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Valley Bounty: Peaches make their sweet return: Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield celebrates a bountiful season
07-19-2024 11:12 AM

By LISA GOODRICH

After much anticipation, peaches are ripe and now available on farm stands and at farmers markets in the Valley. Ben Clark, fourth generation farmer and owner/operator of Clarkdale Fruit Farms, explains that western Massachusetts is generally the...

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Valley Bounty: Pea time is upon us: Dave’s Natural Garden in Granby grows a variety of the seasonal favorite
06-14-2024 11:32 AM

By LISA GOODRICH

After the cold of winter in New England, spring on our region’s farms is a treat for the senses. While locals may argue over whether asparagus or strawberries declare the arrival of spring, Meghan Hastings, owner and farm manager of Dave’s Natural...


Valley Bounty: Delivering local food onto students’ plates: Marty’s Local connects farms to businesses
05-03-2024 1:50 PM

By LISA GOODRICH

Nick Martinelli, CEO of Marty’s Local, began his career with a stint at the Farm School in Athol, hoping to learn how he might participate in the local agricultural economy. While conducting market research in 2015, he recognized there was a lot of...


Valley Bounty: Central Chicopee no longer a food desert: Couple buys and revives Fruit Fair grocery by turning to local farms and vendors
03-29-2024 12:26 PM

By LISA GOODRICH

Samaita (Sam) Newell is a first-generation immigrant from India. She met Jared Newell as a student in the five-college area. Following graduation and getting married, the young couple dreamed of buying a farm with a store.Without collateral, their...


Valley Bounty: CSA season gets jump on growing season next week
02-16-2024 4:07 PM

By LISA GOODRICH

Though more weeks of winter lie ahead, National Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) week — Feb. 19-25 — marks the symbolic start of the CSA cycle, when member sign-ups start rolling in and participating farmers begin planning for the coming growing...


Valley Bounty: One good thing to come from pandemic: Mass Food Delivery service maximizes access to farms
01-12-2024 12:15 PM

By LISA GOODRICH

Farms are the foundation of our local food system, with farmers markets, farm stands, and community markets providing the predominant means of providing local food to customers. And for some members of the community, the ability to order fresh, local...


Valley Bounty: Fresh and local pierogies with a Russian twist
12-15-2023 11:46 AM

By LISA GOODRICH

For many local people of Polish and Eastern European descent, pierogies are the ultimate comfort food: little pockets of dough wrapped around cheese, potato, cabbage or fruit fillings that bring warmth and satiety, especially during the cold New...


Valley Bounty: Valley is ‘veggie bowl’ to the region: Local collaboration helps get our farms’ food to larger metro areas
11-14-2023 12:33 PM

By LISA GOODRICH

Farms within the three counties of the Connecticut River Valley feed our local community while supplying food to our Commonwealth and the New England region. With farmland concentrated on the western side of the state and the population densest on the...


Valley Bounty: The secret to this farm is happy animals: Crooked Trail Farm in Orange utilizes silvopasture sustainability practices
10-27-2023 1:53 PM

By LISA GOODRICH

Erica Goulding and Kelcie Hillard had a vision of sustainable farming rooted in humane practices for animal care. Together, the co-owners built Crooked Trail Farm approximately five years ago in Orange.While neither grew up farming, the pair had a...


Valley Bounty: Pick-your-own season is upon us: Despite flooding and frost, Pine Hill Orchards forges ahead for the fall
09-22-2023 11:42 AM

By LISA GOODRICH

It’s apple season and owner-operators Matt and Brady Shearer of Pine Hill Orchards in Colrain are gearing up for a vibrant fall.Like many farms in our three counties, the orchard offers a wide array of products and activities for visitors that reflect...


Valley Bounty: Big Y still thriving on local farm food
03-31-2023 8:05 PM

By LISA GOODRICH

For Big Y, the commitment to serving neighbors food from local farms started at the beginning. In 1936, Paul D’Amour and his brother, Gerry D’Amour, used their family savings to purchase the Y Cash Market. The business grew, and in the 1950s the...


Valley Bounty: The sweet science of a Leyden sugaring chef
03-18-2023 11:47 AM

By LISA GOODRICH

Bob Bergeron, of Bergeron’s Sugar House in Leyden, has been sugaring for over 50 years. He first got hooked on maple during high school, at his grandparents’ sugarhouse in Whately, and learned through experience.“While I try to make a few dollars,...


NOLA in the Valley: Wells Provisions in Charlemont sources locally, serves Big Easy flavor
02-12-2023 11:50 AM

By LISA GOODRICH

At first glance, Charlemont may seem an unlikely place to open a restaurant that features New Orleans cooking. When the pandemic offered a chance to try something new, Wesley Janssen and family saw the opportunity for a homecoming.The Northfield...

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