The Vine - June 2022
Photo at Rosasharn Farm in Rehoboth
Dear Friends,

Summer has clearly decided to arrive early this year, as the heat continues to bear down on us in these last few weeks of Spring. But with warm weather and scattered rain, we also know one thing: the height of growing season is right around the corner! Soon, all of our favorite local fruits and vegetables will be ready to enjoy - and we can't wait!

Even with our farmers busy in the field, this is also a time for many major SEMAP projects, which we are excited to share with you. First off, it's time to keep your eyes open for the 2022 Local Food Guide, coming to farm stands and other local food vendors near you! We are excited to finally be able to share this Guide with you, including details on local farms, restaurants, fisheries, value-added producers and more in Southeastern Massachusetts. On top of that, we have a new issue of The Plowshare heading to printers as we speak, as well as our first Twilight Series events since 2019 - details below!

With the farming season now truly in full swing, we want to make sure your business or event gets to as many people as people. If you have a something you want us to share with our audience, please reach out via email!

We hope you enjoy this issue of The Vine, and look forward to seeing all the great work and delicious food you all put together over the coming months.

With gratitude,
Karen Schwalbe
Executive Director
2022 Twilight Series Kicks Off
June 15!
SEMAP is excited to announce the return of our Twilight Growers Series, after a two-plus year hiatus! We are thrilled to once again be able to bring together farmers and farm support to network, share skills and insight, and enjoy the great weather and growing season.

Our first event this year will be on Wednesday, June 15 from 4-6pm at Elliot Farm in Lakeville! We will be joined by Sue Scheufele of UMass Extension to lead the group on a pest walk, conduct tissue testing & soil nitrate testing, and look at the farm's laser scarecrow system. Registration is now open, and the event is free for all to attend.

Future Twilights will include an alpaca fiber skillshare at Moonlight Rose in Swansea on June 28, a soil health skillshare co-led by NOFA/Mass at Weatherlow Farm in Westport in late July, and more to be announced soon. Be sure to check out the Twilight Series page on our website for the most up-to-date information on events and registration.
HIP Application For New Vendors Still Open Until June 8!
Mass DTA is still accepting applications for the current round of Healthy Incentive Program (HIP) terminals. All applications are due by June 8, and both farms who do not currently process HIP and those already processing looking to add another terminal are encoruaged to apply. Interested vendors should review the Notice of Opportunity for new HIP Vendor Applications released by DTA in April, and can apply online through the DTA website.

DTA is taking several factors into consideration in this process, including the ability to reach Priority Communities such as Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton, and Priority Populations, including SNAP clients with disabilities and/or Black SNAP clients, who have historically accessed fewer HIP locations compared to other client populations.

If you decide to apply, please email so that we can put in a good word for you!
Current Food Producer Grant Opportunities
Take a look at a few of the currently open grant, reimbursement, and award programs below, then check out a complete list on our webpage.

  • Climate Smart Agriculture Program: To support proactive adaptation to climate-related risks, implementation of mitigation practices, and increased financial & ecological resiliency in the face of climate change.
  • Deadline: June 10th

  • New England Food Vision Prize: To build resiliency, relationships, and capacity within New England’s academic institutional food supply chain, and increase local food at K-12 schools and higher education institutions.
  • Deadline: June 30th
News For Farmers and
Food Professionals
White House Hosting Regional Listening Sessions on Food, Nutrition and Health
For the second time in U.S. history and the first time in over 50 years, the White House is hosting a Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health. Now, facing increased threats of food insecurity, hunger and rising costs of food, the White House is bringing together a group of leaders from across the political spectrum and country, including MA-03 Representative Jim McGovern, to set the course for the next generation of food policy.

The conference will focus on five pillars: Improving food access and affordability, Integrating nutrition and health, Empowering all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices, Supporting physical activity for all, and Enhancing nutrition and food security research.

As part of this conference, the White House is hosting regionally-focused listening sessions for farmers and food system advocates in different parts of the US. The listening session for the Northeast is on Tuesday, June 7, from 10a.m.-12p.m. There will also be a national Spanish language session on June 13 from 1-3p.m. Registration for these sessions is required.
EEA Hosting Public Forums on Climate Change Impacts
Building on meetings held in March, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is hosting four public discussions on the impact on climate change on communities and industries this month. This is a perfect opportunity for farmers to share how climate change has affected their work, and contribute to the state's Climate Change Assessment.

Sessions will be hosted on June 13 at 10:00 a.m., June 15 at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and June 18 at 1 p.m. Participants are asked to attend only one of the sessions, and must register on Zoom ahead of time.
SEMAP is looking for farmers to host MDAR staff on our annual tour of regional agriculture! This a great opportunity to share your interests and concerns with the Department.

Interested farms can contact SEMAP via email to discuss times and dates.
Vendors Needed for Dartmouth Farmers Market

The Dartmouth Farmers' Market is headed into its 16th season and looking for a few more vendors to round out the season. The market runs on Fridays, 12-5pm, and is open until October 21. The vendors most needed are fruit, dairy, beverages (coffee, tea, etc.) and prepared foods, but other vendors would be welcomed as well. For full details, head over to their website.
MA Solidarity Economy Festival & Gathering June 4-5

Join The Massachusetts Solidarity Economy Network (MASEN) is organizing a two day gathering to celebrate, learn, strategize and build together. The event will be held at Global Village Farms in Grafton, and will feature a festival, fair, teach-in, collective strategy meeting, and a zero-waste event.
Stargazer Hollow in Berkley looking for Strawberries for CSA

SEMAP-members Stargazer Hollow have had a disappointing strawberry harvest this year, but are still looking to provide berries as part of their CSA. They have about 30 customers in their program this year, and are willing to help with some of the labor as needed. If you have a surplus you are looking to move, you can contact them by email at [email protected]
MA Farmers Markets Still Seeking Vendors

There are still several markets across the state and in our region looking for more vendors. Needs vary from produce and vegetable, to dairy and meat, eggs and value-added products. See an full list of market opportunities here.

In Southeastern Massachusetts, markets in Brockton, Canton, Foxboro, Franklin, Marion, Marshfield and more are looking to fill out their vendor lineups. If you are a farmer looking for a market to add for the season, or a market manager looking for specific connections, please reach out to [email protected]
Free Article: "Write Newsletters Customers Want to Read"
Growing For Market, a magazine for local food producers and growers, shares a free article every month on a different topic related to farming and promoting your farm business. We've recently begun sharing this free article in our monthly newsletter to help share that knowledge as widely as possible.

This month's article, "Write Newsletters Customers Want to Read," is written Katie Kulla of Oakhill Organics in McMinnville, OR, and talks all about the value of a strong newsletter for your business. Katie covers the differences between newsletters and social media, how to write regularly and effectively, and how a monthly newsletter is for more than just CSA farms.

Overall, this article contains many useful tips for anyone hoping to use a newsletter to support and grow their business. Whether you've been writing emails to customers for years or are just getting started, we think there is something here that everyone could learn and utilize.
Want even more farmer-facing news? Check out SEMAP's latest Farmer Newsletter.
Subscribe to SEMAP's Farmer Newsletter here.
Buy Local News
State Senate Approves Budget, Includes Funding for Buy Locals, HIP, and More!
Last week, the Massachusetts State Senate approved its draft budget for FY23, which included an amendment to keep Buy Local funding level with last year's budget! This is identical to the language in the budget passed by the House, which is a good sign for the final state budget! It also included support for other important local food priorities, including the Healthy Incentives Program, UMass Extension, and more! The MA Food System Collaborative has put together a great breakdown of how the Senate and House budgets tackle food security.

Now, the proposed budgets will be discussed by a Conference Committee of State Senators and Representatives, who will put together a combined proposal to be voted on by the House and Senate. If passed, this proposed budget will go to the Governor's desk for a signature.

We are greatly thankful for all the State Senators and Representatives who have stood up to support food access and local agriculture in this process, and appreciate the work done by so many members of our community to make sure the legislature knows these issues matter!
Local Food Guide is Coming to Your Local Farm this Month!
The time has finally arrived - our 2022 Local Food Guide is finally ready! We've spent the better part of the last two months compiling as much information on our local food providers as possible, covering farms and farmers markets, restaurants and grocers, fisheries, fiber, value-added vendors and more. Our final draft has left the printer and soon, we'll be bustling around the region to bring copies of our guide to farm stands, markets and other local food locales.

Make sure to pick up your copy wherever you find it, and use it throughout the year to fulfill all your local food needs! Or, check out our online Guide to get a head start before you get your printed issue!
Barbecue and Cornhole Tournament at Medway Community Farm

Come celebrate the unofficial start of summer at Medway Community Farm next Saturday, 12-4pm on June 12 for their 2nd Annual Barbecue and Cornhole tournament! You are invited to walk the farm, visit the farmland, enjoy some delicious BBQ and local beer from Castle Island Brewery! All proceeds from the event will benefit the farm. Tickets must be purchased by June 5 for the barbecue and the Cornhole tournament.
June Events from Osamequin Farm
Summer events are kicking off at Osamequin Farm this month! From bird walks to dyeing classes, community harvest to gardening study groups, the options are nearly endless! Space in each event is limited, so sign up while you can.

Events begin in June, but many run through the entire summer and into the fall, including multi-event courses.
Smith Voc & Ag School Recovering from Fire

The school has put together an Amazon Wishlist and is accepting donations to help recover some of the equipment and materials lost in the fire. More information can be found on their website.
Lolans Farm now Raw Milk Certified, Launch New Site

SEMAP-Member Lolans Farm has just recently been certified to sell raw milk! Raw milk is a great product, with many added health benefits, and is a great way to support local dairies.

Lolans Farm has also officially launched their new website and Instagram page, both of which are great ways to keep up with all the happenings on the farm. Give them a visit when you can, and let them know SEMAP sent you!
SFPC Seeking Food Equity Advisors to Support Work in Southeastern MA
Marion Institute's Southcoast Food Policy Council is seeking five Food Equity Advisors from Bristol, Plymouth and Norfolk counties to join monthly conversations about food insecurity. Food Equity Advisors are residents of southeastern Massachusetts who have lived experiences with food insecurity, care deeply about their neighborhoods, and want to increase local food access.

SFPC works with 300+ community members and groups across the region to promote food security, bolster our food system and promote health equity through policy advocacy. Community input is vital to their work, and FEAs are crucial to understanding food insecurity on the ground in region. If you or someone you know is interested, please check out the recruitment flier, available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Cape Verdean Kriol.
For even more local food and farm happenings, check out our event calendar.
What We're Listening To
While SEMAP staff have been busy putting our summer programs and materials together, we haven't been able to sit down and read as much as we'd like. However, thanks to podcasts, we are still able to keep up with some incredible ag-related content to share with you all!

Cultivemos (formerly the Farm and Rancher Stress Assistance Network -Northeast) has recently launched a new podcast, Cultivating Resilience. This series is all about discussions with farmers about how to deal with the stresses and difficulties of farming. The first two episodes, covering farm finances and climate anxiety, are live now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever else you get your podcasts. Hearing from other farmers struggling with the same issues we see in Southeastern Massachusetts gives us a great sense of hope about the collective possibility in our farming community!

Have something you've seen, heard, or read that you think fellow farmers & foodies would like, too? Send your recommendation to [email protected].
What's in Season?
As the growing season continues, SEMAP wants to update you on current and upcoming produce in season in Southeastern Massachusetts. We hope this helps you plan recipes and get the most out of local food!

Throughout June, be on the lookout for...
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Bok Choy
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Pea Shoots
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Spring Onions
  • Sprouts
  • Strawberries
And don't forget about year-round local products like meat, dairy, eggs, and seafood!
Local Food Jobs
Have you checked out our Local Food Jobs page recently? You'll find local food and farm job listings relevant to Southeastern Massachusetts. Here are a few picks currently on the page. Want to share a listing? Email [email protected].
Become a SEMAP Member
Renew Your SEMAP Membership or Become a Member Today!
Consider registering as a SEMAP Member. Membership in SEMAP helps us continue to provide promotion and support to farmers and consumers across Southeastern Massachusetts and beyond.

Members receive a host of benefits, including...
  • Access to business development and farming/gardening resources
  • Discounts to events like the Ag & Food Conference
  • Priority event sign-up
  • Special thank-you published in our Local Food Guide

Membership is available at several levels for businesses and individuals. Come join us!
PO Box 80625
S. Dartmouth, MA 02748 
Executive Director:
(508) 524-2601