USDA Microloans

MicroLoans LogoThe USDA Microloan was developed to serve the financial needs of beginning farmers and ranchers, niche and small family farms. Farmers and ranchers can apply for loans up to $35,000 and the program features a simpler application process.

You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday – but have you heard of Giving Tuesday?

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. It’s a simple idea.

Be a part of this new tradition of generosity by supporting Share the Bounty.
Join this global celebration of giving December 2, 2014.


Share the Bounty is how Berkshire Grown supports farmers and at the same time helps feed hungry neighbors. Right now, Berkshire Grown is beginning to purchase shares in local farms so that the farmers can buy seeds and plan for 2015. In June, the produce from these farms will be distributed to food pantries, community lunches and dinners from North Adams to Salisbury, CT, and to families who can’t afford fresh fruits and vegetables.

It’s good for the farmers. It’s good for the people who receive delicious fresh vegetables. It’s good for our community.

Can you join us? Give to Share the Bounty on Giving Tuesday and you help feed hungry neighbors top notch local food and local farmers benefit too. Talk about a win-win. If you can, give today, click here.

Thank you for caring about the Berkshires,


Berkshire Grown: strengthening agriculture, strengthening the Berkshires.


Are you a…

Farmer seeking land?  


Landowner looking for a farmer to farm your land?


Farmer thinking about transitioning to the next generation or owner?

Join us for a Farmer-Landowner Mixer in North or South County 


Tuesday October 28 at Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation

671 Cold Spring Rd., Williamstown


Wed. October 29 at 264 Main Street, 3rd floor, Great Barrington  

(above Rubiner’s) entrance stairs are to the left of Rubiner’s entrance on Main Street

6 – 8 pm for light supper, beer and networking


These mixers will connect farmers seeking land with established farmers and farmland, and provide information and resources to sustain and increase farming in the Berkshires.


To spark connections, we will begin with a panel featuring:


  •          Kathy Ruhf, Land For Good
  •          Martha Bryan, Greater Berkshire Agriculture Fund, The Carrot Project
  •          Virginia Kasinki and Melissa Adams, Glynwood Center,  Keep Farming
  •          Leslie Reed-Evans, Williamstown Rural Land Foundation
  •          Kathy Orlando, Sheffield Land Trust (Great Barrington mixer)
  •          Attorney Peter Ziomek (Williamstown mixer)



Please RSVP by Monday Oct. 20th to reserve dinner, thanks  & let us know if you are a farmer seeking land, transitioning, or a landowner. 




These free events are part of the Berkshire Farmland Initiative, co-sponsored by Berkshire Grown, The Carrot Project, and Land For Good in partnership with Berkshire organizations committed to supporting farming in the Berkshires, including the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College.



photo by Jason Houston

Seedlings Woven RootsA recent article in The New Yorker heats up the discussion of genetically modified foods. A new article:

Debunking Popular Myths about GE Crops Portrayed in the Media:

By Debbie Barker, International Programs Director, Center for Food Safety

posted by the Center for Food Safety responds citing the myths The New Yorker perpetuates and asserts:

“Major studies affirm that inexpensive agroecological farming methods can increase yields as much or more than industrial agriculture systems while also reducing use of chemicals and water, and improving social and economic well- being.”


Response to The New Yorker “Seeds of Doubt” Article, August 25, 2014

Scientific Review & Contributions: Bill Freese; Doug Gurian-Sherman, Ph.D; Martha Crouch, Ph.D

Read more here

Dan Barber Flyer 2014-05“Beyond Farm to Table: The Future of Food”

Dan Barber and Elizabeth Kolbert in conversation


If you missed seeing chef Dan Barber and author Elizabeth Kolbert at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA in August, thanks to CTSB TV you an watch now.




Long Row in Fertile Ground on WGBY, Springfield


A Long Row in Fertile Ground
Premiering Wednesday July 9 at 8pm

Western New England’s agricultural legacy has persisted for more than three centuries, through waves of migration, technological innovation and economic uncertainty. In many ways it is the birthplace of American agriculture that exists to this day.  A new WGBY production examines the history and present day status of agriculture in the region.  The documentary, produced by Emmy Award-nominated WGBY producer Dave Fraser, will premiere on WGBY on Wednesday, July 9, at 8pm.

The Connecticut River Valley is home to New England’s longest river, a remnant of the last Ice Age. But the receding glaciers also left behind another gift—some of the richest soil on Earth. This fertile valley has attracted Native Americans and settlers since the early 1600s. It remains a commercial provider of products such as tobacco, tomatoes and corn.  More recently, the idea of Community Supported Agriculture—community members and farmers in a relationship of mutual support based on an annual commitment to one another—was born in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

Interviews with a number of farmers, land preservationists and agricultural scholars from Deerfield to Great Barrington help provide a comprehensive view of this treasured resource and illuminate the complex story of the land, its people, its culture, and its agriculture. This WGBY production begins to tell that story.

Contributing to the program are John Brady, geology professor at Smith College; Kristin DeBoer, executive director of the Kestrel Land Trust; Joanna Ballantine, regional director for the West Division of the Trustees of Reservations; Phil Korman, executive director of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture); and Rich Hubbard, executive director of the Franklin Land Trust.

Local producers featured in the program include Clarkdale Fruit Farm in Deerfield, Luther Beldon Farm in Hatfield, Winter Moon Farm in Hadley, Szawlowski Potato Farms in Hatfield, Red Fire Farm in Montague and Indian Line Farm in South Egremont, the first CSA farm in the country.

The premiere broadcast of A Long Row in Fertile Ground will be followed at 9pm by a documentary originally broadcast on WGBY in 1973, titled Root Hog or Die. This newly restored film captures the lives and stories of the old-time horse farmers in Franklin County Massachusetts in their own voices, faces, ingenious technology and well-tended land.

“Root, hog, or die” was once a common saying in rural America, suggesting that coaxing a living from the land requires hard work. Through the words of the farmers themselves, the film paints a wistful but honest portrait of family farming’s history in western New England. Following farmers though a year’s cycle of logging, haying, dairying and sugaring, Root Hog shows a life that was as challenging, simple and spare as it was rewarding, harmonious with the land, and an integral part of local communities.  The evening’s broadcast will also include a special panel discussion led by WGBY General Manager Rus Peotter.  He’ll be joined by Dave Fraser, producer of A Long Row in Fertile Ground; Rawn Fulton, producer of Root Hot or Die; Phil Korman, Executive Director of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture); and Nancy Hanson, Farm Manager at Hampshire College.

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