The Vine - July 2022
Photo at Moonlight Rose Alpacas in Swansea
Dear Friends,

Happy belated solstice! Summer is finally here, which means the growing season is now in full swing. Farmers' markets across the region are open, many of our favorite crops are available fresh, and farms across Southeastern Massachusetts are lush with color and life.

Our Local Food Guide is finally complete and available online! We will soon be distributing print copies throughout the region as well, bringing them to farm stands, farmers' markets and any place where we can reach people looking for local food. If you're interested in ordering copies to be delivered to your business (for free!), complete this order form!

This past month, we kicked off our Twilight Grower Series with great success! Thank you so much to our gracious hosts, Elliot Farm and Moonlight Rose Alpacas, our guest experts from UMass Extension, and everyone who joined us in the fields! We hope you can join as future events, including on July 21 at Weatherlow Farms! You can read more about that and other Twilight events on our website and further on in the newsletter.

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
Twilight Series Returns With Great Success!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first two Twilight Grower Skillshares of the year! We had such great turnout for these events, the first we've hosted since 2019!

We are tremendously grateful to our hosts, Elliot Farm in Lakeville and Moonlight Rose Alpacas in Swansea, for sharing their time, space and expertise. We also want to thank the folks from UMass Extension who joined us at Elliot Farm to share their insights and resources. You can see photos and highlights from both events on our website now!
Our next Twilight Event will be a soil health skillshare at Weatherlow Farm on Thursday, July 21, where we'll be joined by folks from NOFA/Mass to talk about soil science in greenhouse microbiomes. Be sure to check out the Twilight Series page on our website for the most up-to-date information on events and registration.
C&C Reading Farm Available for Sale
Our dear friends and longtime Southeastern MA farmers Peter and Lynn Reading have decided to retire from their business and sell their farm in West Bridgewater. The Readings are working with LandVest, and you can view the listing for the farm on their website. The property includes the farm stand, barn, sheds and greenhouses. Site visits can be scheduled through the LandVest webpage.

We are sad to see the Readings go and wish them all the best in their retirement!
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.

  • Cranberry Bog Renovation Grant: To enhance the efficiency of bogs and the business & environmental sustainability of cranberry operations.
  • Deadline: July 22nd

  • Massachusetts Gap Energy Grant: To bring mostly-funded energy efficiency projects to the finish line, reducing energy usage & operating costs and improving the environment.
  • Deadline: July 29th

  • 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
News For Farmers and
Food Professionals
State Land Available for License in Lakeville
The MDAR property on the former Taunton State Hospital land has three parcels back up for lease. The parcels are shown in the map as Field 2 (8.4 acres), Field 3 (8.2 acres), and Field 7 (4.3 acres). Soils are classified as prime and state important. Applicants may bid on any number of the parcels. The application is due by 3 p.m. on July 15.

SEMAP has been working closely with farmers already using the property, and are happy to provide support for growers who pursue and are potentially accepted for any of these parcels. For support with the application or afterwards, please contact
Farmers Market Coalition Seeking Market Managers for Nutrition Incentive Review Board
Do you have experience in accepting SNAP and offering nutrition incentives at your market? Are you interested in sharing your knowledge and experience with a wider field? The Farmers Market Coalition is seeking operators with experience in implementing nutrition incentive programs to advise their team as part of the Nutrition Incentive Review Board as they create resources to support market operators. This is a commitment of a few hours monthly, and all participants are compensated!
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.

Ticket prices increase after July 15, so make sure you sign up as soon as possible.
MDAR Bee Team Holding Next Monthly Meeting July 9

Join the Mass Department of Agriculture Apiary Program next Saturday, July 9 from 10-12 for their next Honey Bee Education Day! The event will be at both state apiaries, at the UMass Amherst ALC and Essex Aggie in Danvers. This month's theme is "Pests, Parasites, Pathogens."

All MDAR Bee Team Events are free and open to the public, with no registration required. Events are held regardless of weather so join them rain or shine.
NOFA Summer Conference Registration Now Open

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."

Over 60 educational workshops, panel discussions, roundtables and a keynote session, a conference for children, entertainment opportunities and more. Tickets are on sale now, and scholarships are also available.
Farm Credit East Seeking Photo 2023 Calendar

Farm Credit East is looking for photos of modern agriculture in the northeast for their Agricultural Views calendar for 2023. Winning photos selected for the calendar will also be awarded $100. Additional prizes of $25 will be awarded.

Only digital photos will be accepted, and must be taken in New England, New York or New Jersey. The deadline for submissions is July 31. More details can be found on their website, including how to enter.
Free Article: "Summer Lettuce Lessons from Southern Growers"
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, Kentucky-based vegetable farmer and freelance journalist Jesse Frost brings us "Summer Lettuce Lessons from Southern Growers." Lettuce and the summer heat do not often get along, but there many farmers in some of the hottest parts of our country finding ways to continue growing in the most adverse conditions. Jesse covers all aspects of lettuce growing, from germination and planting to shading and harvest, all through conversations with other farmers who are using these practices.
We hope you enjoy this month's article - and if you do, you can find more of Jesse's work through his website, where you can order his new book, "The Living Soil Handbook: The No-Till Grower's Guide to Ecological Market Gardening." You can also listen to his podcast, "The No-Till Market Garden Podcast," which we have more information on below!
Want even more farmer-facing news? Check out SEMAP's latest Farmer Newsletter.
Subscribe to SEMAP's Farmer Newsletter here.
Buy Local News
July is National Blueberry Month! Find Some Local Berries Today!
Berry season has arrived! Some of our favorite treats are finally available at many of our local farms, and what better way to celebrate than with National Blueberry Month! Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants, which help to relieve oxidative stress, as well as vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.

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:

If you're looking to find new farms, or farms with certain crops, be sure to check out the MassGrown Map from MDAR. It is a great tool which allows to search and sort by region, town, crop and other important information. Be sure to also check out SEMAP's virtual Local Food Guide!
American Farmland Trust Presents Farms Under Threat 2040 for MA, CT, RI
American Farmland Trust has released their digital report Farms Under Threat 2040: Choosing an Abundant Future, detailing the potential future of development impacts on farmland across the country. The report covers extensive research on how development patterns and farmland protection intertwined, with urban and suburban sprawl increasingly chipping away at valuable farmland across the country. The full report is available online, and we highly encourage folks to read it.

Over the next few months, AFT will host state- and region-specific webinars to discuss the specific findings and impacts across the country. On September 9, join AFT for the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island webinar to learn more about farmland protections in our region.
Food Advocacy Training from SFPC, July 7 at 12 p.m.

After a successful year of legislative advocacy, the Southcoast Food Policy Council is hosting a training session to share insights and skills on their work and process. This will include An Introduction to Advocacy, Skill Building, and Practicing Your Skills. The training will be presented by Rebecca Miller of MA Food System Collaborative.
Friends of Holly Hill Farm Offering Summer Education Programs
SEMAP-Member Holly Hill Farm still has availability in several of their summer education programs. Sessions run for either full or half weeks, and are available for kids anywhere between third and ninth grade. Courses include Art in Nature, Farm Education Engineering and Design, and of course, Farming!
Celebrate Ice Cream Month with Local Dairy Products!

July is National Ice Cream Month, and what better way to celebrate than with some great local treats? Southeastern MA has several great dairy producers and ice cream makers, including The Ice Cream Barn at Baker Farm, Hornstra Dairy Farm, and Crescent Ridge Dairy. Make sure you take some time this month and treat yourself to some delicious local ice cream, and be sure to ask for that extra scoop!
Virtual Rally to Fight Food Waste, Food Insecurity July 12

Join FoodTank for a rally and press conference to fight food waste and insecurity through the Food Donation Improvement Act on July 12. They will be hosting an in-person breakfast briefing and lunch training in Washington, D.C, but virtual attendance is also available for free. The event will also feature comments from MA-02 Congressman Jim McGovern
MDAR Hiring for Two Positions in APR Program
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is currently hiring for two positions which work with the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) Program. Both roles are seeking applicants who are passionate about farmland protection and preservation, and have strong knowledge of agricultural practices.

Farmland Preservation Specialist: This position is within the Acquisition branch and combines telework, field work, and office work. The Farmland Preservation Specialist will report to the APR Acquisition Coordinator and is primarily responsible for identifying, cultivating, planning, managing and coordinating APR farmland restriction acquisitions. See full details.

APR Stewardship Planner: The position is within the Stewardship branch and combines telework, field work, and office work. The APR Stewardship Planner will report to the Agricultural Land Programs Supervisor and specific duties include communications and outreach, APR monitoring and compliance, recordkeeping, and land acquisitions. See full details.
For even more local food and farm happenings, check out our event calendar.
What We're Listening To
It's a busy time of year for farmers and food business alike, and it might be difficult to find time to sit down with a book these days. Luckily, we have podcasts!

"The No-Till Market Garden Podcast" is the brain child of farmer Jesse Frost, who set out to talk to and learn from no-till farmers about how they run their business. The show started out with simple intentions - described as a "nuts and bolts (and earthworms and microbes) look at how to run a productive, profitable no-till market garden for small and mid-sized farmers." It has since blossomed into several spinoff series.

In the most recent winter growers episode, SEMAP-member Roots Farm in Tiverton are interviewed to discuss their background in farming and some of their growing practices, including movable high tunnels and no-till.

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
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 July, be on the lookout for...
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic scapes
  • Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • 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
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