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Valley Bounty: Resourceful and really delicious: The Upper Bend in Turners Falls serves classics with local seasonal add-ons
05-24-2024 1:25 PM

By JACOB NELSON

The Upper Bend Cafe and Bruncheonette in Turners Falls aims to be reliably amazing. That means serving familiar breakfast and lunch favorites while unleashing their creativity, squeezing every drop of goodness from farm-fresh local food.“Using as many...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 38 total.
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Valley Bounty: Fibers for farmers: Western Massachusetts Fibershed turns local ‘throw away’ wool into fertilizer pellets
05-10-2024 2:58 PM

By JACOB NELSON

Local wool for your wardrobe … and for your garden?That’s the idea behind a new project from Western Massachusetts Fibershed, an organization working to strengthen our local fiber economy, right alongside our local food economy.Peggy Hart is a core...


Valley Bounty: Your soil will thank you: As garden season gets underway, Whately farm provides ‘black gold’ to many
04-19-2024 11:13 AM

By JACOB NELSON

“Compost is not soil, but it makes your soil better,” says Mike Mahar, owner of Bear Path Compost in Whately. “It adds life to it. If you’re going to take something out of the soil by harvesting, you should put something back in, and compost is...


Valley Bounty: Grass-fed animals that feed the grass: Gwydyr Farm in Southampton focuses on ‘restoring the connection between land, food and people’
04-12-2024 3:39 PM

By JACOB NELSON

Every piece of farmland has its strengths and weaknesses. Often, the most successful farmers are those that learn to see their land’s potential clearly and — with other things in mind like finances and what customers want — build a business around...


Valley Bounty: Fermentation meets cooperation: Real Pickles in Greenfield supports and supplies the regional food system
03-22-2024 9:58 AM

By JACOB NELSON

A knock on the door interrupts the conversation. Someone is here to trade cheese for Real Pickles’ fermented veggies.Kate Hunter, a marketing coordinator, assistant sales manager, and worker-owner at Real Pickles, gets up to confirm the terms. Out the...


Valley Bounty: Maple syrup time: After year-long prep, Hickory Hill Farm readies for Massachusetts Maple Weekend
03-15-2024 3:35 PM

By JACOB NELSON

It turns out pancakes and hot air balloons have at least one thing in common: they both pair well with maple syrup.“Flying over the woods is a good way to find maple trees,” offers Paul Sena, owner of both Worthington Ballooning and Hickory Hill Farm....


Valley Bounty: Building community, year-round: Holyoke Farmers Market is a source of positivity and local fare
03-01-2024 11:50 AM

By JACOB NELSON

‘When I was a kid in Puerto Rico, I always liked going to the roadside markets and farm stands,” says Alexis Diaz DeJesus. “People had their fruit and vegetables all displayed, and you could negotiate prices or even trade for things. Then there were...


Valley Bounty: Empowering our local food system: River Valley Co-op invests in regional farms and the interests of community
02-23-2024 2:22 PM

By JACOB NELSON

In just 15 years, River Valley Co-op has grown into an indispensable part of the local food economy. For local farms, food businesses and community members who want easy access to local food, their continued growth is something to celebrate.“River...


Valley Bounty: Micro but mighty: At a new farm in South Hadley, small is beautiful — and delicious
02-02-2024 11:50 AM

By JACOB NELSON

If there’s a lesson to be learned from Love Leaf Farm in South Hadley, it’s this: don’t judge a farm by its size … or the size of their crops, for that matter.In the words of farmer-owner Michael Fredette, “Love Leaf Farm is a very small, indoor...


Valley Bounty: New horizons for a small dairy farm: O’Brien Farm in Orange opts to strategize, not pasteurize
01-26-2024 12:39 PM

By JACOB NELSON

‘We do a little bit of everything,” says Andrea O’Brien of O’Brien Farm in Orange. “But mostly we milk cows.”Running a successful dairy farm requires commitment, perseverance and creativity. That’s especially true in recent times, as the costs of...


Valley Bounty: Farming in a winter wonderland: Lombrico Farm in Whately coaxes fresh produce from soil year-round
01-19-2024 11:07 AM

By JACOB NELSON

‘The best carrots you’ll ever eat are picked in January or February,” says Erik Debbink, owner of Lombrico Farm in Whately. In the dead of winter, their sweetness shines through.Lombrico Farms is one of a growing number of local farms working hard to...


Valley Bounty: Community has kept Leverett Co-op beacon burning for half-century
01-05-2024 12:54 PM

By JACOB NELSON

This year, the Leverett Village Co-op turns 50. Over half a century, it has grown beyond a grocery store to become a cultural institution and hidden gem on North Leverett Road. For many it is an indispensable source of food to eat and food for the...


Learning from the floods: To prepare for an unpredictable future, Valley farmers think big
12-15-2023 5:53 PM

By JACOB NELSON

“So much was just about to bloom,” says Suna Turgay of Flowerwork Farm in Northampton. “And then the flooding came.”Warmer, wetter, and less predictable weather are all on the rise in New England as our climate changes. The idea of normal is...


Valley Bounty: New Hadley Winter Farmers Market aims to keep farmers, consumers connected
12-08-2023 4:45 PM

By JACOB NELSON

With considerable effort from organizers, a new winter farmers market is coming to Hadley this year. Located on the grounds of Wancyzk Nursery at 166 Russell St, it will run every Saturday from 10 to 2. The market will offer local farms and businesses...


Valley Bounty: Spreading the gospel of mushrooms: Livingstone Mycology brings clarity to the mysteries of mushrooms
12-01-2023 1:06 PM

By JACOB NELSON

More than most foods, the popular understanding of mushrooms tends to be shrouded in mystery. How do they grow? How do you cook with them? What medicinal effects might they have?At Livingstone Mycology, scientists and farmers Hunter Linscott and Nich...


When misfortune strikes, local farmers unite 
11-24-2023 5:09 PM

By JACOB NELSON

In many ways, farming is an act of faith. Faith that nature will provide for a harvest, and a farmer’s faith in themselves to figure out whatever challenges arise. Some years bring bumper crops, others disappointment, but with climate change fueling...


Valley Bounty: Cut-your-own a cut above: Christmas tree farmers prepare for busy season
11-24-2023 10:53 AM

By JACOB NELSON

For many local farmers, cool weather means slowing down. Hardy greens are still growing in covered greenhouses, and plenty of things like meat, cheese, apples and storage crops can be kept and sold until the first warm days of spring, but the frantic...


Valley Bounty: Creating local buzz: Share Coffee Roasters invests in community and it pays off in their food and coffee
11-17-2023 12:16 PM

By JACOB NELSON

For many of us, coffee is more than a drink. It’s an experience, and often a ritual. And while it’s grown far away, it can elevate the enjoyment of many of our favorite foods grown close to home, and vice versa.As Ken Majka, owner of Share Coffee...


Valley Bounty: Upinngil Farm does it all: In addition to grass-fed raw milk, they make their own cheese, raise livestock for meat and eggs, and grow grains for the bakery
09-01-2023 3:00 PM

By JACOB NELSON

“At this point, for us, advertising seems like a waste of time,” says Sorrel Hatch of Upinngil Farm in Gill. “If you have a good product, it will sell itself. Our business has succeeded by following the pull of the market, rather than trying to push;...


Valley Bounty: Summer produce stars at Florence taqueria: Masa Mexicano’s fresh tortillas are like nothing you could find in a store
08-24-2023 12:51 PM

By JACOB NELSON

The abundance of August produce is a chef’s dream, especially in the Valley, where we are surrounded by hundreds of local farms.Soon after chef Roberto Saravia of Masa Mexicano explains this, he’s interrupted by a delivery of fresh jalapenos from a...


Valley Bounty: A farm that’s thriving: Thanks to state grants, Crimson and Clover Farm in Florence is now open year-round
08-18-2023 1:50 PM

By JACOB NELSON

“Having resilient farms — farms that are financially solvent and can deal with stresses like droughts and flooding — isn’t just about infrastructure,” says Nate Frigard, farmer and owner of Crimson and Clover Farm in Florence. “It’s also about...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 38 total.
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