The Vine - March 2021
Dear Friends,

As you're likely aware, this March marks one year since our local food system initially reckoned with the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past twelve months, SEMAP has worked alongside farmers, lawmakers, community advocates, and others to make sure that healthy, locally-grown food can still get into the hands of all Southeastern Massachusetts residents.

As we reflect on the past year, we want to thank you for staying committed to local food and farms—whether that means visiting farmers markets, participating in our virtual events like the Agriculture & Food Conference, helping us spread the word about the Healthy Incentives Program and other food assistance initiatives, and more.

This past year has illustrated that even as the world around us transforms dramatically, the seasons still change, crops still need to be planted and harvested, and people still need to be fed. We hope you've found comfort in local food over the past year, and all of us at SEMAP are looking forward to what comes next. In this email, you'll find plenty of happenings to get excited about, from new markets to CSA sign-ups.

Our local food future is bright—it's so close, we can almost taste it.

Karen Schwalbe
Executive Director
Thank you to our 2021 Ag & Food Sponsors:
Meet Our New Program Coordinator!
We're excited to introduce you to our newest SEMAP staff member, Shannon Hickey, who is joining us as Program Coordinator. Coming to us from AmeriCorps, Shannon will implement education and technical assistance, and more projects that we can't wait to share with you.
News For Farmers and Food Professionals
Update Your Local Food Guide Listing
SEMAP is gearing up to create our 2021 Local Food Guide, and we want to include your Southeastern MA farm or food business. Do you have any changes to your listing from last year? Want to list your business for the first time? Fill out our information form!
Advertise in the Local Food Guide
Want to advertise your business in the 2021 Local Food Guide? Every year we print over 15,000 copies of our Buy Fresh Buy Local Guide and distribute them at farmers’ markets, local farm stands, community events, and businesses from coffee shops to your local grocer. View pricing, ad sizes, and member discounts on our web site!
Paycheck Protection Program Deadline: March 31
PPP has reopened and is accepting new applications (First Draw) as well as subsequent applications (Second Draw) from previous PPP participants. While PPP is a loan, the loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs (minimum %), interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Special consideration under PPP is provided for seasonal businesses such as farming operations.
SARE Partnership Grant
This grant program funds projects that work in direct partnership with farmers to encourage innovative solutions to current sustainability challenges related to production, marketing and/or farmer and community well-being in Northeast farming and food systems. Projects are capped at $30,000 and are typically conducted for one to two years. Proposals are due online by 5 p.m. ET on April 13.
Farm Financial Management
@ Cornell University
Join Cornell Cooperative Extension for a short, farm financial education program online this spring! Topics include "Assessing Farm Capital Investment Decisions" on April 13, "Farm Business Transfer Planning" on April 20, and "Insurance and Liability Protection" on April 27. All sessions run from 12:30–1:30 p.m.
Analytics for Agriculture
Join ESRI for a webinar on March 25 on using ArcGIS to better understand the impact of climate on crop production.
We will demonstrate the following:
  • How to access ready-to-use agriculture data for analysis from Esri's ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World
  • How to use interactive and exploratory modeling to evaluate risk for crop production
  • Use of environmental data to build a risk score to identify cropland at the greatest risk
Free Webinar: Farm Succession Planning
Are you unsure who will take over your farm? Feel like your family needs to start talking, but you don't know where to start? Have questions about passing on the farm that you don't know how to answer?
This webinar series is an opportunity for farmers and farm families to learn the basics of farm succession planning, how to get started, where to find advisors and additional resources, ask questions of succession planning experts, and get support on this challenging process.
March 30 - Legal Considerations for Your Farm Succession Planning:
Business Entities, Estate Planning
For more farmer-facing news, sign up for SEMAP's Farmer Newsletter.
Buy Local News
The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance has just launched their new interactive map to help find HIP-accepting farms nearest to you. Check it out!
Support Natick Community Organic Farm
Our Middlesex County friends at the Natick Community Organic Farm suffered a huge loss last week as their historic barn was destroyed in a fire. Please consider contributing to their GoFundMe to help rebuild the barn.
Young Family Farm Easter Menu
Young Family Farm in Little Compton, RI is offering delicious, locally-sourced dishes for your Easter meal. Check out the menu and order by Saturday, March 27 for pickup or delivery on April 3.
Stay Tuned: New Market!
SEMAP is planning a brand-new farmers market at St. Anne's Hospital in Fall River, slated to begin in mid-June. We're so excited to welcome you—keep an eye out on our web site and social media for updates!
Anawan Farm CSA Workshare
This year, due to COVID-19, Anawan Farm has a SMALL number of rotating slots available for their CSA Workshare program. Work 4 hours per week on the farm to earn plenty for a family of four to take home. A 4 week minimum commitment is required.
Massachusetts Maple Month
Did you know that March is Massachusetts Maple Month? Visit the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association's official web site to learn more about maple syrup and where you can find it locally-produced near you.
Edible SouthCoast CSA List
Edible South Shore & South Coast is rounding up a comprehensive list of CSAs in Southeastern Massachusetts! Check it out in both list and map view and pick the best farm share for you.
COVID-19 Resources
SEMAP is maintaining a resource list of farms and local food producers offering accessible options throughout the pandemic. View the list on our web site.

Know any other farms or businesses we might have missed? Email us at
Meet a Farmer!
Sarah Turkus of Osamequin Farm in Seekonk, MA
Photo via FarmHer
As we approach a brand-new growing and market season, we'd love to start introducing you to farmers and food heroes in Southeastern Massachusetts. This month, meet Sarah Turkus of Osamequin Farm in Seekonk, MA. This nonprofit farming operation helps support beginning farmers, and houses several businesses on its 300+ acres of land - Hocus Pocus Farm, Muck and Mystery Farm, and Daylover, to name a few.

Sarah says she loves farming because there’s “something different every day - from chemistry to engineering to marketing to manual labor.” Learn more about Osamequin Farm here!
Become a SEMAP Member
Renew Your SEMAP Membership or Become a Member Today!
Consider registering as a SEMAP Member in 2021. 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