Berkshire Grown Cancels March Farmers Market
Due to concerns over the coronavirus, Berkshire Grown has cancelled the market scheduled for Saturday, March 21.

The cancellation of the March Winter Farmers Market will have the greatest negative impact on vendors of perishable products.

How can you help?
  • If you’re running errands and buying groceries and goods, prioritize supporting local farms and businesses more than ever. They need your support.
  • Please buy directly from farmers whenever possible and shop at local retailers who support farmers - ex. Guido’s, Berkshire Food Co-op, Wild Oats Market, and Random Harvest.
  • You can find general information about local farms and food on our website and in Berkshire Grown’s online guide, including year-round farm stands, and more.
  • Tip service workers generously.
  • Cash flow is an issue for local businesses when sales are interrupted. Are you in a position to help? If you’re thinking of signing up for a summer farm share, now is the time.
  • Consider buying gift cards at restaurants, farm stands, and other local businesses to provide them with needed income now, and use them when things have normalized.
  • Community agencies that serve hungry people need support now too. If you are able, donate and volunteer your time.

We are sorry to miss the chance to see everyone and will make a decision regarding the April market at a later date. Thank you!
Goings-on at Local Farms:
It’s Maple Season!
If you spend any time in the Berkshires during March and April, you’ve probably noticed at least a few signs of maple season. You might pass a woodlot crisscrossed with tubing carrying maple sap, or notice metal buckets hanging on trees. Sugar shacks send up smoke as they operate day and night to reduce the maple trees’ sap into dreamy syrup. And we definitely hope that you’re taking advantage of the season by visiting some of our region’s maple farms, many of whom offer special events, tastings, and the chance to see the syrup-making process up close.

Essentially, maple syrup is sap from maple trees that’s boiled down into syrup. Hobbyists can make syrup by tapping a few trees and boiling the sap on a small wood-fired evaporator, while professional operations use specialized equipment to make syrup from thousands of taps. The start and end dates of “sugar season” vary from year to year, so maple producers pay close attention to the weather as winter starts to fade.

Berkshire Grown is proud to include several local maple farms in our membership, and we reached out to find out more about how they produce this important local product and what the maple season looks like for them. One common thread in the stories we heard was that producers started small, caught “sugar fever”, and gradually added more taps and equipment to reach their current production level.

Carla Turner, of Turner Farms Maple Syrup in Egremont, has been making maple syrup with her family for 35 years. Turner Farms makes 1,200-1,500 gallons of syrup per year from 3,000 taps. They use reverse osmosis (RO) equipment to remove some water from the sap before boiling, which saves energy and reduces costs. The sap then goes to the evaporator, and the finished syrup is filtered and bottled.

Turner says her favorite part of the maple syrup season is also the most challenging: the fact that every year is different, and that producers have to hope that the weather will be favorable, their equipment and setup will work properly, and that customers continue to value their hard work. In the end, it’s the customers who make the whole process worthwhile, especially the families who come to the farm year after year.

At Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock, Missy and Rob Leab produce over 8,000 gallons of maple syrup each year. Their farm is a hub for visitors who want to learn more about the process, with tours and tastings available throughout maple season. In addition to their syrup, they make specialty products like maple cotton candy, maple cream, and maple-sweetened BBQ sauce.

Looking for more maple? Check out more Berkshire Grown member farms:  Berle Farm Holiday Brook Farm Ioka Valley Farm Jennings Brook Farm Justamere Tree Farm Sweet Brook Farm Turner Farms .
Ioka Valley farm has been boiling maple syrup and creating specialty maple products since 1994. Josh Leab pours sap into the evaporator. Photo by Stephanie Zollshan.
Families enjoy the maple syrup atop a myriad of pancake flavors, from plain to blueberry, to Heath Bar crunch. Photo by Stephanie Zollshan.
Berkshire Grown Happenings:
Making Connections at the Annual Networking Event
Berkshire Grown held our 21st Annual Networking event in February. Local food producers and buyers came together for an afternoon of mingling and making connections, centered around the theme of institutional food purchasing.

Read the article here .
What We Are Watching:
Twelfth Annual Farm Film Fest to be Rescheduled

At the Crandell Theatre
Due to the expected large crowd and the Crandell’s commitment to safeguard people’s health, the Farm Film Festival, originally scheduled for this Sunday, March 15th at noon, has been postponed until later in the season. 

The featured films focus on farms and farming issues with special consideration for those with a regional connection. Admission is free, but cash donations are welcome; a nonperishable food item for the Chatham Silent Food Pantry is also accepted. For more information, visit .
Berkshire Grown Cancels Annual Spring Supper
We are all grappling with the unprecedented and continuously changing challenges presented by COVID-19. In support of the community health efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as recommended by local and state health officials, Berkshire Grown has made the decision to cancel our Annual Spring Supper scheduled for Monday, April 6, 2020, at the Country Club of Pittsfield. The health and safety of our community is our number one priority.

We thank you for your understanding and will keep you posted about future Berkshire Grown events to celebrate the growing season and our wonderful farmers and chefs.

We encourage everyone to please support our farmers by buying CSA shares and by supporting local producers when you shop at retail outlets. We at Berkshire Grown will continue to do all that we can do to support our members and to keep our farmers farming!

Please take care of yourselves and each other.


Allison Rachele Bayles                        
President, Berkshire Grown              

Margaret Moulton
Executive Director
Welcome Andrea Caluori
Berkshire Grown's programming staff has grown!

Andrea Caluori has joined our team as Program Manager and has already been spotted at workshops and other events.

She will be working closely with business members and fellow staff to offer programs and services that will help to Keep Farmers Farming.

Giving Thanks to this year's Market Sponsors
Stay in Touch
Berkshire Grown's e-newsletter comes out monthly. 
Please send information to

Margaret Moulton, Executive Director
Andrea Caluori, Program Manager
Jess Camp, Program Manager
Alicia Rossie, Communications Director

Join Berkshire Grown  here .