The warm weather growing season is winding down and some of the region has seen its first frost but the fall greens are getting sweeter and livestock are fattening up on the lush fall growth, thanks to the long-awaited rain. The bounty of produce available at this time is amazing. Look for lots of lovely varieties of fall vegetables at your local farmers’ markets. And please stop by soon as many markets will finish for the season at the end of the month. It is the most colorful and flavorful part of the season – don’t miss it!
Next week brings the 7th annual Food Day in Massachusetts on October 24th. Created to celebrate healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food, there are many activities planned throughout the month across the state to focus attention on the diversity and strength of the Commonwealth’s food system. Right here in our region, you can help celebrate at Family Food Day hosted by Coastal Foodshed on Saturday, October 27th at Clasky Common Park in New Bedford. They will be having games and activities for youth and families, face painting, live music, a food-themed Halloween costume contest, fire trucks, & much more.
For livestock producers, the much-anticipated day has come and Meatworks, the processing facility of the Livestock Institute of Southern New England, is OPEN! Their state-of-the-art facility has been open about a month and are close to their operating target for this fall. Focused on food safety and humane handling, their fully-traceable, USDA-certified processing facility provides local farmers with an advantage in producing high-quality meat. One of their next projects is to open a small retail shop for sale to the general public but for now, beef, pork and goat processed at the facility can be bought directly from area farms. For those of us paying attention to, and trying to avoid, the industrialized meat system this new operation is a huge benefit to our area.
It is Annual Meeting time again! One of my favorite SEMAP events of the year when we get to show you what SEMAP has accomplished during the previous year, celebrate Southeastern Massachusetts’ local food local heroes, and hear from our members, partners, and community what is needed to support our local food and farming businesses. We are celebrating this year at Round the Bend Farm in South Dartmouth on Thursday, November 15th in their lovely event space. Networking at 5:30 with the official program starting at 6:30 pm. Attendance is free but please RSVP so that we can let Round the Bend know how much delicious local food to prepare!