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The Vine - July 2023

Photo at Tiani Gardens in Rehoboth

Dear Friends,

We hope you all had a happy Fourth of July, and enjoyed some local meat and veggies at your barbecue or other celebration. We've already gotten our fair share of rain this season, a much different experience than last year, showing us again how unpredictable our climate has become and how difficult it can be for farmers to prepare for yearly changes.

This month, we have another Twilight Workshop event at Revival Farm and Bogside Acres in Plympton, coming up on Thursday, July 20. This event will be all about pasture-raised meat production, lead by two incredible female farmers! More information on this and future Twilights is available later in this email, as well as in our Events Calendar on our website, which includes even more farm and food events across Southeastern MA and beyond.

Through the rest of July, you can find even more ways to stay in touch with local farmers and producers. Markets are in full swing, conferences and networking events are bringing stakeholders together, and farms everywhere are hosting family-fun events to give everyone a chance to enjoy a day (or night!) on the farm. Check it all out in this month's newsletter - we're sure there's something for you in here!


James Lehner

Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Twilight Series Continues This Month in Plympton!

Our next Twilight Our next Twilight Grower WorkshopWorkshop is just under 2 weeks away! Come join SEMAP in Plympton on Thursday, July 20th as we're led by the farmers at Plympton Poultry, Revival Farm, and Bogside Acres. We'll learn about their pasture-raised livestock, demonstrate their chicken tractor and mobile fencing, and address the challenge of raising livestock on leased, non-contiguous farmland. Bring your questions, your own livestock experiences, and your muck boots!

SEMAP Twilight events are free and open to all; commercial farmers are especially encouraged to attend. Registration ahead of time is strongly encouraged, but walk ins will be welcome. On-site childcare will be available at this and all Twilight events - please use the registration page to indicate if you are bringing children with you. A licensed mental health counselor will also be available to talk through farm stressors privately.

Register Today

Can't make it this time? Not a problem! Our Twilight Series will continue throughout the summer and fall, as we continue to bring farmers together to learn from one another and connect with each other during the season. Check out these upcoming workshops, which you can register for now!

  • August 3: Tight Space Farming at Allandale Farm
  • 259 Allandale Rd, Brookline
  • 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Take an urban farm tour and talk about the unique challenges and opportunities of farming in urban and dense suburban areas! Then stick around for a small social element on this beautiful property.

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

NOFA Summer Conference, July 24-29! Tickets On Sale Now!

The NOFA Summer Conference is the annual summer gathering of the Northeast Organic Farming Association

NOFA is a non-profit organization of over 5,000 small-scale farmers, gardeners, consumers and food system reformers. They promote healthy food, organic regenerative farming practices, and climate disruption solutions through soil management strategies

The theme for this year's Conference is Buen Vivir: Celebrating Harmony with Nature and our Communities.

Buen Vivir is a contemporary philosophy rooted in Indigenous Andean traditions of collective care, land stewardship and harmonious co-existence.

Monday, July 24 - Thursday July 27, with evening speakers and workshops. On Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29, the conference will gather in person at Worcester State University and online for knowledge sharing and celebration through: 

• Workshops and discussions in English & Spanish
• Racial equity caucus groups
• Children’s programming
• Local food & drinks
• A fair!

Find out more about the conference, keep up with workshop announcements, and register on their website today!
Register Today

Farmland Available for Lease in Dartmouth, MA Through DNRT

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. The parcels available include approximately 5 acres of land at Destruction Brook Woods Reserve on Slades Corner Road and approximately 14 acres of land at Helfand Farm, located on Chase Road. Interested parties may propose to use the entirety of the available acres at Helfand Farm, or only a portion. The term of the lease would be from approximately December 15, 2023 to December 15, 2033. Applicants can apply for a lease at one or both properties.

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.

All bidder questions must be submitted in writing to DNRT will provide written responses on this webpage. 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

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.

  • Local Meat Capacity Grant: To provide more and better processing options for local livestock producers by modernizing, increasing, diversifying and decentralizing meat and poultry processing capacity.
  • Deadline: July 19th

  • 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

Shady Corner Farm Seeking Land for Compost
Shady Corner Farm is looking for 5-10+ acres of land on a certified organic farm to expand their compost business. They are open to Eastern MA broadly, but prefer to be within a 45-minute drive from their current land in Sherborn. The property should be accessible by vehicles, or you should be open to creating accessibility. Shady Corner is willing to enter a short or long-term lease. Looking for easy access to finished compost? Email Grisha at if you might be interested!

Summer 2023 Edition of Edible SEMA Out Now!

In the newest edition of Edible SEMA, blueberries, mulberries, and beach plums share the center stage during these summer months. Fresh for picking and ready for eating, these fruits will be the stars in your desserts and beverages, creating new summer memories for your family and friends. Want to make your day hotter? Try two different jambalaya recipes, with or without fresh okra, then cool down with some palate-soothing vinegar-based desserts. Vanilla ice cream dressed with blueberry vinegar, anyone?

And please join Edible in recognizing and celebrating Gaspar’s 100th anniversary—the nation’s largest Portuguese sausage producer! Read about the 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation family members now all working at the company (an astonishing feat for any family-run business) and learn how Gaspar’s stays current while maintaining its century-old traditions and recipes.

The new column, The BUZZ, will catch you up on locavore news and positive developments in SEMA-land.

So bask in the sun, sip in the shade, and nosh on the porch. You have plenty of options to keep the summer lasting way past Labor Day. It is all waiting for you. The forecast for the summer is berry good!

Pick up a copy, read it online, or subscribe today. 

Read the Virtual Issue

Upcoming Hearing for State Bill on Food Literacy Education

Interested in a public school system that prioritizes regional food system education? We sure are! On July 18th, there will be a hearing of the Joint Committee on Education on An Act to promote food literacy (S.310 / H.601), a bill that would enable the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop statewide curriculum teaching students about food systems and their impact on nutrition, community, climate change, justice, and more.

Legislative hearings include the opportunity for public comment, both aloud and written. We'll be there in-person to offer testimony about what this bill could mean for developing a consumer base that's educated about local food. We hope to see some of you there! If you can't make it, you can always offer written testimony instead. The Massachusetts Food System Collaborative offers suggested language for written testimony. There also is likely to be the chance to testify virtually if you can't make it into Boston.

Mark your calendars and stay tuned to our social media for information about what time the hearing will be on Tuesday, July 18th!

Read the Bill
View the Committee

Pembroke Farmers' Market Survey for Farmers and Producers

A group of community members in Pembroke is working to establish a new farmers' market for next season, and they are seeking input from local producers to get things started. They are trying to assess the level of interest of local producers participating in the market, once it has been developed. 

Providing answers to these questions will help gather information & in no way obligates you to participate.

For folks in the Pembroke area, there will also be a Community Meeting on Wednesday, July 19 to discuss plans, visions and updates on the market. This meeting will be held at Pembroke Public Library beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Be sure to follow the market on Facebook to keep up with their work and find more ways to support this new market!

Take the Survey
7/19 Community Meeting

Open Gate Farm Poultry Hatching Eggs Available

Our friends at Open Gate Farm in Westport now have hatching eggs available for backyarders, homesteaders, and farm operations alike! Farmer Katie raises and breeds rare and heritage-breed chickens and peafowl. This recent restock includes Black Copper Marans, American Bresse, Splash and Blue Ameraucana, Mosaics, Olive Eggers, and Rainbow Dozens. All orders come with an instructional guide and two extra eggs. Order now for local pick-up or shipping!

Learn More & Order

New Fibershed Resources for Fiber Producers

Fibershed has built a new resource library for fiber producers nationwide. In it, you can find everything from farmer resources and climate change notes to regional textile systems and marketing tips! They'll also share community events and networking opportunities for folks in the fiber space. Fibershed is a non-profit organization working to advance local fiber through consumer education, producer support, and advocacy. They have an active Southeastern New England chapter.

Check It Out

Virtual Beekeeper Networking Event, July 24

Certified Naturally Grown is hosting a free virtual beekeeper meet-up this month, a great opportunity to connect with natural apiaries across the country. This month’s meet-up is dedicated to connecting "beeks" with a passion for raising healthy colonies with natural chemical-free methods. The event is open to all, regardless of certification or methods.

Registration is free but required to attend.

Register Now

UMass Survey on Freeze Damage for Orchards and Vineyards

The freeze events of February 3-4 and May 18, 2023, had significant

impacts on agricultural sectors including tree fruits, berries, vegetables, ornamentals, and others. Now that losses are evident for most crops, UMass Extension hopes to generate timely reporting on losses at the state and regional levels. If you produce agricultural crops (including nursery stock) and you experienced crop losses due to the February 3-4 deep freeze and/or the May 18th freeze, please report them by filling out this survey by July 31.survey by July 31.

Take Survey

Networking Meetings for Livestock Producers

Please join The Livestock Institute of Southern New England for their in-person and virtual summer networking meetings!

Since opening in 2018, Meatworks has strived to offer small farm customers a consistent, affordable and safe product. Working with customers to better operations is essential to the future of the regional plant. Your input is important! Join them for constructive conversation around processing for small farms and the future of Meatworks, as well as to connect with regional livestock producers. Light refreshments will be served.

  • Tuesday, July 11th at 4:30pm – Dartmouth Grange Hall
  • Monday, August 14th at 4:30pm – Norfolk Aggie in Walpole
  • Monday, August 21st at 6:30pm – online
Register Now

8-Week Online Crop Production Course for Aspiring & Beginning Farmers

Interested in starting your own farm business but need to learn technical skills to get started? New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's Crop Production Course may be for you! This is an online course beginning July 12th and continuing each Wednesday through August. Held 5:30-7pm each week, participants will learn how to grow fruits and vegetables, care for the soil, manage nutrients, weeds, and pests, buy and maintain equipment, and more! There will be one optional hands-on session in Beverly, where you can connect with fellow beginning farmers and service providers.

The course costs $395 and scholarships and discounts are available to those who need it. Please direct any questions to

Learn More & Register

New Report on Building A Resilient Regional Food System

We all experienced what happens when we rely on an unstable global supply chain. Remember rationing food at the height of the pandemic? Becoming more self-reliant requires expanding our food supply chains, building up our infrastructure, and shifting control of our land and sea resources. In return, it can mean more local jobs, a competitive business environment, and a more predictable food system that is less susceptible to interruption like natural disasters and public health emergencies. A new report from New England Food System Planners tells us what it will take.

Massachusetts can be a model for making our food system self-reliant and sustainable, but we can't do it alone. Together with our New England neighbors, we can plan for the future and rely less on a global food supply chain. Read the report now by clicking the button below.

Read the Report

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

Subscribe to SEMAP's Farmer Newsletter here.

Buy Local News

Farmers' Markets Are Back! Find Your Local Market and Shop Today!

The 2023 Local Food Guide is out now! You can find copies at farm stands, farmers' markets, local grocers and community centers across Southeastern Massachusetts, some make sure to pick up your issue ASAP. For those who can't wait until they get their hands on the new book, you can head over to our website now to find our full Virtual Guide! This includes listings for every farm, market and other business we have in out print Guide, and includes important information like which vendors in region accept SNAP and HIP!

If you would like to receive copies of the Guide to distribute at your business or event, please click here to fill out our priority order form. Guides come in boxes of 60, so be sure to request as many as you think you will need - reorders can be requested throughout the season as well!

View the Virtual Guide

Get Ready for National Farmers' Market Week, August 6-12!

Farmers Market Coalition is helping you get ready for National Farmers' Market Week, happening this year between August 6-12! Now in its 24th year, National Farmers Market Week is an annual celebration that highlights the vital role farmers markets play in our nation’s food system. With fun events, programs, contests, activities, and more, the week helps to boost market attendance and visibility, and is a great opportunity to showcase how much value markets bring to their communities. 

To help get you ready for the week, FMC has made a handy toolkit for market managers to promote their market and National Farmers' Market Week. This includes tips for messaging around markets, materials to explain the importance of markets and more! You can use the button below to view the toolkit. 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!

View the Toolkit
Find Your  Local Market

Family Campout at Osamequin Farm, July 20

Osamequin Farm is excited to bring back Family Campout for a second summer!

The afternoon will be busy with drop in crafts and nature play. Then there will be dinner at campsites, and come back together for a bonfire and s'mores before climbing into tents for the night. In the morning we'll share a blueberry pancake feast featuring berries from their Pick Your Own field!

Come with your kiddos and invite your friends -- this is a summer experience you won't want to miss!

Full details and registration on their website.

Register Today

Round the Bend Open Farm Days Continue

Mark your calendars for Round The Bend Farm's next Open Farm Day, July 15! Agripreneurs Geoff Kinder of Paradox Acres & Joshua Swaye will be hosting a special FREE, hands-on workshop at 11am about pigs and their relationship to compost on the farm. The pigs that live at RTB play an important role in helping cut out food waste. Pigs are not able to eat plate waste because humans can transmit sickness to them, however, they are able to eat prep waste from the commercial kitchen. Open Farm Days also include family-friendly tours, a seasonal veggie and meat market, kids activities for all ages, and more!

Learn More

Public Screening of "Root Hog Or Die" At Weatherlow Farms in Westport

The Westport Summer Film Series by the Westport Cultural Council is back for Summer 2023 with four screenings July through September. The first event, held on July 19, will feature a screening of 1973's "Root Hog or Die," which follows the annual cycle of the farming year in Western MA and Vermont. The film will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and local farming experts.

This event and the following two will be held at Weatherlow Farms' beautiful post-and-beam functions facility. Beer, wine and refreshments will be available. Doors open at 6 PM, the films start at 7 PM. Seating is limited, please click on the button below to reserve your seats.

Buy Tickets

Farm Fresh RI Farmers' Markets for 2023 Season

Farm Fresh RI is again running several markets in the Providence area and beyond this season, bringing fresh, local food to our neighbors over the Rhode Island border! Seasonal markets are open at Armory Park, Broad Street, Neutaconkanut Park in Providence, as well as in West Warwick and Woonsocket! They will also continue to run their year-round market at FFRI, located at 10 Sims Ave in Providence.

All Farm Fresh farmers markets are open rain or shine! In the case of severe weather or unsafe conditions, cancellations will be posted on Instagram and Facebook. Follow @farmfreshri to stay informed.

Learn More

Protect Your Poultry from Predators!

Predators killing chickens and damaging coops is becoming a major source of wildlife conflict in Massachusetts. Learn how you can take action to protect your poultry by reading this article from the MA Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. It includes helpful tips for backyard chicken safety from all sorts of predators, and is sure to be useful for anyone raising their own small flock at home.

From the article: "As backyard chicken farming has increased in popularity across the Bay State, conflict with wildlife has also greatly increased. The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) and the Environmental Police receive calls daily about predators taking chickens or breaking into coops. Any poultry that is unprotected, including free range chickens, are viewed as part of the natural food chain and will make an easy meal for predators like coyotes, black bears, foxes, fisher, birds of prey, and more."

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy. For more advice on how to prevent or address damage from wildlife, please contact your nearest MassWildlife District Office.

Read The Article
For even more local food and farm happenings, check out our event calendar.

What We're Watching

This month's recommended viewing is a bit of a heavy subject, but we feel its one worth highlighting. Last month, Vice released a special report in the form of a documentary film called "Toxic Farmland," which tells the story of Grostic Farm in Brighton, Michigan and their struggles with PFAS contamination. Like many farmers across the country, the Grostic family are dealing with the impacts of forever chemicals on their farmland and in their products, and the inconsistent regulations around PFAS that continue to hurt local agriculture. You can watch the documentary film through ViceTV or on their Youtube page for free.

The Grostic Farm story is a painful one, but one we've heard before many times. We are still only at the tip of the iceberg for understanding the effects of PFAS, but what we know now is already daunting: these chemicals are poisonous, and they are here to stay. Farmers today are facing the repercussions for decisions made decades ago by chemical manufacturers, who have yet to be held accountable.

While this is scary stuff, there are people working on solutions for our farming community. There are currently several bills in the MA state legislature regarding PFAS, including "An Act Protecting Our Soils and Farms from PFAS Contamination." SEMAP encourages everyone to look at this bill and contact your local representatives about the importance of farm-focused PFAS legislation.

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

Read the Article
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:

  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce & Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Radish
  • Raspberries
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
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

TerraCorps Youth Education Coordinator at Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset

Food Access Program Manager at CISA in South Deerfield

Food Hub Operations Coordinator at Coastal Foodshed in New Bedford

Farmer Training Senior Program Administrator at New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in Beverly

Assistant Livestock Manager at The Trustees' Weir River Farm in Hingham

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
PO Box 80625
S. Dartmouth, MA 02748 
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