Eating LOCAL year-round!

A huge THANK YOU from the Amherst Farmers Market for a GREAT 2011 season!  We’re grateful to have such loyal market go-ers, hardworking vendors, and a supportive community!

Did you know some AFM vendors are in markets all winter too??

Be sure to check out Amherst Winter Farmers Market
 The Amherst Regional Middle School is the home of this market. It runs 10am-2pm. EVERY SATURDAY through March.

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There you will find AFM’s:

Simple Gifts Farm, Leyden Glen Lamb, Atlas Farm, Astarte Farm, Austin Brothers Valley Farm, Old Friends Farm, Turkey Brook Farm, and MANY MORE!

AND

The  NORTHAMPTON WINTER FARMERS MARKET :

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EVERY SATURDAY from 9am-2pm in Thornes Marketplace, downstairs.

150 Main Street, Northampton.

And there you can find:

Atlas Farm, Twin Oaks Farm, Leyden Glen Farm and MORE!

 

Be sure to check out the Blue Barn Winter Farmers Market in North Amherst and the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market too!

How grateful we should be to have places to get fresh local food, listen to live music, and celebrate community… year round!

 

Wishing you the best this winter!

The Pioneer Valley is buzzing with local food wisdom!

We here in Western Mass are lucky to have the support from dedicated organizations like CISA, outstanding Sustainable Food and Farming education programs at our universities like UMass, and hard working farmers to learn from.

Exciting new publication from CISA’s site:

“CISA’s new report, Scaling Up Local Food: Investing in Farm & Food Systems Infrastructure for the Pioneer Valley provides real-life, local examples of the successes, challenges and opportunities in the Pioneer Valley food system today. Consumers, farmers, businesspeople, investors, planners, and policy-makers will find suggestions for action to help create a local food system that provides more local food to more residents of our region.”

A great read! Check it out.

Plus see a great article in the Valley Advocate about their Emergency Farm Fund to help farmers recover from Hurricane Irene.

They’re local SUPER heroes!

Thanks for all the work you do CISA!


Another great group to know about is PV Grows. They held their fall conference today at Greenfield Community College and boy was it exciting to see all the passion behind the local food movement! Check out their site to see the great work and opportunities to get involved with this great network of farmers and food conscious folks working together for a better food system!

What other local groups and organizations do you think are critical in further improving our local food system here in the happy valley?? Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions!

Happy Fall from AFM!

Although it is sometimes hard to let go of summertime, there are so many wonderful things about fall (what is your favorite?) beautiful fall foliage (so lucky in New England!), apple picking, hay rides, corn mazes, pumpkins, fresh cider, warm soup…

Local Fun Fall Activities here on CISA’s page

Check our recipe section for some AFM fall-inspired recipes!

A Robert Frost poem to welcome the season:

After Apple Picking

by Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still.
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples; I am drowsing off.
I cannot shake the shimmer from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the water-trough,
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and reappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
And I keep hearing from the cellar-bin
That rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall,
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised, or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Match your SNAP/EBT $$ up to $10.00!

Did you know that the AFM accepts SNAP/EBT (formerly known as food stamps) and debit & credit cards too?!

Thanks to a grant from MDAR, You can now use your SNAP/EBT card and we’ll match up to $10.00

That means, spend $5.00 and get $10.00, spend $10.00 and get $20.00, spend $20.00 and get $30.oo and so on…EXCITING!

Support your local farmers and enjoy the super fresh early fall goodness!

Thanks to Abbe Vredenberg and all of our great volunteers! Interested in getting involved? Lots of volunteer opportunities this fall, contact: AmherstFarmMarket@gmail.com

Tis the Season! Harvest Festivals Celebrating the Bounty…

It’s been a while since we’ve updated. But not to worry, we’re busy at work harvesting this season’s great bounty! We’re lucky to live in a Valley that celebrates all the great crops of the season with its abundance of harvest festivals, fairs, and local food celebrations, especially during the fall.

AFM’s own Simple Gifts Farm and NACF are hosting the 6th Annual Harvest Fest...a great community celebration loaded with local food, live music, and family fun!

CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) has a great website that includes all kinds of great upcoming festivals and local events in the next few weeks and throughout the fall! CHECK IT OUT!

Speaking of bounty, one great way to celebrate bounty is PRESERVING THE HARVEST through canning, freezing, pickling, and more. CISA has a great RESOURCE LIST that is loaded with tips and ideas. RIGHT HERE!

AFM is loaded with tomatoes, cukes, peppers, onions, garlic, and all kinds of ingredients to make your preservation super local and fresh ! Share your favorite preservation recipes, tips, and ideas in a comment below!

AMHERST FARMERS MARKET UPDATE: Yes, we’re still in the Main Street lot as we roll into fall but stay tuned as construction progress is made on our old Spring Street parking lot!

Happy September from the AFM and Welcome Back Students!

New Location…same great market!

Just a reminder…the Amherst Farmers’ Market will be moving this week! Just 20 paces even closer to the center of town, to the Main Street Parking Lot (across from Amherst Books).

Due to a construction project in our current lot, we’ll be in the Main Street lot for the next few weeks. Look for your favorite vendors and explore new ones!

We’ll have everything that you love about summer and more!

See you there with a smile!

Blueberries on their way!

Blueberries by Robert Frost

“You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson’s pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!”
“I don’t know what part of the pasture you mean.”
“You know where they cut off the woods–let me see–
It was two years ago–or no!–can it be
No longer than that?–and the following fall
The fire ran and burned it all up but the wall.”
“Why, there hasn’t been time for the bushes to grow.

That’s always the way with the blueberries, though:
There may not have been the ghost of a sign
Of them anywhere under the shade of the pine,
But get the pine out of the way, you may burn
The pasture all over until not a fern
Or grass-blade is left, not to mention a stick,
And presto, they’re up all around you as thick
And hard to explain as a conjuror’s trick.”
“It must be on charcoal they fatten their fruit.
I taste in them sometimes the flavour of soot.
And after all really they’re ebony skinned:
The blue’s but a mist from the breath of the wind,
A tarnish that goes at a touch of the hand,
And less than the tan with which pickers are tanned.”
“Does Mortenson know what he has, do you think?”
“He may and not care and so leave the chewink
To gather them for him–you know what he is.
He won’t make the fact that they’re rightfully his
An excuse for keeping us other folk out.”
“I wonder you didn’t see Loren about.”
“The best of it was that I did. Do you know,
I was just getting through what the field had to show
And over the wall and into the road,
When who should come by, with a democrat-load
Of all the young chattering Lorens alive,
But Loren, the fatherly, out for a drive.”
“He saw you, then? What did he do? Did he frown?”
“He just kept nodding his head up and down.
You know how politely he always goes by.
But he thought a big thought–I could tell by his eye–
Which being expressed, might be this in effect:
‘I have left those there berries, I shrewdly suspect,
To ripen too long. I am greatly to blame.'”
“He’s a thriftier person than some I could name.”
“He seems to be thrifty; and hasn’t he need,
With the mouths of all those young Lorens to feed?
He has brought them all up on wild berries, they say,
Like birds. They store a great many away.
They eat them the year round, and those they don’t eat
They sell in the store and buy shoes for their feet.”
“Who cares what they say? It’s a nice way to live,
Just taking what Nature is willing to give,
Not forcing her hand with harrow and plow.”
“I wish you had seen his perpetual bow–
And the air of the youngsters! Not one of them turned,
And they looked so solemn-absurdly concerned.”
“I wish I knew half what the flock of them know
Of where all the berries and other things grow,
Cranberries in bogs and raspberries on top
Of the boulder-strewn mountain, and when they will crop.
I met them one day and each had a flower
Stuck into his berries as fresh as a shower;
Some strange kind–they told me it hadn’t a name.”
“I’ve told you how once not long after we came,
I almost provoked poor Loren to mirth
By going to him of all people on earth
To ask if he knew any fruit to be had
For the picking. The rascal, he said he’d be glad
To tell if he knew. But the year had been bad.
There had been some berries–but those were all gone.
He didn’t say where they had been. He went on:
‘I’m sure–I’m sure’–as polite as could be.
He spoke to his wife in the door, ‘Let me see,
Mame, we don’t know any good berrying place?’
It was all he could do to keep a straight face.
“If he thinks all the fruit that grows wild is for him,
He’ll find he’s mistaken. See here, for a whim,
We’ll pick in the Mortensons’ pasture this year.
We’ll go in the morning, that is, if it’s clear,
And the sun shines out warm: the vines must be wet.
It’s so long since I picked I almost forget
How we used to pick berries: we took one look round,
Then sank out of sight like trolls underground,
And saw nothing more of each other, or heard,
Unless when you said I was keeping a bird
Away from its nest, and I said it was you.
‘Well, one of us is.’ For complaining it flew
Around and around us. And then for a while
We picked, till I feared you had wandered a mile,
And I thought I had lost you. I lifted a shout
Too loud for the distance you were, it turned out,
For when you made answer, your voice was as low
As talking–you stood up beside me, you know.”
“We sha’n’t have the place to ourselves to enjoy–
Not likely, when all the young Lorens deploy.
They’ll be there to-morrow, or even to-night.
They won’t be too friendly–they may be polite–
To people they look on as having no right
To pick where they’re picking. But we won’t complain.
You ought to have seen how it looked in the rain,
The fruit mixed with water in layers of leaves,
Like two kinds of jewels, a vision for thieves.”
Indulge in this summer’s blueberries from Hamilton Orchard, Round Hill Orchard, & Astarte Farm!

Early Summer Inspiration

As summer approaches, farmers busy in the field, sunshine making the plants grow, here a are a few words celebrating the season we all love:

“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier month, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.” -Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932)

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”-Albert Camus (1913-1960)

Barefoot Days by Rachel Field

In the morning, very early,
That’s the time I love to go
Barefoot where the fern grows curly
And the grass is cool between each toe,
On a summer morning – O!
On a summer morning!

That is when the birds go by
Up the sunny slopes of air,
And each rose has a butterfly
Or a golden bee to wear;
And I am glad in every toe –
Such a summer morning – O!
Such a summer morning!

Share your favorite words of summer! Reply with a poem or quote you’d like to share! 🙂

Hooray! Amherst Farmers Market has a new blog!

Welcome, my friends, to an exciting new space to stay updated with all the great things happening at the Amherst Farmers’ Market! This blog is a great community space to share, engage, and meet your neighbors and farmers! Share your delicious seasonal recipes, post local farmy and gardeny and  events, and learn a thing or two about those farmers growin’ your food n flowers, tappin’ your trees, and fillin’ your bellies! Join the conversation…share your wisdom! Reply, post, comment…go nuts!