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The Vine - August 2023

Photo at Revival Farm in Plympton

Dear Friends,

The past month has undoubtedly been one of the most difficult in recent memory for farmers across the state and in our region. With intense rains leading to major flooding in every county, especially in western Massachusetts, coupled with a series of gruelingly hot days, July showed once again just how difficult a job farming is. While we often praise our farmers for their resiliency, we also recognize that some problems are bigger than our capacity to solve them. No amount of tenacity alone can repair the damage done over the last month. With that in mind, we ask our community to take an extra step in supporting local farms across the state. A number of funds have been established to help farmers in need now, including the MA Farm Resiliency Fund, which we have linked to below. Anything you can provide to help these farms and families will have a huge impact. And please continue to shop locally at farms and farmers' markets in your area to help us bolster our community ahead of the next disaster.

Looking ahead to August now, we have our next Twilight event TONIGHT at Allandale Farm in Brookline, where we'll talk about urban farming and growing for production in smaller spaces. More details and registration can be found below, or by clicking here. This month also marks two major celebrations of local food: National Farmers' Market Week and the Eat Local Southcoast Challenge! Details on both of these events can be found in the "Buy Local" section of this month's newsletter. Keep reading to find information on more community events, including hearings on deer population control, the start of sunflower season, and more!

As always, we appreciate everything our farmers do day-in and day-out. Their work allows us enjoy the local food we all enjoy, and we should never take them for granted. For those of you shopping locally, please continue to do so, and try to meet your farmers, thank them, and show them you care about their work. We need our farmers, and our farmers need us.


James Lehner

Communications & Outreach Coordinator

[email protected]

Next Twilight Workshop TONIGHT at Allandale Farm

There's still time to register for our next Twilight Grower Workshop tonight at Allandale Farm in Brookline! Farmer Mike will lead us on a tour of the farm, talking about the unique challenges and opportunities they have working in an urbanized setting. We'll also have time for questions, and snacks and drinks at the end for everyone to chat over! The event kicks off at 6, so come on down if you can!

SEMAP Twilight events are free and open to all; commercial farmers are especially encouraged to attend. On-site childcare will be available at this and all Twilight events, and a licensed mental health counselor will also be available to talk through farm stressors privately.

Register Today

We've got more Twilight Workshops lined up through the fall, so if you can't make it tonight, be sure to join us at any or all of these future events:

All SEMAP Twilight events are free to all, but we ask that folks register in advance whenever possible. Hope to see you out there!

View & Sign Up for the Whole Twilight Series

Support Farmers Affected by Flooding and Extreme Weather

Recent extreme weather events have had devastating impacts for farmers across the state and the entire northeast, threatening our local food system in the immediate and long term. As farms grapple with these severe conditions and map their recovery, you can support the folks directly affected by these events.

The folks at CISA have compiled a list of emergency relief funds for local farms, as well as active GoFundMe's for individual farms trying to rebuild from this year's flooding. You can find the entire list on their website.

Included on this list is the MA Farm Resiliency Fund, an initiative of United Way of Central Massachusetts designed to both support farms now and develop long-term potential to respond to future disasters. Read more about this program and donate directly here.

Please consider supporting these farms and farmers in whatever way you can. Continue shopping locally at nearby farms, markets and grocers, and talk to friends, neighbors and elected officials about the value of local food.

MA Farm Relief Fund
CISA GoFundMe List

SEMAP Hosts MDAR Commissioner, Staff, State Legislators on Farm Tour

On Wednesday, July 26, the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) led Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner Ashley Randle and staff, alongside State Representatives Paul Schmid, Steven Howitt and Norman Orrall, on a tour of local farms in Berkley, Dighton and Rehoboth.

Read the full release on our website now by clicking the button below.

Read The Release

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.

  • Existing Dairy Processor Expansion Grant: To assist Northeast dairy processors in acquiring specialized equipment to increase processing capacity through volume expansion and existing product line expansion.
  • Deadline: August 24th

  • Dairy Packaging Innovation Grant: To decrease environmental impacts of dairy product and supply chain packaging and increase marketability of Northeast dairy products.
  • Deadline: August 24th
View More Grants

SEMAP Business Member Updates

Late Summer CSA Shares Available from The Neighborhood Farm in Westport

Looking for more tasty, local produce to finish out the summer months? The Neighborhood Farm has late summer farm shares available to get you through the harvest season! Offering small and large options - check them out and buy yours today, plus see the rest of the goods in their online store.

To find more CSA options across southeastern MA, check out our online CSA Guide, part of our virtual Local Food Guide!

Shop Neighborhood Farm

Bogside Acres Seeking Event Assistant for

Bogside Acres in Plympton is seeking event assistant for the Barn on Bensons Pond!

As they welcome more guests and events to the Barn and cranberry bogs (farm) for summer and autumn 2023, they are seeking a person or persons to assist us with special events, weddings and seasonal agritourism events. Most events will take place on Saturdays but seasonal availability to work weekends, Friday – Sunday, mid-July through end of October is preferred.

Ideal person will be capable of both individual work as well as assisting in a collaborative manner with the family-owned agritourism and events operation. Must find satisfaction in providing a great guest experience at the Cranberry Bogs and Barn. Resourceful, strong, and not afraid to lend a hand to the un-

glamorous side of set-up, clean up, overall attention to detail and all the event fun in-between.

Preference will be placed on a candidate able to commit to Saturday 8/12, 8/19 and autumn weekends September – through end of October.

Compensation based on experience and skills and will be treated as a 1099 position with compensation paid based on an hourly rate of $22+/hour. Meal and/or snacks included by the Barn/our vendors for any event/day that exceeds 4 hours.

Must have reliable transportation. Ability to lift 40 lbs unassisted.

Hours would be more sporadic in the summer before gearing up for our peak season in Autumn. Interested applicants should contact Erin Williams via email at [email protected].

Farmer News and Updates

38th Massachusetts Tomato Contest on August 22!

The 38th Annual Massachusetts The 38th Annual Massachusetts Tomato ContestContest will be held on Tuesday, August 22, again at Boston Public Market. Tomatoes will be judged by a panel of experts on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape.

The contest is sponsored by the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and Mass Farmers’ Markets and hosted by the Boston Public Market Association. This friendly contest is open to commercial tomato growers and is designed to increase consumer’s awareness of local agriculture.

Each farm entry is required to submit a registration form, which explains all the tomato categories details.

Farmers in southeastern MA who would like to enter but cannot bring their tomatoes to Boston can bring them to Bristol Aggie High School. Contact Shannon Hickey for drop-off details, either by email at [email protected] or via phone 781-908-4466.

Learn More and Register

Public Hearing on Deer Control Amendments with Mass Fish and Wildlife

The MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will hold a hybrid public hearing on Tuesday, August 15 at 1 p.m. This hearing will focus on proposed regulatory amendments extending the dates for deer archery season in Zones 1-9. This hearing will also include the Board's August monthly business meeting.

Interseted folks can attend the meeting virtually via zoom or in-person at the DFW Field Headquarters in Westborough.

Learn More

Farm Leadership And Communication Workshops August 8, 15

UVM's Farm Labor Dashboard’s 2023 workshop series continues this summer with virtual sessions to help you address leadership, management, and communication challenges during the growing season.

This two-part workshop series will help folks identify their communication and management preferences and practical ways to use them to build and retain an productive farm crew. Registration is due by August 3, so sign up today!

Learn more and Register

USDA-FSA Disaster Declarations Open to MA Farmers

USDA Secretary Vilsack has announced two disaster declarations for Massachusetts, opening up emergency loans for farmers impacted by extreme weather events across the state.

Farmers in Bristol, Plymouth and Norfolk counties affected by the freeze on May 17-18 or by the heavy rains and flooding from July 9-16 can apply for relief in recovery until March 2024. Details on each declaration can be found below.

Freeze Relief
Flood Relief

Health Connector For Business Info Session for Small Businesses, 9/6

On September 6th at 12PM, join the Health Connector for Business team for a FREE virtual info session on health insurance options available to small employers and their employees.

Health Connector for Business offers an easy way to provide health insurance that’s affordable for your business and your employees. This webinar is a great opportunity for farmers to learn about the process and see how they might be able to provide insurance options to their staff.

If you are interested in learning more,. register today using the button below.

Register Now

Farmland Available in Southeastern MA - Dartmouth, Whitman

The Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) is seeking proposals from individuals, groups, businesses, and/or non-profit institutions for the lease of farmland at two properties in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. DNRT wishes to keep the farmland in agricultural use and is interested in proposals that will maintain or improve the agricultural viability of the land.

Submit all bidder questions to [email protected]. Proposals are due in the DNRT Office (318 Chase Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747) by 9:00 AM on Monday, November 6, 2023. DNRT intends to notify applicants of its decision before December 1, 2023.

View the RFP

After many successful decades, the owners of Peaceful Meadows Ice Cream have decided to close their business and offer up their land at auction. The property has been divided up into two parcels. Lot 1 includes the ice cream stand, barns, home/offices and equipment, and Lot 2 includes roughly 55 acres of agricultural land. The auction will be held on Tuesday, August 29 at 11 a.m., with a viewing of the property on Tuesday, August 22.

Find more information from the auctioneers, JJ Manning, through the link below.

Read More

Want even more farmer-facing news? Check out SEMAP's latest Farmer Newsletter.

Subscribe to SEMAP's Farmer Newsletter here.

Buy Local News

Take the Eat Local Southcoast Challenge!

Want to test your will, form new food purchasing and eating habits, and have fun while doing it? Join the Eat Local Southcoast Challenge! Marion institute and the Southcoast Food Policy Council challenge YOU to eat food from a 200-mile radius for 30 days, August 1 - 31, 2023.

When you register for the Eat Local Southcoast Challenge, you will receive weekly emails full of tips and resources, including:

Where to find local food and how to cook it;

Learn about "The Journey of Food in the Southcoast” through suggested resources;

Share your experiences with other participants via social media using the hashtags #EatLocalSouthcoast and #EatLocalSoCo and be sure to tag Marion Institute;

Get involved in the local food system through volunteer opportunities.

Invite your family and friends to join you in the Eat Local Southcoast Challenge and let's #EatLocalSouthcoast together!

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

Register Now

National Farmers' Market Week is Next Week!

National Farmers' Market Week is here! Farmers' Market Coalition is again excited to host this annual celebration highlighting the vital role farmers' markets play in our nation’s food system.

They have prepared a handy toolkit for market managers to promote their market and the importance of farmers' markets all week long, including tips for online messaging, materials to explain the importance of markets and more! You can use the button below to view the toolkit. Market Managers, be sure to tag SEMAP in all of your Farmers' Market Week posts so we can spotlight your market!

For shoppers, we've also got our guide of local farmers' markets on our website, so be sure to find your nearest market and support them during Farmers' Market Week - and every week! When you celebrate Farmers' Market Week, be sure to tag SEMAP and your local market in any posts you share!

View the Toolkit
Find Your  Local Market

South Shore Food Bank Hunger Games Cornhole Tournament, August 19

Want to show off your cornhole skills and support a good cause? Sign up for the South Shore Food Bank's Hunger Games Cornhole Tournament, happening on Saturday, August 19 at Stellwagen Beer Company! Team entry fee is $50, and the day will include local food trucks, a raffle, and more!

All proceeds benefit the South Shore Bank. The South Shore Food Bank is part of a united community effort to bring food, dignity and hope to our South Shore neighbors, and acts as a hub for a network of food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters supported by Greater Boston Food Bank. Folks who cannot attend are welcome to make a donation to the food bank instead.

Sign Up Today

U-Pick Sunflowers Now Open at Golden Hour Farm in Berkley

It is officially sunflower season, which means it's time to get out and find a local farm to visit and get some amazing flowers! Golden Hour Tulips has U-Pick Sunflower tickets available for their new location in Berkley. The farm is open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and each ticket gets you 5 U-Pick sunflowers. Tickets must be purchased online in advance, so head to their website and book your visit today!

You can find sunflowers at farms across southeastern Massachusetts this year, including from Anawan Farm in Rehoboth, Holly Hill Farm in Cohassett, and Langwater Farm in Easton!

Golden Hour U-Pick Tickets

East Bridgewater Community Garden Harvest Fest on Saturday, 8/26

Come join in a celebration of locally grown food at East Bridgewater Community Garden on Saturday, August 26! This event will feature many of our favorite local, seasonal treats - tasty garlic, fresh tomatoes, and more!

EBCG, located at Sachem Rock Farm in East Bridgewater, aims to provide the community with fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers by bringing people together to share knowledge and space. Learn more about their work by clicking the button below. They currently manage 22 rental plots on 1/4 acre, including two plots dedicated to growing for local pantries and another set aside for pollinators.

Learn More

Soule Homestead Farm to Table Dinner On August 19

Soule Homestead is excited to once again host their annual Farm to Table Dinner on Saturday, August 19 from 4-8 p.m. Come enjoy pork raised at Soule and poultry from Revival Farm, as well as locally sourced produce from Teedlebug Farm and C.N. Smith Farm. Crooked Barn Flower Farm is also providing some beautiful flowers for the evening.

All proceeds support the farm and educational programing at Soule Homestead. Ticket prices will increase two weeks out from the event (Aug 5) and close the week prior (Aug 12). Don’t miss out on this wonderful evening of food and community!

Reserve Your Seat
For even more local food and farm happenings, check out our event calendar.

What We're Reading

We are excited to share with you two books from author Chris Smaje this month, both focused on how we can protect our small farms and presenting a model for a resilient, more local food economy for the future.

First, we want to share "A Small farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity and a Shared Earth." While that is a mouthful of a title, this book is well worth the time. Smaje, a farmer and social scientists, lays out his theory for how to reorganize ourselves around small-scale, local agriculture in order to address the myriad crises facing our world today.

Second, we have "Saying No to a Farm-Free Future: The Case an Ecological Food System and Against Manufactures Foods," published earlier this year. A follow-up to "A Small Farm Future," Smaje challenges the idea that we should solve our issues through strictly urbanizing and industrializing our world and food system, as other folks have suggested. Smaje proposes again the importance of a society organized at the community level around small scale production, rather than the manufacture-oriented alternatives that some have presented.

Smaje also runs a small blog on his website, which is a great read for those who like to think about food systems issues from the big, theoretical level as well as considering the real-world challenges we are all working to solve.

What are you listening to or reading this growing season? Have a favorite podcast for working in the field? Any books that have inspired your work or thinking? Let us know! We are always looking for your recommendations. Send any suggestions to [email protected].

Learn More About Chris
What's in Season?

Fresh crops are here in Southeastern Massachusetts! As farm stands and markets get rolling and CSAs are underway, keep your eyes open for some of our favorite local foods, including:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Collards
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce & Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Radish
  • Raspberries
  • Scallions
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash
And don't forget about year-round local products like meat, dairy, eggs, and seafood! We hope this helps you plan recipes and get the most out of local food!
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]

Plant Science/Landscape Foremen at Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton

Event Assistant at Bogside Acres in Plympton

Farm Manager at Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth

Field Agents at Land For Good in Maine and Southeast New England

Director of Agriculture at Gaining Ground in Concord

Jobs Page
Become a SEMAP Member
Renew Your SEMAP Membership or Become a Member Today!
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...
  • Premium Space in Vine Newsletter
  • Discounts to events like the Ag & Food Conference
  • Special member listing in our Local Food Guide
  • Dry-erase "Buy Fresh Buy Local" price cards

Membership is available at several levels for businesses and individuals. Come join us!
See All Members & Benefits
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S. Dartmouth, MA 02748 
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