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BRPC Senior Planner Amy Kacala outlines goals for the Feed the Berkshires planning meeting last week.

Feed the Berkshires Researching Local Food Production

By Stephanie FarringtonCommunity Submission
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — If there's one subject that touches everyone's life, it's food. 

Many of us are trying to eat healthy and often that means eating local. The Berkshires are known nationwide for fresh, local food and beautiful scenic farmland. But do we really know what we have? And maybe more importantly, do we know how to protect and support the production of local foods in our region?

As part of Sustainable Berkshires' developing community plan for our region, the new Feed the Berkshires group held a training session for volunteers in the basement of First Baptist Church on Nov. 14. The meeting was facilitated by Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Senior Planner Amy Kacala and members of the farm activist, non-profit Glynwood Institute's staff, including Andrea Burns and Virginia Kasinki, Glynwood's director of community programs.

Originally called Keep Farming, the group will be working to add to the regional plan over the next one to two years.

Volunteer members of the group will be working to gather accurate information about local food availability, use and production in eight Northern Berkshire communities: Adams, North Adams, Savoy, Cheshire, New Ashford, Williamstown and Florida. 


More than 30 volunteers attended the training session to map out plans for acquiring data on local farming and food needs.
With more than 30 volunteers in attendance and nearly 60 at last month's launch, so far the group has attracted more local interest than any of the other planning sessions hosted by BRPC.

The first stages of the project will involve gathering information about supply and demand for local food in grocery stores, at community pantries, in restaurants and in schools. The agricultural economics group will be surveying local farmers about their current needs and challenges, their crops, their market and the ability to make a living as a small farmer in the Berkshires.

There will also be research projects launched on health and nutrition in the eight communities, natural resources and opportunities for distribution of local products to local consumers.


Keep Farming has been working with the communities of the Southern Berkshires for nearly a year. The concerns of communities in the south are not the same as those in the north; for one thing, Northern Berkshire residents often consider food grown in Vermont or New York State as local.

Kasinki said the Northern Berkshire community has a unique way of thinking about what is local and what is not. While the Southern Berkshires' Keep Farming initiative was firm that their interest would stop at the Massachusetts border, people in the Northern Berkshires are accustomed to thinking of Southern Vermont and eastern New York as part of the local range. 

For now, the goal of Feed the Berkshires is to help protect, sustain, support and encourage local food production. They are particularly focused on increasing support to small farms and producers. The first step is to see the landscape as it is now.

Kasinki summed up the goal of the project with a series of questions: "What do you have here? What's your foundation to grow on? Does your community have the same goals you have? Can we get there?"

Feed the Berkshires is working to support community health, community planning and the local economy by getting local food onto the plates of the people who live in our region and making sure everyone can afford to grow, serve and eat it. 

Stephanie Farrington is a freelance writer in North Adams. You can reach her at stephanie.farrington@gmail.com.


Tags: agriculture,   Feed the Berkshires,   Sustainable Berkshires,   

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Mount Greylock Announces Fourth Quarter Honor Roll

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School has announced its honor rolls for the fourth quarter of the 2018-19 school year.

Students are placed on the honor roll when their quarterly letter grades average a B or better, and when the student receives no grade lower than a B- in all graded classes. The student must be carrying a minimum of four graded courses to be eligible.

Grade 12

Maddison Albert, Hallie Anderson, Mitchell Bath, Sage Bohl, Casey Bouchard, Daniel Buell, Taylor Callahan, Sonya Carrizales, Giovanni Cavalli, Joshua Cheung, Josephine Dalsin, Autumn Delorey, Elizabeth Dudley, John Ellingwood, David Falk, Katrina Hotaling, Alison Howard, Lauren Jacobbe, Sophie Jones, Cole Kuster, Cameron Macuch, Karen MagnusdottirMcComish, Sean Malloy, Michael, Maruk, Brook Masse, Brennan McGowan, Grace Miller, Jakin Miller, Isabella Nicastro, Dominic Paris, Avery Powers, Cameron Sabin, Theodore Sandstrom, Cassidy Shea, Evan Sheridan, Josef Soza-Foias, Colette Stapp, Andrew Sutter, Luke Swann, Samantha Trybus, Katherine Wilson

Grade 11

Gabriella Alvarez, Madeline Art, Miriam Bakija, Julia Butler, Barry Chhuon,  Taylor Cornell, Julia Donati, Sarah Egan, Brandon Fahlenkamp, Alexander Falk, Cole Filson, Toby Foehl, Lucas Forman, Evelyn Fuls, Tarryn Gaherty, Brandi Gill, Logan Gould, James Hetherington, Julia Jammalo, Mitchell Jezouit, Joseph Jones, Jonah Kelly-Whitney, Saville Keyes, Cassidy Kiernan, Amelia Murphy, Brooke Phelps, Samantha Pierce, Charlotte Rauscher, Grace Sanchez, Ciera Schwarzer, Anna Scott, Malcolm Skinner, Brayden Smith, Emanuel Soza-Foias, Owen Tucker-Smith, Xavier Vilaubi, Anna Welch, Finnian Welch, Spencer Zheng

Grade 10

Delaney Babcock, Isabel Beauchamp, Aurora Bullett, Talia Cappadona, Croft Carter, Priya D'Souza, Briana Dowling, Nicholas Duda, Elizabeth Dupras, Laura Dupuis, William Ellingwood, Michael Faulkner, Amanda Filiault, Gabriel Gerry, Jack Gitterman, Claire Hall, Emma Hayward, Carolyn Jones, Isabella Kirby, Isabelle Leonard, Lily Lesieur, Oscar Low, Taylor Mason, Catherine McAllister, Col McDermott, Charles McWeeny, Clarissa McWeeny, Victoria Melkonyan, Julius Munemo, Erin O'Keefe, Emma Paul, Leah Petricca, Benjamin Prescott, Elizabeth Ramos, Jordan Rosier, Leo Rossitter, Abigail Rudin, Charlotte Sanford, Hazel Scullin, Brandon Sills, John Skavlem, Matthew Sorrell, William Starenko, Hayden Steadwell-Brundige, Solomon Sutter, Nathan Taveras, Kyle Trottier, Mia VanDeurzen, Gina Wang, Malcolm Waynick, Ruth Weaver, Jacqueline Wells, Elizabeth Westerdahl, Fiona Williams, Alexander Wilson, Olivia Winters

Grade Nine

Zoe Armet, Henry Art, Alexander Axt, Adriel Benko, Sophia Brady-Owen, Edward Brannan, William Broadwell, Jillian Bump, Jack Catelotti, Cayden Conry, Takiera Darrow, Josephine Dechaine, Maisie Dufour, Diego Galvez, Samantha Garzone, Kathryn Gentry, Jonah Hane, Rina Hatakeyama, Luca Hirsch, Ava Howard, Simon Klompus, Tate Kuster, Juliann Lawson, Madison Machaffie, Thomas Martin, Karissa McInerney, Eleanor McPartland, Sophia Mele, Troy Michalak, Derek Paris, Tej Patel, Krishan Rai, Tashi Rai, Sarah Reynolds, Jamie Rhinemiller, Lily Rorke, Emma Sandstrom, Anna Schoorlemmer, Piper Schulman, Alayna Schwarzer, Mackenzie Sheehy, Ava Simon, Josephine Smith, Christian Sullivan, Katherine Swann, Camden Taylor, Alexis Toomey, Rona Wang, Anthony Welch, Malina Woodbury

Grade Eight

Ainsley Abel, Arsil Ahmed, Annabelle Art, Matilda Asch, Elizabeth Bertolino, Matthew Bertolino, Henrik Bingemann, Erika Bolton, Marguerite Brody, Elena Caplinger, Matteo Chang, Hannah Chase, Chase Doyle, Antoinette Dykes, Cailean Fippinger, Emma Gilooly, Emma Gray, Arthur Greenfield, Dylen Harrison, Eamon Hetherington, Lucy Igoe, Lily Jayko, Seth Lillie, Clarissa Louis, Elliot Louis, Isabella Mangano, Emma Mathews, Patrick McConnell, Emma Newberry, Liam O’Keefe, Zenalyssa Packer, Beatrice Pedroni, Christiane Rech, Juliet Robinson, Brodi Rosier, Ernani Rosse, Joshua Rudin, Andres Sanchez, Foster Savitsky, Drew Scanlon, Krish Sharma, Noah Shin, Jennah Simpson, Kiersten Simpson, Jane Skavlem, Euphemia Skinner, Elizabeth Smith, Jacob Stokes, Molly Sullivan, Rose Sutter, Kamryn Sweet, Samuel Tucker-Smith, Nathaniel Verter, Haley Williams, Elissa Wong

Grade Seven

Ava Anagnos, Lex Anagnos, Thomas Art, Riley Babcock, Phoebe Barnes, Jude Barzousky, Isabella Belleau, Jacqueline Brannan, Emma Brennan, Larissa Broadwell, Kaylie Bryan, Lily Catelotti, Sylvie Clowes, Lila Cohen-McFall, Julia DeChaine, Benjamin Dingman, Noelle Dravis, Emily Dupuis, Abaigael Fuls, Isabella Garivaltis, Beatrice Garvey, Annabelle Gitterman,  Anabel Gonzales, Emma Kate Hane, Akira Harris, Alexa Heidel, Matilde Henderson, Phoebe Hughes, Tyler Kloblensky Hynes-Drumm, Jason Jaros, Talia Kapiloff, Erin Keating, Ryan Keating, Jenner Kittle, Luka Lash-St. John, Svea Lawson, Cedric Lemaire, Caleb Low, Cecilia Malone, Grace Malone, Judge Martin, Lily McDermott, Quinn McDermott, Lucy McWeeny, Emily Mole, John Morales, George Munemo, Dylan Nevarez, Maggie Nichols, Emily Ouellette, Gianna Pesce, Andrew Petropulos, Owen Petropulos, Alexa Politis, Gabriella Quagliano, Quinlan Repetto, Declan Rogers, Celina Savage, Mason Sayers, Iris Semon Pike, Jasmine Skorupski, Katelin Smith, Parker Smith, Oliver Swabey, Jamie Sweren, Emma Swoap, Celia Szczepaniak, Macy Tidmarsh, John Trinder, Serafina Velazquez, Mitchell Waynick, Vincent Welch, Marcus Whalen-Loux, Gavin Whaley, Grace Winters.

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