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Valley Bounty: Blueberry fields forever: Family farm in Heath cultivates connection to a special summer crop
07-12-2024 1:04 PM

By JACOB NELSON

“This is a farm, but it feels like a wild place,” says Meredith Wecker about The Benson Place. “That’s why I fell in love with it.”The Benson Place is a diversified farm that Wecker runs with her husband, Andrew Kurowski, and is best known for their...

Displaying articles 1 to 17 out of 17 total.
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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 1:30 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...


Valley Bounty: Fibers for farmers: Western Massachusetts Fibershed turns local ‘throw away’ wool into fertilizer pellets
05-10-2024 3:11 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: Fermentation meets cooperation: Real Pickles in Greenfield supports and supplies the regional food system
03-22-2024 10:03 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: New horizons for a small dairy farm — O’Brien Farm in Orange opts to strategize, not pasteurize
01-29-2024 2:36 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 11:38 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 2:20 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, Pioneer Valley farmers think big
12-22-2023 11:32 AM

By JACOB NELSON

“So much was just about to bloom,” said 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 constantly...


Valley Bounty: Spreading the gospel of mushrooms: Livingstone Mycology brings clarity to the mysteries of mushrooms
12-01-2023 11:48 AM

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...


Farms on the front lines: Amid extreme weather, farmers rush to mitigate climate impacts, become more resilient
11-17-2023 4:42 PM

By JACOB NELSON

It’s hard to throw water on a burning house while trying to rebuild it at the same time, but that’s exactly what addressing climate change requires. Rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are already changing the planet. The choice is whether to...


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 4:00 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: Kids need dirt to grow: Red Gate Farm in Ashfield provides hands-on learning for screen-saturated kids
07-28-2023 1:43 PM

By JACOB NELSON

“When we realized this sheep was about to give birth, the kids from Mary Walsh Elementary School in Springfield were still yelling and racing around the farm in the middle of a scavenger hunt,” recalls Sydney Treuer, assistant director at Red Gate...


Valley Bounty: Feeding off the land: New England Wild Edibles turned foraging into a business
05-22-2023 1:42 PM

By JACOB NELSON

‘It grew out of walking in the woods and being hungry for knowledge – and also good things to eat.”That’s how Paul Lagreze describes the birth of his business, New England Wild Edibles. Purveyors of wild plants and fungi from the fields and forests of...


Valley Bounty: Farm educator makes big leap into small-scale agriculture in Florence
03-27-2023 6:19 PM

By JACOB NELSON

Toni Hall is a farmer hoping to turn some heads. A diminutive plant known as spilanthes, with edible flowers called buzz buttons, is helping get people’s attention.“When I give out samples at the farmers market, people make these crazy sounds and...


Valley Bounty: Custom cuts: Bostrom Farm in Greenfield pivots from dairy to grass-fed meat
02-03-2023 4:41 PM

By JACOB NELSON

Talk to most farmers raising animals on pasture, and they’ll tell you the same thing – from a farming perspective, the animals are secondary.“Our mantra is creating good food from grass,” says Kyle Bostrom of Bostrom Farm in Greenfield. “Basically, we...


Urban farm is At the nexus of food and medicine
10-14-2022 7:45 PM

By JACOB NELSON

With Agric Organics, Hameed Bello and his wife, Ayo, are intent on building an urban farm that can be a multi-faceted resource for their community in Wilbraham, supplying farm-fresh food, health and education while withstanding the challenges of...


Valley Bounty: Nourse Farms, a berry giant
07-20-2022 5:57 PM

By JACOB NELSON

“Berry season is a wild ride,” says Rachel Monette, a longtime employee of Nourse Farms in Whately. Every summer it hits with intensity, like a sweet red raspberry bursting on your tongue. Then, too soon, it fades, leaving memories like...

Displaying articles 1 to 17 out of 17 total.
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