Pioneer Valley Blog

Home Sweet Home

In high school, at Northfield Mount Hermon, I remember learning that the words ecology and economy share the same root word, it's "oikos" in Greek and "eco" in Latin, meaning house or home. This fact did more to help me see the connection between needing to take care of both our economy and our planet than nearly anything else. It dawned on me that if we take better care of our home in an economically and environmentally intelligent way, that it will take better care of us.

If we don't, it won't!!

Pioneer Valley's Own Doug Hammond is BALLE's new executive director

The BALLE board of directors and staff are pleased to announce their selection of Doug Hammond as the next executive director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. His appointment follows a five-month national search conducted by the firm of Waldron & Company.

"Doug's the right guy at the right time for BALLE," said William Shutkin, who guided BALLE as interim executive director for the last nine months and is now chair in sustainable development at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado larger dougBoulder.

"Farm to Fork: The Pioneer Valley's Local Food and Agriculture Show"

According to Amanda Cather, who was writing for NOFA, the radio program "Farm to Fork," heard every other Tuesday evening from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Valley Free Radio, 103.3 FM WXOJ-LP Northampton, could be called the Slow Food of radio. This isn't a program of 30-second sound ‘snacks' or the audio equivalent of pizza to go. It's a show that requires you to pull up a chair, settle in, and prepare to savor it in its entirety.

Lessons From Cesar Chavez

Years ago when I saw Cesar Chavez from the United Farm Workers (UFW) speak at UMASS he said for a boycott to be successful it needs to decrease sales by an average of 9%. I was amazed that the percentage was so low!! You don't need to kill a company's sales to get them to change; just be able to fire a shot across their bow and then they will come to the negotiating table to reduce pesticide use, improve working conditions etc...

RideBuzz: Organizing a system of Ridesharing to save money & reduce our carbon footprint

RideBuzz is a new local non-profit working to develop a community system for carpooling. With rising energy prices cutting deep into people's pockets and a heightening awareness of climate change, more people are looking for energy efficient and affordable transportation options. Not only does transportation account for 20-25% of our greenhouse gas emissions that directly contribute to climate change, but in 2001, Americans spent on average 19% of their household expenditure on transportation (the cost of fuel has approximately tripled since that report).

Great Locally Grown Food Needs Great Cooking Classes On How To Prepare It All!

Whether it is food grown in your own garden, a CSA share, a farmstand, or one of the great locally owned markets there is so much wonderful and abundant produce grown here in the Pioneer Valley. Come learn from a great chef about how to prepare it.

Leslie Cerier is a gourmet organic chef, caterer, cooking instructor and the author of Going Wild in the Kitchen and other cookbooks. Leslie develops recipes for organic food companies and individuals with food sensitivities, has a deep appreciation for sustainable agriculture.

Local Family Farm Celebrates Grand Opening of Dairy Store and Bakery

HADLEY-HOCKANUM VILLAGE: The bond of ‘family' could not mean more to the Hockanum Village Barstow's. And when granddaughter, daughter, niece, sister, cousin, and aunt; Shannon Barstow, expressed her dream of having a bakery, her family joined right along side her to help make her dream a reality. Just as the pies, cheesecakes and cookies in the bakery, the store was build from scratch. Every Barstow did their share to make the store some thing special and the family could not be more pleased with the dream that they have built together from the ground up.

Buy Local, Think Local, Let's do it Together!

Thinking Locally, I Met A Bunch of Like-Minded Business Owners I'm just back from an important meeting, that brought dozens of local business owners together in one room to talk local. It was a membership meeting for Pioneer Valley Local First, an organization of volunteers that seeks to promote buying locally, and getting the public to think about where the money goes. It's one of 60 networks across North America aimed at this goal.