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Know Your Farmer Night in North Adams
Stephanie Farrington,
09:48PM / Thursday, February 16, 2012

Despite the snow there was a healthy turn-out for Hoosac Harvest's "Know your Farmer, Know your Food" night in North Adams.

Showcasing everything from apples to raw milk, farmers from around the region came out to offer samples and provide information about where and how to buy direct from local farms.

Wild Oats co-op served a root vegetable stew, Gammelgarden and Cricket Creek offered tastes of their local cheeses. Those who braved the snow could also taste honey from Berkshire Farms, Apples from Jaeschke's orchard and maple butter on cornbread muffins from Ioka farms.

Clarksburg CSA Square Roots, was on hand with information about how to sign up for a share this summer and East Mountain Farm had pricing information about their local, ethically raised meats.

Country Dreams farm was also there with pictures of their summer bounty, right next to the demonstration of the EBA machine - to show that local food is for everybody, regardless of income. There was also a seed exchange with free seeds for anyone who wants to start their own garden this year.

If you don't want to grow it and you can't see yourself setting up a CSA share for you and your family, then there are still other ways - you can visit the North Adams Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings or ask local grocery stores for local products. Wild Oats carries a large selection of fruit, vegetables and more produced right here.

It's not just coops and farmers' markets that are going local, Curt Jaeschke of Pittsfield's Jaeschke's Orchards, says his family farm (one that's been serving this county for 100 years,) has a good relationship with the North Adams Price Chopper, "They're our biggest buyer" he says. So if you can't make it to the farm or the farmers' market - how about the grocery store?

You could set your table for the season by doing your shopping solely from the farmers in the room on Thursday night and that's something everyone should be proud of. And despite the sleet and the wind, looking forward to Spring and planning for Summer added a warm glow to this  February night downtown.

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