The Vine - November 2022
Photo at Norfolk Aggie in Walpole
Dear Friends,

We've now moved well into the latter stages of the harvest season. Memories of the dry, hot summer we once faced are replaced suddenly by steady rains, colder air and one last push before winter sets in. Fall is truly proving to be a time of great change, in more ways than one.

Speaking of change, we should perhaps first note the seismic changes underway at SEMAP. This month marks the beginning of a new chapter here, as we seek our next Executive Director to fill the shoes of Karen Schwalbe, who has now officially begun her new role as the Executive Director of Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation. While change is often quite difficult, we also know that it can provide opportunity as well, and we at SEMAP are excited to see what lies ahead of us. The job posting for the Executive Director position is live now, on our website and with details just below in this newsletter, so please give it a look and share it widely.

Similarly in the spirit of change, we are excited to host two events this month aimed at looking ahead at what's to come for our farming community, both on November 17 at Oakes Ames Hall in Easton. First, in the morning and afternoon, we are thrilled to host our Land Transfer and Succession Planning Summit, where we'll be joined by experts to discuss how to overcome some of the challenges faced by folks seeking their own land, and those looking to step away and hand their land off to other farmers. Later that evening, we will convene our Annual Meeting, where we'll discuss all of the work done over the past year, and look ahead at some of our plans for 2023. We hope you can join us for at least some portion of the day!

While we are undergoing this major change at SEMAP, we are still here to support you and your farm business as much as possible. Whatever your needs are, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or Shannon, our Program Coordinator, and we will do all we can to help you or connect with someone who can. We are thrilled to continue working with you all, and look forward to seeing many of you in the near future at our upcoming events!

With gratitude,
James Lehner
Communications & Outreach Coordinator
SEMAP IS HIRING - Executive Director
In case you missed it, SEMAP is currently seeking our next Executive Director. Our goal is to find an organized and dynamic Executive Director with a passion for local farming who can lead our team of two full-time staff; advocate for sustainable agriculture; administer a robust program; and work with a board of directors to develop a plan that will facilitate the long-term growth of agriculture in Southeastern Massachusetts.

We are still accepting applications for this position at this time, and will begin reviewing resumes this month. For more information on the position and application process, you can read the entire job posting on our website.
Of course, this comes amidst the sadder news that our previous Executive Director, Karen Schwalbe, has just begun her new role as Executive Director at Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation. While we are deeply disappointed to lose Karen, we are excited to see her take on this new challenge and continue to support Massachusetts agriculture in this position. To read her full farewell letter, check out our latest blogpost on our website.
SEMAP Annual Meeting and Land Transfer Summit - November 17
Calling all farmland owners & seekers! Join us, Land for Good, and other service providers in Easton on Thursday, November 17 to discuss succession planning, land sale & leasing, and determining which transfer option suits your needs. We'll also hear from farmers & landowners who've been through it before. We'll have a session for land seekers in the morning, one for landowners in the afternoon, and a catered lunch for all! Register Here!

Please note: attendance is offered at a sliding scale of $0–30. Whatever you choose, you will be encouraged to join us for all relevant sessions and our networking lunch. We welcome your participation regardless of your financial contribution!
Later that evening, stick around or come by for SEMAP's Annual Meeting for 2022! Join us (also in Easton) to celebrate SEMAP's accomplishments this year, look ahead to the year to come, and offer your feedback on where we can grow! After a delicious catered dinner, we'll be talking about all the progress we made in the past year, and everything we have in store for 2023.
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.

  • Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops Program: To offer financial assistance for specialty crop operations that incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses related to obtaining or renewing a food safety certification in calendar years in 2022 or 2023.
  • Deadline: January 31st

  • MassDEP Commercial Refrigeration Grant: To increase the adoption of more climate-friendly low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in commercial refrigeration equipment in Massachusetts.
  • Deadline: February 3rd
News For Farmers and
Food Professionals
Twilight Series TONIGHT -
Winter Growing @ Skinny Dip Farm

In case you missed it, there's still time to join us for TONIGHT'S Twilight event, featuring our friends at Skinny Dip Farm! Ben and Hannah have developed their winter production strategy over the past few years, looking to extend their growing season and provide more for their community. They are excited to share some of their results and advice with fellow growers! Come on down to 85 Willow St in Little Compton, RI from 4-6 p.m.!
As always, a big thank you to everyone who joined us at our latest Twilight Event, where we practiced our microscopy and soil testing skills. Special thanks to John and Ruben from NOFA Mass for leading the workshop, and to Norfolk Aggie students and faculty for joining us and allowing us to use their classroom. You can view highlights from this and all of our prior Twilight events on our website, and see the calendar for future events!

Make sure to keep an eye on our Twilights page, as well as our social media, for dates, times, more details, and future event announcements.
ENRA Survey on FSIG Program
The Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture (ENRA) is conducting an online survey in order to increase understanding of the impact of the Food Security Infrastructure Grant (FSIG) and identify areas for program improvement. The committee is hoping to learn how this program benefitted recipients and how it could be improved to better serve applicants and awardees going forward.

Your responses will help assess the program. All information collected will be made confidential and your individual answers will not be linked with your name in any reports. Your participation is voluntary, and should you come across a question you would rather not answer, please feel free to skip it and move on to the next question.

Read the full cover letter from the committee, explaining in more detail the design of the survey, and take the quick survey, to help the FSIG program develop and work better for farmers and our food system in the future.

If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Shannon Emmett, Research Director for the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, at 
UMass Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

UMass Extension will be hosting an in-person Produce Safety Training on Wednesday, November 2, at Brigham Hill Community Farm in Grafton.

This training is ideal for fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. This course will also cover the MA Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP), a voluntary 3rd-party audit program. This training satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement.
NYFC Survey Webinar on Climate and Water, Nov. 2

Every five years, the National Young Farmers Coalition conducts a survey of young farmers across the country to present a clear picture of their challenges and promises and to call for a farm bill that serves the next generation in agriculture.

They will be presenting the results from this survey across a series of webinars, starting this week with a session on Climate and Water on November 2 from 2-3 p.m. This webinar is open to the public, so please feel free to share with your colleagues and anyone else you think may be interested in attending.
USDA Taking Comment on Discriminatory Lending

USDA is currently accepting comments on Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act, which directs USDA to provide financial assistance to landowners and producers who have faced discrimination from the agency in lending.

MDAR Seeking Applications for Three Parcels of Land in Lakeville

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is seeking applications for the use of up to three parcels of agricultural land in Lakeville off of Bridge Street. 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 available on the MDAR website, or through the button below.
Tell Us Your Winter Market Plans!
Believe it or not, we are already making our way into the Winter and holiday season. This means it's time to let us know what your plans are for the next few months as we build out our seasonal Farmers' Market Guide.

Winter markets are an important way to keep local farms and food top of mind for families and consumers during what can be a slow season, and we want to make sure we can help send people in your direction. Please send an email to James,, to update us on your plans.

If you are looking for a market to get your Fall, Winter, or Holiday needs, be sure to check out our current Farmers' Market Guide, which includes Summer markets still running, as well as last year's Seasonal Guide until updates are completed for this year!
Want even more farmer-facing news? Check out SEMAP's latest Farmer Newsletter.
Subscribe to SEMAP's Farmer Newsletter here.
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Prepare for Thanksgiving with a Local Flavor!
The time has come to start preparing for Thanksgiving - in particular, the large festive meal that goes along with it! With many delicious fall foods available right here in Southeastern Massachusetts, what could be better than serving a locally-sourced Thanksgiving meal for family and friends?

Over the past few years, despite rising prices, a decreasing share of the money spent on Thanksgiving meals actually get back to the farmer's who help make them possible. Last year, National Farmers Union reported that farmers on average earned 14.3 cents per dollar spent on Thanksgiving meals. One way to help ensure your dollar better reaches those farmers is to spend it directly with them whenever possible. So, for this Thanksgiving, here are some local options for filling up your dinner plate!

This is just a small list of the many growers in our area who can help you this holiday season. 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.
12th Annual Fiber Festival of New England, November 5-6
Eastern States Exposition and the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association invite fiber enthusiasts and shoppers to make their way to the twelfth annual Fiber Festival of New England on Nov. 5 & 6 in Springfield. Hours are Sat., 9am-5pm and Sun., 9am-3pm. The event promotes the use of wool, natural fibers, and other related products to the general public.

Just in time for the holidays, the Fiber Festival is an ideal shopping opportunity to purchase unique, handmade items for friends and family. More than 200 booths will be showcasing a variety of unique and beautiful items, including clothing, quilts, scarves, blankets, rugs, looms, spinning wheels, and more!

22 workshops will be held across both days, including Basics of Patching, Folk Art Rug Hooking, Begin to Spin, Knitting Without Needles and so many more! The Fiber Festival is a wonderful educational experience with crafter demonstrations and live displays of the animals that contribute to the fiber industry—sheep, alpacas, llamas and rabbits.

Additional weekend activities include:

● Fleece Sale – This sale will be ongoing throughout the Festival and is open to all. Be the first in line to purchase a fleece or find out how to contribute fleeces to the sale by visiting
● Sheep Shearing – Demos will also take place throughout the weekend.

Other opportunities include the Farmers' Market and Wine Barn, open Sat., Nov. 5, 10am-6pm and Sun., Nov. 6, 9am-4pm, and Storrowton Village’s Gift Shop and Christmas Shop open 10am-5pm on both days. Visitors can also take a free scenic ride aboard the Roaming Railroad during the weekend event to shop and attend guided tours that will take place on the hour.

Enjoy a fun-filled weekend with family and friends at The Fiber Festival of New England! Admission is $7 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For information on how to sign up for a workshop or to purchase your advance tickets, please visit
Kave Rock Farm Holiday Open Barn, December 3

Come on down to Kave Rock Alpaca's Holiday Open Barn to get your local holiday goods, Saturday December 3 from 11-3! There will be a variety of local vendors, including Daddy's Homegrown, Brilliant Dahlia Farm, and Mao's Microgreens, offering local produce, hand-made arts, value-added products and more. Bring the kids to meet Santa from 11:30-1:30, and enjoy holiday music from The Unlikely Strummers starting at 12:30. For safety purposes, dogs are not allowed at the event.

For full details, check out the Kave Rock Alpaca website and Facebook page!
Medway Community Farm Hoedown, November 4
Dust off your dancing shoes (or cowboy boots) - Medway Community Farm will be hosting its final social event of the year on Friday, November 4 at the Thayer Homestead in Medway. Live music will be played by the Hip Swayers - a good time, get up and dance band that combines tight rhythms, searing solos, and soulful harmonies in an eclectic mix. Appetizers and small bites featuring the finest from the farm, and highlighting their fall produce, as well as desserts, will be served. The beer and wine bar will be stocked with offerings from local breweries and cideries. Tickets are available online now!
Thanksgiving Specialty Market at Tiverton, November 20!

Tiverton Farmers Market will be hosting their annual Thanksgiving Market on Sunday, November 20 from 10 a.m. -2 p.m.! With over 40 local vendors and makers, you’ll be sure to find something for everyone.
Grab some specialty items for the Thanksgiving holiday or get your holiday shopping done early!
Enjoy fresh microgreens, vegan donuts, prepared foods, fresh seafoods & more. The Tiverton Farmers Market is a great way to try some new foods and buy some one-of-a-kind gifts for the holiday season. Come support your local independent makers and entrepreneurs. Event is free and open to the public.
Community Fresh Food Event in Fall River, November 2

Join Tufts Health Plan and Cityblock for a no-cost family and community educational event at Griffin Park, 335 5th Street in Fall River! Get a bag of fresh and non-perishable food provided by the Southcoast YMCA’s Full Plate Project. The food is available to everyone at no cost while supplies last!

The event also feature, fun activities and giveaways, light refreshments, information and resources from local community- based organizations, and a raffle that you can enter for a chance to win a prize!
For even more local food and farm happenings, check out our event calendar.
Candidate Forum for Bristol 8, 10 now available online!
Last week, SEMAP and the Marion Institute Southcoast Food Policy Council hosted a forum for Massachusetts House candidates in Bristol County's 8th and 10th Districts. We were joined by all four candidates to discuss several major issues around the food system - from food access programs to farmland protection, and more.

The recording of this forum is now available online through the Marion Institute YouTube Page. If you were unable to attend the forum on the night of, you can still look back and hear answers from the entire panel. We hope this information is useful in forming decisions around the upcoming election and thinking about food systems as an important issue for our elected officials.

If you have not already voted, remember that Election Day is Tuesday, November 8. There are important races for our food system up and down the ballot, from local offices to statewide races. If you are looking for more information on how candidates view the food system, check out the MA Food System Collaborative Candidate Survey responses on their website!
What We're Listening To
Looking for some fresh content to guide you through the end of the season? You've come to the right place! We're excited to share another great podcast covering all the issues of running a local farm business.

"The Grower and The Economist" is a local podcast series hosted by, as the title suggest, a farmer, Peter Konjoian, and an economist, Michelle Klieger. Together, the two break down the challenges facing small and medium sized growers using their own expertise in their fields. Just like your operation, they are one part grower and one part business.

We met Michelle from "The Grower and The Economist" last month and MA Food System Forum, hosted by the MA Food System Collaborative, where we had the opportunity to meet with and learn from folks working on food systems across the Commonwealth. Michelle is also seeking other farmers to join as guests on the show, so if interested, please reach out to and mention SEMAP!

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 November, be on the lookout for...
  • Apples
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cranberries
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce & Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Sprouts
  • Winter 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
Farm Manager at Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset
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