The Vine - August 2022
Photo at Weatherlow Farms in Westport
Dear Friends,

Summer has surely made its presence felt over the past month. Extreme heats, extended drought, and high humidity have been a burden on all of us, especially our growers. While much time was spent reflecting on last year's wet season, we now face a completely different set of challenges in the field, all of which should serve as a reminder that climate issues are becoming increasingly central to our farms and agriculture.

Despite the harsh conditions, we are still seeing some incredible produce, livestock, and shellfish from growers all across our region! Beautiful colors of flowers in bloom and delicious foods abound, this season is also proving how resourceful and resilient our farmers are. Make sure to share pictures of your crop with us either through email or by tagging us on social media, and we'll make sure to elevate your work to our audience as far as we can!

In this month's newsletter, you'll find great information on some of the work our growers are doing, including what's in season and where to find it. You'll also get details on upcoming events, some important updates on the Healthy Incentives Program, and tools for this month's National Farmers' Market Week!

As always, if you have anything you wish to share with us, be it events or great harvest stories, or need our support with anything as we push through the growing season, do not hesitate to reach out.

With gratitude,
Karen Schwalbe
Executive Director
Twilight Series Continues With Great Success!
The 2022 Twilight Grower Series continued with great success last month at Weatherlow Farms in Westport! The evening was lead by Phoebe Poole, operator of Weatherlow Flowers, and Ruben Parrilla, Soil Technician from NOFA/Mass. It was great having so many members of our community together to have great conversations on soil health, testing for microbiology, and how to better care for our plants and land.

Keep an eye out for a continuation of this conversation with our friends at NOFA/Mass later this season!
While we don't have any Twilight events planned for the month of August, we are looking at continuing our programs through the fall and the rest of the growing season. Make sure to keep an eye on our Twilights page, as well as our social media, for future event announcements.
MA Tomato Contest in Boston, August 23
The 37th Massachusetts Tomato Contest will be held on Tuesday, August 23rd at Boston Public Market. Tomatoes from across the state will be judged by a panel of experts on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape. Always a lively and fun event, the day is designed to increase awareness of locally grown produce.

Open to commercial farmers in Massachusetts, growers can bring tomatoes to the market between 8:45 am and 10:45 am on August 23rd or drop their entries off with a registration form to one of the regional drop off locations on Monday, August 22nd. Drop-off locations include sites in Bristol Aggie in Dighton, Great Barrington, South Deerfield, Worcester, and West Newbury. These tomatoes will be brought to Boston on Tuesday.

For complete details, including drop off locations, contest criteria, and a registration form, check out the event page from MDAR. We hope to have another strong showing from our Southeastern Massachusetts farmers this year, so get those tomatoes ready!
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.

  • Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Grant: To accelerate the retirement of less efficient, and more polluting vehicles, engines, and equipment, and to replace them with zero emission vehicles and equipment.
  • Deadline: August 24th

  • EBT/SNAP Equipment Grant: To provide free SNAP processing equipment to direct-market farms and farmers' markets.
  • Deadline: September 23rd

News For Farmers and
Food Professionals
Celebrate National Farmers' Market Week, August 7-13!
With the growing season in full swing, and markets bustling with activity, the Farmers' Market Coalition is once-again organizing this year's National Farmers' Market Week, August 7-13! Market managers are encouraged to use the National Farmers' Market Week Toolkit to help with promoting your market, and the value of farmers' markets in general.

The themes for this year's National Farmers' Market Week are: Farmers' markets don't just happen, farmers' markets are community hubs, and the culture of farmers' markets is changing. Information and tips on how to spread these messages can be found in the toolkit, as well as tips for the lead-up to the week and day-of market ideas!
USDA NASS Conducting Cranberry Survey This Month
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct a forecast survey for 2022 cranberry production during August 2022. This survey can be completed by mail, phone, or online.

In these surveys, NASS asks participants to answer a variety of questions about cranberries. For their convenience, survey participants have the option to respond online. NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by federal law.

NASS will compile, analyze, and publish survey results in the August 12, 2022, Crop Production report. For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office at (800) 498-1518.
NOFA Summer Conference This Month - Scholarships Available!

The 48th annual NOFA Summer Conference is slated for the weekend of August 5-7, 2022 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. This year's theme is "Decolonizing and Regrowing Our Food Systems: The Work of Our Time."

Registration for the conference is offered on a sliding scale, starting with a $50 option. Scholarships are also available for anyone who would like to attend but needs financial assistance.
USDA Tax Calculator Webinar August 15

Join USDA for a webinar this month demonstrating how to use the Tax Calculator tool for rural and farm businesses. The webinar is free and will be a great resources for learning how to use this important tool.

Adam Kantrovich, the Director of Clemson University Extension Income Tax School, will show participants how to use the interactive tax calculator tool that is available on
International Workshop on Ag Tourism Tickets on Sale

This year's International Workshop on Agritourism, hosted by the Eurac Institute for Regional Development, will be held in Burlington, VT from August 30-September 1. The conference will be primarily in-person, but a virtual option will be available as well. This is an opportunity to meet with and learn from farmers, service providers, researchers and tourism experts.
BU Farmers' Market Seeking Fall Vendors

Boston University's Farmers' Market will be returning this September and is looking for vendors! The market is a wonderful opportunity to introduce your products to BU students, staff, and faculty, as well as other community members.

The market is held on Thursdays from 11am-2pm, September 8th through October 27th. Interested vendors should complete the vendor profile form and return it to Lexie Razcka via email.
Free Article: "Wet Seed Processing and Saving"
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.

This month, author Pam Dawling shares her experience and advice on growing from wet seed in the aptly titled article, "Wet Seed Processing and Saving." She discusses in great detail how to get started with wet seeding - picking the right plants, producing, processing and storing your seeds, and more. Pam has written several books on growing practices, including Sustainable Market Farming and The Year-Round Hoophouse
Want even more farmer-facing news? Check out SEMAP's latest Farmer Newsletter.
Subscribe to SEMAP's Farmer Newsletter here.
Buy Local News
August is National Peach Month! Support Local Growers today!
August is National Peach Month! While peach season runs all summer, they are truly at their peak this month - so what better time to find a local peach grower and share some delicious fruit with your friends and family.

If you're looking to get your fix of these or other delicious berries now in season, be sure to check out some of our great local growers, including:

Not sure where to find peaches near you? Check out SEMAP's virtual Local Food Guide to find farm stands, farmers' markets and more across Southeastern MA! If you need to find farms from another part of the state, Check out the MassGrown Map, which lets you sort by region, business type, crop and more.
Support your local Farmers' Market during Farmers' Market Week, August 7-13!
This year's National Farmers' Market Week is set for August 7-13! Markets are ramping up into full gear as we hit the height of the growing season, so there's no better time of year to head out and support your local farmers and markets.

Farmers' markets are a great place not only for shopping, but serve as community hubs and connect us with our neighbors and local farmers. Going to your local market means not only getting delicious food, but also supporting a more resilient and sustainable food system.

If you're looking for a farmers' market near you, check out our Seasonal Farmers' Market page on our website, where you can see different markets across our region, their hours, and whether they accept SNAP and/or HIP.
Alpaca Yoga at Hope Alpaca Farm, August 14

Join some of our favorite fiber friends for a morning of peace and spiritual restoration on Sunday, August 14! Hope Alpaca Farm in Little Compton, RI will be hosting Alpaca Yoga as a part of their summer series. The class will be lead by Christine Reed from 9-10 am, with a pre- and post-class meet and greet with the alpacas! Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!
Summer Events Continue at Buzzards Bay Brewing
Buzzards Bay Brewing in Westport has a full slate of events planned to get you through the summer! Locally-sourced food trucks, great live music, and of course, some of their incredible drinks!

You can find the full list of events on their website, and can look for announcements on their Facebook page as well.
Agriculture Night at Polar Park, August 19

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is excited to host a celebration of Massachusetts' vibrant agriculture and local food sector at a Worcester Red Sox game on Friday, August 19! All MA farmers and supporters of agriculture are invited to attend.

Seating will be on the Hanover Deck. Guests are also invited to stay after the game for some Friday night fireworks!
Sunflower Season Arrives in Southeastern MA!

On top of all the delicious food in season now, it's also time for some incredible flowers! Sunflower season has arrived in out region, and many of our favorite growers are prepared to share their goods! Golden Hour Tulips in Lakeville is preparing to announce Pick-Your-Own dates in the next few weeks! Be sure to stop by these growers and more for some fantastic flowers!
For even more local food and farm happenings, check out our event calendar.
Healthy Incentives Program Fully Funded, Year-Round in FY23 Budget!
Last week, the Governor signed into law the final FY23 budget, which included two major wins for the Healthy Incentives Program! The budget includes $12 million in funding for HIP, plus a Prior Authorization Continued, worth an estimated $8 million. The budget also includes language from the Senate calling for the program to operate year-round. These are major accomplishments in the movement to increase access to healthy, local foods and combat food insecurity in Massachusetts!

These achievements speak to the importance of the Healthy Incentives Program, as well as all the hard work done by advocates and supporters in our local food community.
What We're Watching
While we've been trying to beat the heat recently and staying cool indoors, we've been looking for more great content to share. This month, we found a fantastic video series set right here in the Northeast.

"Black Farmers Thriving" series is a product of the Black Farmer Fund, an organization focused on uplifting Black farmers and agriculture in the Northeast. Their goal is to provide business and financial support for Black food business and growers.

The seven-video series features different growers from across the region, showcasing their operations, visions, goals and motivation for working in agriculture. Per Black Farmer Fund, the series is intended to "shift the narrative of the story of Black farmers being one of deprivation and disparity to one that shows our community members acting in their freedom and thriving on the land."

SEMAP is always looking to build up our reading, listening and viewing list. If you have a recommendation you would like us to share here, send an email to [email protected].
What's in Season?
With the growing season hitting its peak this time of year, we want to make sure all of our readers and local eaters know what fresh finds you can find at your local farm or farmers' market. We hope this helps you plan recipes and get the most out of local food!

Throughout August, be on the lookout for...
  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Peaches
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Scallions
  • Summer squash
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].
Executive Director at Land For Good in Keene, NH (Remote)
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