Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ideas for a Localvore Thanksgiving

Thanks to Pat McGovern for these ideas on a Localvore Thanksgiving!

Lilac Deli Maple Cornbread - From Upper Valley Food Co-op
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.3 cups local whole wheat bread flour(I prefer half of the flour to be pastry flour)2 cups local cornmeal2 T. baking powder1 tsp. salt2 local eggs 1 1/2 cups local milk (one and one half cups milk)1/2 cup maple syrup (one half cup maple syrup)8 T. melted local butterIn one bowl whisk together dry ingredients.. In another bowl whisk wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and mix until just blended. Butter 2 9-inch pie pans or cake pans. Spread batter evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Vermont Cranberry Sauce Using a ratio of 1 cup VT cranberries to 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup maple syrup. (Multiply as needed.) Cook carefully for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries”pop”. Cool to room temperature and serve.

Maple Pumpkin Pie
From "The Official Vermont Maple Cookbook,"published by the Vermont Maple Foundation1-1/3 cups cooked, mashed local pumpkin or squash 3/4 cup Pure Vermont Maple Syrup (preferably Grade B )1-1/2 cups local milk 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 unbaked pie shell 2 local eggs 1 Tablespoon local flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon ginger1 unbaked pie shell Directions: Beat or blend all ingredients thoroughly together. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake in 350 degree oven 45 minutes or just until firm in the middle. Delicious served with whipped local cream sweetened with maple syrup. (Can be baked as a pudding.) If you like spiciness, add more of the spices!)

Maple Apple Pie
6 cups peeled, sliced local apples 2-5 T Vermont maple syrup (riper apples require less syrup) 3 T flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 cup local apple cider 1 T local butter 2 uncooked 9" pie crusts Directions: Mix together apples, flour, cinnamon, and salt and fill bottom shell. Drizzle syrup over the top, add cider, dot with butter, and cover with second pastry shell. Cut several slashes in top crust. Bake in preheated oven at 425º F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375º and bake about 35 minutes. Delicious served with Strafford Creamery Smooth Maple ice cream!

Baked Stuffed Squash
(Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook)
2 medium winter squash, halved and pre-baked2T. local butter (or oil)1 C. minced onion1 large clove garlic, minced1 stalk celery or 1/4 c. local celeriac, minced1/2 tsp. saltlots of black pepper1/2 tsp. sage1/2 tsp. thyme1/2 tsp. nutmeg1/2 T local cider vinegar1/2 cup local butternuts, chopped (or use walnuts as a wildcard)1/2 c. cranberries, chopped (optional)2 c. good bread crumbs (homemade or Trukenbrod whole wheat?)1 c. grated local cheddar cheese, packed (optional) Saute onions in butter 5 minutes. Add garlic, celery and seasonings and saute about 10 min.Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste to correct seasonings. Fill the squash halves and bake, covered, at 350 F until heated through. (20-30 minutes. Triple the recipe if using a big blue hubbard squash; fill one half and whip the other half with butter for a side dish.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Current Local Food Listing for Sweet Pea

Here again is the list of the localvore products we have in the store right now so that the website can be updated. We carry most of these items year round plus all of our seasonal Organic Produce:
Vegetables: carrots, potatoes, beets, turnips. Sunflower Sprouts, Snow Pea Sprouts, Alfalfa Sprouts, Rutabagas, Spicy Dilly Beans, Squash, Corn, Greens, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Tomatillo, Onions, Zucchini, Celery, Broccoli, Peppers, Scallions, Pumpkins, Cabbage, Winter Squash.
Fruit: loose apples from Champlain Orchards- Paula Red and Ginger Gold, Macs & Cider, Plums, Sickel Pears
Dairy: Crowley Cheese (Healdville VT), VT Butter and Cheese chevre, mascarpone, crème fraiche, quark and butter, Neighborly Farms feta, Woodcock Farm sheep’s milk cheese, Grafton Cheese cheddar, Strafford Organic Creamery ice cream (maple is the only truly local flavor) and milk, Butterworks Farm yogurt and heavy cream, Woodstock Water Buffalo yogurt, Oak Knoll Dairy goats' milk, Millborne Farm yogurt drink, Frog City Cheese, mozzarella, Crowley cheeses Buffilo de Vermont Yogurt, Vermont Soy Milk, Vermont Soy Tofu, Stafford Milk, Buttermilk, ½ & 1/2 , Heavy Cream, Blythedale Farm Brie & Camembert, Maplebrook Mozzarella & Ricotta, Flax Family Farm Kim-chie Sauerkraut, Deep Roots Organic Spiced Beets, Carrots, Dikon.
Eggs: from Donald Terry and Lichen Rock(organically fed)
Bulk: Butterworks Farm mixed beans and Jacob’s cattle beans, Butterworks Farm "early riser" cornmeal, Gleason Grains stone ground fine whole wheat flour Wheat Berries, Black Beans,
Sweets: maple syrup (bulk bin), Bill's Busy Bees natural comb honey, Green Mountain Honey Farms honey, Dunham Family Maple syrup, Highland Sugarworks syrup, Northwoods Apiaries Organic Raw Honey, Willis Wood's Pure Cider Jelly, Honey Gardens Apiaries Raw Honey, Maple Sugar, Boiled Cider, Cider Jelly,
Wines: Shelburne Vineyards Lakewood White, New World Red, Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Rhapsody Dessert
Other assorted stuff: Vermont Village Cannery applesauce, Love and Tea "Green Mountain Mint", Sheffield Farm Seitan, Rhapsody Temphe, Sunflower Oil
Meats: Misty Knoll Chicken, Turkey, Sausage, Turkey Cutlets, Ground Turkey, Meadow View Farm Ground Beef & Steaks

Monday, August 18, 2008

Starter Kits Available

Eat Local Challenge Starter Kits
Getting ready for the Eat Local Challenge September 14-20?

Wondering how to get those hard-to-find staples of the Localvore pantry?

We’ll make it easy for you by providing a ready-made Localvore Starter Kit.

This year's kit contains:

Whole wheat flour
Wheat berries
Dried beans
Cider vinegar
Sunflower oil
Rolled oats
Dried cranberries
Maine Sea Salt

All of these highly sought after and hard to find items are in an organic cotton grocery tote with Localvore logo. The starter kit makes a great gift- for a friend or treat yourself!

Cost: $30.00

Kits will be available for pick-up the first week of September--pick up at Yestermorrow Design/Build School (directions) or at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, September 15th.

To order:

E-mail Kate Stephenson or call her at 225-8933 with your name and phone number, or call her at 225-8933. Send your check for $30.00 to: MRV Localvore Project, c/o Kate Stephenson, 61 Prospect St, Montpelier, VT 05602. Quantities are limited so please order early to ensure availability - last year we sold out very quickly!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Local Produce Available at Hunger Mountain Coop (August 11, 2008)

Littlewood Farm
Green Kale
Purple Kale
Hot Peppers
Green Peppers
Cherry tomatoes

Pete's Greens
Baby Arugula Small Bags
Baby Bok Choy
Baby Spinach
Braising Mix Small Bags
Bunched Carrots
Mesclun loose
Mesclun small bags
Napa Cabbage

Westminster Organics
Loose Carrots
5# Bagged Carrots
Lacinata kale

Green Beans

Riverside Farm
Back up corn
Bunched Beets
Curly Parsley
Dill - gap
Flat Parsley
Green Cabbage
Pattypan Squash
Pickling Cucumbers
Red Cabbage
Yellow Squash

Dog River Farm
Red Chard
Green Chard
Japanese Eggplant

Sanders Farm
Snap Peas
Jerusalem Artichokes
Euro Cukes
Cluster Tomatoes
Red, yellow, orange peppers
Loose gold beets

Cate Farm
Loose red beets

Champlain Orchards
Organic Plums

Stowe Hollow
Organic Blueberries

Back Beyond
Sweet onions
Back up Scallions

Witchcat Farm

Scott Farm - Zeke
Eco peaches
Eco plums

Hazendale Farm
Back up green beans

Sunday, July 13, 2008

NOFA-VT Summer workshop series

Sat. July 19 Organic Apples
10am–5pm Shelburne Orchards, 216 Orchard Rd , Shelburne , VT
Michael Phillips, farmer at Heartsong Farm, and author of The Apple Grower, will lead participants in a walk through the orchard season. He will discuss the key roles understory management and soil health play in an organic orchard, and look at varietal and rootstock choices. He will also identify insect and disease dynamics from a holistic perspective aimed at achieving maximum diversity. Orchards can be a profitable element of a diversified farm operation, and Michael will discuss a range of options for successfully marketing an organic fruit crop. The day ends with a rambunctious wassail sure to kindle those hopes of offering the "good fruit" to one’s own community. It is guaranteed to be an informative day for both the commercial and the backyard orchardist. The workshop is hosted by Nick Cowles of Shelburne Orchards, an 80 acre, family owned orchard with apples, peaches, sour cherries, and plums. Please pre-register by calling the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 or email info@nofavt.org . $20 for NOFA members, $30 for non-members. Please bring a bagged lunch. Directions: From north or south : Take I-89 to Exit 13. Exit left or south on Rte 7. Travel about 5 miles through the town of Shelburne . Turn right on Bostwick Rd. Travel about 2 miles and turn right on to Orchard Rd.

Sun. July 20 Getting Started with Poultry
1–3:30pm Singing Cedars Farmstead, 30 Black Snake Ln , Orwell , VT
Scott Greene and Suzanne Young raise laying hens and meat birds on their farm in Orwell but their systems work just as well for the backyard chicken coop. This workshop will cover basic brooding, feeding, watering, and housing. Scott and Suzanne have recently added newer structures including portable greenhouse frames and a pasture solar hen house. $10 for NOFA members, $15 for non-members Directions: From the south: Take Rte 22A north from Fair Haven. After ~11mi turn left on North Cross Rd. After ¾mi turn right on Stage Rd. After 0.7mi, turn left on Singing Cedars Rd. Go 1mi to two green mail boxes on the right. Turn right onto Black Snake Ln. Go 0.3 mile to the first place. From the north: Take Rte 22A south from Vergennes. Turn right at the crest of the hill on Cook Rd. Go 0.75mi and bear left on Stage Rd. Go 2.3 mi and turn right on Singing Cedars Rd. Follow directions above.

Sat. August 2 Grow Your Own Organic Garden
9am–1pm Community Teaching Garden , Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington , VT
Want to cut your food bill and become more self-sufficient, but unsure of how to start? Workshops on the basics of organic gardening will be held throughout Vermont this summer and will cover: an introduction to soil science, composting methods, nutrient management, cover cropping, weed control, insect and pest management, plus more. This workshop will be led by Jim Flint, the Executive Director of Friends of Burlington Gardens. Please pre-register by calling the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 or email info@nofavt.org . $20 for NOFA members, $30 for non-members. Participants should be prepared to be outside throughout this workshop. Please bring a potluck dish to share for lunch. Directions: From Burlington : take Rte 127 North to the North Ave Exit (toward beaches). Turn right at the Ethan Allen Homestead.

Sat. August 9 The Family Cow and Making Home Dairy Products
2–5pm Turkey Hill Farm, 55 Turkey Hill Rd , Randolph Center , VT
Have you ever thought of having a family cow? Then this workshop is for you! Farmers Stuart and Margaret Osha will share the many issues that arise in having a family cow, including milking schedules, equipment, breed types, health considerations, feed and land issues as well as marketing your milk. This workshop will also cover making homemade butter, ice cream, cheese, and more! $10 for NOFA members, $15 for non-members. Directions: Take I-89 to Exit 4. Take Rte 66 east. Past Floyd's Store. Take a left on Ridge Rd. Go ~1mi and turn right on North Randolph Rd. Go ~1mi and take a right on Curtis Rd. After 1/3 mile, stay straight, do not go around the corner, go past the three mail boxes, we are the first left. If you get lost call 802-728-7064.

Sat. August 16 Grow Your Own Organic Garden
9am–1pm Maplewood Natural Organics, 3550 Gore Rd , Highgate , VT
Want to cut your food bill and become more self-sufficient, but unsure of how to start? Workshops on the basics of organic gardening will be held throughout Vermont this summer and will cover: an introduction to soil science, composting methods, nutrient management, cover cropping, weed control, insect and pest management, plus more. This workshop will be led by experienced organic gardener and farmer Hannah Noel, who grows over 40 vegetables and fruits. Please pre-register by calling the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 or email info@nofavt.org . $20 for NOFA members, $30 for non-members. Please bring a trowel and work gloves as well as a potluck dish to share for lunch. Directions: From I-89 take Exit 20, and head north on Rte 207 into Highgate. Turn right onto Rte 78. Turn left onto Rte 207N (also called Gore Road ) just past the Mobil. Drive north 3.5mi. Our farm is past Fisher Hill Nursery, the first brick house on the right.

Sun. August 17 Cooking with The 10 Best Herbs
4-6pm Ellen's Kitchen, 98 Franklin Ave , Manchester Village , VT
Learn to design an herb garden perfect for your cooking needs with Ellen Ogden, co-founder of The Cook’s Garden seed catalogue and author of both The Cook’s Garden and The Vermont Cheese Book. Together discuss garden design and then prepare soup, salad, bread, and a main course using 10 of the best culinary herbs. Please pre-register by calling the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 or email info@nofavt.org. $10 for NOFA members, $15 for non-members. Directions: From the center of Manchester at the Intersection of Rte. 30 & 7A - Take Rte. 7A South towards Arlington . Go 1 mile, turn right onto Seminary Ave (before Equinox Hotel). Take first right onto Franklin Ave. Park in the lot, and walk two houses down. Number 98 is on the right, a pale green house with split rail fence.

Sat. August 23 Grow Your Own Organic Garden
9-1pm, Bromley Farm , Peru , VT
Want to cut your food bill and become more self-sufficient, but unsure of how to start? Workshops on the basics of organic gardening will be held throughout Vermont this summer and will cover: an introduction to soil science, composting methods, nutrient management, cover cropping, weed control, insect and pest management, plus more. This workshop will be led by Jessica Klick, owner of Bromley Farm, a diversified operation in Peru . Please pre-register by calling the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 or email info@nofavt.org . $20 for NOFA members, $30 for non-members. Please bring a potluck dish to share for lunch. Directions: From Manchester: Take Rte 11 east ~10mi. Turn right on Bromley Farm Rd. The house is the 3rd on the right.

Sun. August 24 Earthen Ovens – How to Build and Use Your Own Oven
9am–3pm Wellspring Farm, 182 LaFiriria Place , Marshfield , VT
In 2007, NOFA-VT sponsored the construction of the beautiful earthen oven seen to the right at Wellspring Farm. That oven will serve as the prototype for this workshop. We will discuss site location and preparation, the use of earthen materials, planning and logistics for building, upkeep and maintenance, fuel considerations, and baking tools used in the finished oven. A very small-scale oven will be constructed during the workshop to demonstrate the general process of building with earth materials. Cooking in an earthen oven will be demonstrated, and we will cook a light lunch in the existing oven. Please pre-register by calling the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 or email info@nofavt.org . $20 for NOFA members, $30 for non-members. Directions: From the west: take Rte 2 east. Turn right onto Patty's Crossing after signs for Meadowcrest Campground (~4mi beyond Plainfield ). Turn right to LaFirira Place . The farm is at the dead end. From the east: Take Rte 2 west past Marshfield . Turn left onto Patty's Crossing (approx. 3 miles from Marshfield village). Follow directions above.

Sat. August 30 Pollination Gardens to Attract Bees
9am–12noon Honey Gardens Apiaries, 2777 Rte 7, Ferrisburgh , VT
Todd Hardie and Annie Watson of Honey Gardens Apiaries will discuss how to plant gardens that support bees. Assess your yard and garden to see what vegetables, flowers, "weeds," and trees you already grow that provide nectar and pollen. Make plans to encourage what's there and to add more next year, so honey bees and other pollinators will have food sources throughout the spring, summer, and fall. The workshop will include a walking tour of the nectar and pollen gardens and beehives at Honey Gardens . Bring a bag lunch if you would like to stay for further discussion. $10 for NOFA members, $15 for non-members. Directions: From Burlington , take Rte 7 south to Ferrisburgh. Honey Gardens is on the right at the southern end of the village. Look for the bears holding a yellow sign. From Middlebury, take Rte 7 north to Ferrisburgh. Honey Gardens is on the left just after a Mobil. Look for the bears holding a yellow sign.

Sat. Sept. 6 Growing Herbs - Making Medicine
10am–4pm Lotus Moon Medicinals, Anjali Farm, 395 Middletown Rd, South Londonderry , VT
The day begins with a farm tour and weed walk with Lini Mazumdar, owner of Lotus Moon Medicinals. Get your hands dirty digging roots and wildcrafting herbs. After lunch, you will learn different methods of storing, processing, and making medicines and other herbal products. Lini will also discuss starting and owning an herbal business. $20 for NOFA members, $30 for non-members. Please bring a bagged lunch. Directions: From the south: Go north on Rte 100 to S. Londonderry. Cross bridge and go straight up hill on Middletown Road . Anjali Farm is 2/10 of a mile on the left. From the north or west: Take Rte 100 south to S. Londonderry . Before the bridge, make a left turn on to Middletown Road . Anjali Farm is 2/10 of a mile on the left.

Sat. Sept. 13 (rain date Sat. Sept 20) Hands-on Stone Wall Building
9am–5pm Holy Goat Farm, 206 Walker Hill Rd , Williston , VT
Brian Vaughan of Vaughan Landscaping will teach a hands-on workshop building a natural fieldstone wall. You will learn how to prepare the base, the drainage, and the backfill for a stone wall, as well as how to build the wall and the cap. Please pre-register by calling the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 or email info@nofavt.org . $20 for NOFA members, $30 for non-members. Bring work gloves and eye protection. Directions: From I-89 take Exit 12 (Williston). Take Rte 2A south. Drive about 1/2 mile. Turn right onto Walker Hill Rd. Look for number 206 on your right.

Sun. Sept. 14 Store the Harvest
1–4:30pm Meadowland Farm, 578 Baldwin Rd , Hinesburg , VT
This hands-on workshop, led by Susan Johnson of Meadowland Farm, will walk participants through canning tomatoes and freezing vegetables. We will discuss how to choose vegetables that store, can, and freeze well. Participants will tour our simple but working root cellar. Please pre-register by calling the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 or email info@nofavt.org. $10 for NOFA members, $15 for non-members. Directions: From Rte 116 in Hinesburg: Turn onto the Charlotte Road opposite Lantman’s. When the road takes a 90 degree turn to the right, stay straight onto the dirt road (there is a red tool shed at the corner) onto Baldwin Rd. Our home is a brown weathered cape, ½ mile up the road on the right.

Wed. Sept. 17 Seed Saving Basics
3–5 pm High Mowing Seeds Trial Gardens , Wolcott , VT
Tom Stearns and Katie Traube of High Mowing Seeds will discuss the basic principles and techniques of seed saving. The event takes place in the HMS Trial Gardens and will lend an opportunity to tour and discuss a number of crop types as well as some live demonstrations of extraction and cleaning. This workshop is directly followed by the High Mowing Seeds Summer Field Day (www.highmowingseeds.com). Co-sponsored by the Stowe Free Library. Free. Directions: From the east: Take Rte15W out of Hardwick. Go 3 miles to Marsh Rd. Turn right onto Marsh Rd and travel up hill till you overlook the fields and find parking signs. From the west: take Rte 15E past Wolcott Center. Turn left on East Hill Rd. By the cemetery, at top of hill, take right onto Marsh Rd. Follow till you see signs for parking.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gubernatorial Debate at Flatbread 7/20

2008 Gubernatorial Debate
Our Environment • Our Food • Our Future

Debate Highlights
Date and Time: Sunday, July 20th at 5pm (debate starts at 5:30)
Location: Lareau Farm, Home of American Flatbread in Waitsfield, VT
Moderator: David Moats, Editorial Editor for the Rutland Herald
Candidates: Governor Jim Douglas (R), Anthony Pollina (P), Speaker Gaye Symington (D)
FREE and Open to the Public. All are welcome and encouraged to attend!
Flatbread Picnic: Immediately following the Debate featuring American Flatbread and Beverages for sale and free salad and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.

In My View
Gubernatorial Debate
Our Environment • Our Food
By George Schenk

Why a Gubernatorial Debate?
Like a lot of other people I followed the presidential primaries with a level of interest that surprised me. Maybe it was the historic nature of the candidates, the closeness of the races, or the extraordinary voter turn out that moved me, but more than these I came to feel that we are a society at a crossroads: that much of the conventional wisdom that has guided the country's growth and development since the Second World War is being challenged by new technologies and environmental limitations.
As this is true for the nation and the world, it is also true for our state and our communities. Vermont is rich in culture and has many natural resources – not least of which is the thing we seem to talk about most – our weather – but like everywhere, we have our share of difficulties, and things that are simply not serving us well.
In my view, the dominant food system is not serving Vermonters or our environment in the ways that it could, and I believe, ultimately needs to.
Food, in all of its various forms, is the largest business on the planet. Its production, processing and distribution has the largest impact on our environment of any other human activity, and it is, along with air, water, shelter, clothing and love, common and elementary to us all. Yet despite its central role in the human experience and its profound effect on the earth, it is a subject that historically we have infrequently talked about in our highest political conversations.
For a long time it didn't seem to matter. American farmers always produced enough to keep our shelves full and prices low. We worried about the high rate of failure of small family farms but felt helpless to do much about it in the face of inexorable market forces. It was the price of progress.
This was the logic for our political silence of the past.
Today there is a new food imperative with a new food conversation. It is a conversation with questions that will not go away and demand our thoughtful consideration. Why does so much of our food that could be grown and raised here come from so far away? What do residues of pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics; the genetics of GMO's and cloned meats; and the technology of irradiation mean to our health, the health of our children and the health of our environment? Do consumers have the right to know what's in their food and how it has been treated? How will the next generation of farmers afford the land they need? What kind of food should we have in our public schools? In our hospitals and nursing homes? Could better food be a tool to improve behavior in our prisons? How do we relieve hunger and provide for basic food security for all Vermonters? Is good clean wholesome food only something the rich can afford? Who is responsible for GMO pollen drift that contaminates organic crops? How do Vermont dairy farmers compete in a global market? Can we produce the food we need in greater harmony with the environment we live in?
Together, these questions and others illuminate the central question: How will we feed one another? Directly or indirectly, we are all in the business of food. We are in this together, and it will be together that we will best find ways to create meaningful food that nurtures our health, that promotes the well being of our communities, and that safeguards our environment for the generations to follow.
To help advance this important conversation and to inform the voters of Vermont on the positions of the candidates for Governor concerning the environment and agriculture and food policy American Flatbread is honored to co-host with the Vermont Natural Resource Council (VNRC) and the Vermont Localvores the first Gubernatorial Debate of 2008 at Lareau Farm Sunday July 20th at 5 p.m. The moderator will be the Pulitzer prize editor of the Rutland Herald, David Moats. The debate is free and open to the public; all are welcome. Immediately following the debate there will be a Flatbread picnic in the pavilion with live jazz and free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Please carpool.
A Note on Political Bias.
By any objective measure American Flatbread, or maybe more fairly, I, tend to fall left of center on most political subjects. My intention in hosting this Gubernatorial Debate is not to promote or support any one candidate or conversely, set up for failure, embarrass or in any way personally attack or put down an individual candidate. My intention is to facilitate a conversation on subjects that are important to Vermont. Although I may from time to time disagree with specific policies or priorities, I observe that Vermont is blessed with elected officials and civil servants who are professional, conscientious, ethical and have a great affection for this land we call home, and for the people we call our neighbors.
An event like this is the work of many people; thanks to all who have helped coordinate this debate.
George Schenk
Founder, CEO
American Flatbread

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Grow an Extra Row

The Mad River Valley Localvore Project and the Village Grocery are teaming up to encourage Valley residents to "Grow an Extra Row" this year. The idea of the program is to help supply fresh, local produce to area foodshelves. The program, co-sponsored by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and WCAX TV, provides free seeds to people willing to devote a little space in their garden to help a hungry neighbor.

In the Mad River Valley, people interested in participating can pick up their free seeds at the Village Grocery. Once the produce is grown and harvested the VG will be the collection point for the produce. According to Troy Kingsbury, owner of the store, "We will be collecting produce donations on Wednesdays and people dropping off vegetables will get a free 'summer treat' as a thank you."

The plan is that the Localvores will then pick up the produce on Thursday mornings and deliver it to the foodshelf. Robin McDermott, who is helping coordinate the project, says that, "Our local foodshelves are staffed by volunteers; being able to centralize the collection of the food and so it can be dropped off in one delivery will make it much easier for them. Troy is providing a great service to the community."

Kingsbury also plans to weigh and record the contributions and has offered a free tank of gas (up to $100) to the person or family who donates the most fresh food during the 2008 growing season.

Most of the free seeds are for easy to grow root crops like carrots, radishes, and beets. There are also a small number of heirloom tomato seedlings that McDermott donated that will be given out on a first come, first served basis. They will be available at the VG starting on Thursday morning, June 19.

Kingsbury is a big supporter of the local food movement in the valley. In season he offers shoppers local strawberries, lettuce and other produce from local farms. He is not worried about getting too many produce donations for the foodshelf. Although the produce is perishable, he says that if the foodshelf has too much produce in a particular week he will sell it in his store and give the money to the foodshelf or he will donate the food to a local school.

McDermott, co-founder of the Mad River Valley Localvore Project, points out that this is another program that the Localvores are involved in to help make local food accessible to all Valley residents regardless of their financial ability. "Earlier this year the Localvores donated $1200 dollars of local food to the Mad River Valley Foodshelf in the form of a $600 vegetable and fruit CSA from Hartshorn Farm and another $600 meat and egg CSA from Gaylord Farm. However, it is likely that CSAs will run out of funding sometime in August and we want to keep the stream of local food flowing to the foodshelf throughout the entire growing season. Our hope is that the "Grow an Extra Row" program will do just that."

People interested in learning more about this program can visit http://www.vermontlocalvore.org/ or stop by the VG. For information on the "Grow an Extra Row" program go to http://www.wcax.com/.