get some fresh air and exercise while supporting a local farmer! Local orchards including Bartlett's Orchard, Hilltop Orchards, Jaeschke Orchard, Lakeview Orchard, Maynard Farms & Orchards, Riiska Brook Orchard, and Windy Hill Farm all welcome the public to their orchards and fields to pick your own (PYO) fruit. Please be sure to call or visit their websites prior to your visit to double-check their picking conditions and safety protocols.

Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock, MA offers wagon rides to those in pursuit of the perfect pumpkins, while many other Berkshire farmers sell pumpkins at their farm stands. Some cideries, like Berkshire Cider Project, Carr's Ciderhouse, and Little Apple Cidery host tastings and a glimpse at their cider-making operations. Use Berkshire Grown's interactive Find Food and Farms map to check their hours of operation.
Use the 2021 Guide digital version of our Guide to Local Food & Farms to discover where else you can shop for food grown in local fields that are packed with high quality fresh nutrients.
Many pumpkins are used for decoration, but pumpkin is delicious in more than just pies. Morning Ag Clips promoted a myriad of recipes using pumpkin leaves, flowers, flesh, for roasting the skin and for preserving the seeds.

Although Peter Sweet, Jr's giant pumpkin grown at Seekonk Tree Farm in Great Barrington is not edible, it is worth a shout-out, weighing in at 600 pounds! Peter reported 2021 was not a great year to grow giant pumpkins due to the excessive rains over the summer, but he was able to place one of this year's specimens at the entrance to the Mount Washington House in nearby Hillsdale, NY.
Berkshire Cider Project
Shop for fresh Kale & Chard
High Lawn Farm Artisanal Cheese
Shop a Farmers Market
Fresh Apple Pie
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
What We Are Reading
How an Ancient Potato Could Thrive in a Changing Climate
Indigenous communities of the Southwest are working to rematriate the Four Corners Potato.

Cynthia Wilson (Diné), director of Utah Diné Bikéyah Traditional Foods Program, holds potatoes that have grown in Utah for more than 11,000 years. (Photo credit: Dave Showalter)

With drought a persistent problem in the Southwest, Hopi/Tewa seed keeper Valerie Nuvayestewa has eagerly joined the effort to bring back an Indigenous superfood that her ancestors cultivated for 11,000 years. The Four Corners Potato can grow under dry conditions and provides triple the protein and twice the calcium of red organic potatoes.

Scientists and leaders of Indigenous communities in the region have launched a drive to reintroduce the drought-resistant tuber, known scientifically as the Solanum jamesii, as a possible food solution for people hit by impacts of climate change. University of Utah scientists and Indigenous food activists say the spud can stay dormant for years under dry conditions, still offering nutritional benefits like iron and zinc to humans.

Read the entire article here.
In New Documentary, the Realities of the American Food System Are Laid Bare
Fruits of Labor follows one farm worker as she works two jobs to support her family while navigating high school.

By Emily Baron Cadloff for Civil Eats
Eighteen-year-old Ashley Pavon is the subject of a new documentary. Photography by Gabriella Garcia-Pardo.

A new documentary, premiering on PBS’s POV series today, follows a California teenager with dreams of graduating high school and going to college who is forced to work in agriculture when ICE raids threaten her family.

Called Fruits of Labor, the documentary follows 18-year-old Ashley Pavon as she juggles working her two jobs while navigating school and family obligations. The film is centered in Watsonville, California, a coastal city near Santa Cruz, where strawberries are the main crop and where many residents are connected to the agricultural sector. To help support her family, Ashley finds jobs picking strawberries that are clumped tightly together in huge rows and packing frozen strawberries in a processing plant.

Although Ashley’s is just one story, filmmaker and director Emily Cohen Ibañez aimed to highlight the realities of so many agricultural workers, many of them teens like Ashley, who have to labor under harsh conditions while just barely scraping by. Ashley and her family live in a cramped house with another family, sharing one washroom among 12 people. It’s a reality for many Americans, says Cohen Ibañez. “We have half a million children today working in agricultural fields, despite it being one of the most dangerous forms of work in the United States.”

Read the entire article here.
Fruits of Labor is available for streaming on 
Your Membership with Berkshire Grown Keeps Farmers Farming
Berkshire Grown continues to address the needs of farmers, food producers, and consumers. By collaborating with other local organizations, we learn about the needs of our community. As a result, the new Farm to Food Access program is establishing advance purchasing connections between farmers and food pantries; Share the Bounty continues to deliver CSA shares to food access sites, and our program staff offers workshops, technical assistance, and networking events that help local farmers and food producers build their capacity and grow their business.

In addition, we continue to produce eight indoor Winter Farmers Markets so you can buy directly from the farmers who grow your food and qualified shoppers can boost their SNAP and HIP benefits with our 1:1 Market Match program.

Join or renew your membership today and keep farmers farming! It's easy- use the safe online form or download the printable Household or Business membership forms. Thank you.
Join or Renew your membership with Berkshire Grown at the $100 (or above) level and receive this signature Berkshire Grown mesh produce bag.

Use it while you shop local at farm stands, farmers markets, and your favorite grocery stores!

Offer is valid while supplies last!
The Guide to Local Food & Farms
Makes Finding Nutritious Food Easy
The 2021 Guide to Local Food & Farms is the Berkshire region's most comprehensive reference for finding local food, farms and restaurants that source from local farms and food producers.

This valuable resource connects you to farmers markets, CSA's, farms stands and farm stores, specialty producers, Berkshire County food pantry sites, local food & lodgings, and other business members who support Berkshire Grown and its mission to keep farmers farming.

Complete with contact information and a handy map, the 2021 Guide is now on the news stands throughout Berkshire County and the surrounding region. In addition you can find the 2021 Guide digital version and the Find Food and Farms searchable map on the Berkshire Grown website.
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.
  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.
Find Food and Farms Near You
and across Massachusetts
Download the Eat Local MA Mobile App for your leaf peeking travels!
Stay in Touch
Berkshire Grown's e-newsletter comes out monthly. 
Please send information to
Follow us at Instagram@berkgrown

Margaret Moulton, Executive Director
Jordan Archey, Program Manager, Business Members
Kate Burke, Program Coordinator, Farm to Food Access
Sharon Hulett-Shepherd, Community Membership and Office Manager
Join Berkshire Grown here.