Local Food

Dandelion Love

I was surprised to see a few yellow dandelions blooming close the ground just over a week ago when the days were still quite chilly.  These plants are hardy!  While some people may be annoyed by pesky dandelions growing in their lawns and gardens, these healthful plants are actually one of the first spring foods you can forage from the land (if picking, be sure to harvest plants that are in an unsprayed area, at least 20 feet from a road, and not near sidewalks or trails). 

Local Food as Medicine: Adaptogens

Adaptogens are herbal remedies that increase our abilities to resist the effects of stress on our bodies and help restore our bodies to normal functioning by regulating the adrenal stress response.  Adaptogens also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help protect cells from damage.  Adaptogens are generally non-toxic, even with prolonged use (but of course, be sure to check with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns).

City Market's Prepared Foods Shines with Local Food Use

When you think of the words local food, what do you envision? Perhaps grown by your neighboring farmers, seasonality, delicious, healthy, minimal carbon foot print and supporting local economies. Well here at City Market, we define local products as grown or raised in Vermont, where the farm selling the product is from Vermont, and any processing is done in Vermont. Typically, these products are mostly whole, unprocessed foods.

Tortillas with Soul

We have a list of Global Ends that guides our business and all that we do.  One of our Global Ends is “strengthening the local food system,” which is met through a myriad of activities and programs including highlighting and selling local products (37% of sales in fiscal year 2015 were local and made in Vermont products), planning farm tours and crop mobs for the community, our Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants Program and our Local Farm and Producer Investment Program. 

Local Parsnip Perfection

Those of us living in northern climates who like to eat fresh foods during the winter are likely well-versed in root vegetables.  Beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, turnips and the like are readily available to us throughout the cold months.  But one can only eat so many root vegetables before they become blasé (really, how many ways can you eat turnips?).

Soil Health is the Key

Healthy soil is the key to so much: healthy food, clean water, increased crop yields, drought resistance.  It’s integral to a healthy food system, but for the last 50 years or so, it’s been relegated to the background as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, tillage, and monocropping have come to the forefront.  Dust storms that harken back to the dust bowl are still the reality in areas where soil is left bare and exposed to the wind, particularly in the Midwest and Southwest. However, as we look to improve water quality in Vermont and to develop a strong and sustainable food system, more attention is being refocused on the health of our soils.

JBF Food Conference Recap: Rethinking the Future of Food

Last month, the James Beard Foundation hosted their 6th annual conference tackling the very large topic “Rethinking the Future of Food.” I will say, this is no easy feat. Breaking it down into three perspectives, speakers, panelists, and participants examined this topic through the lenses of the future of health, the future of the kitchen, and the future of the farm.

Farm Visit: LaPlatte River Angus Farm

I had the pleasure of joining our Meat and Seafood Manager, Jamie, and our Meat and Seafood Buyer, Nick, on a visit to LaPlatte River Angus Farm’s new inspected livestock processing facility in Milton, VT.  Considering we get 1,600 - 2,000 pounds of beef from LaPlatte River Angus Farm each week (that’s 4 sides of beef per week, averaging between 400 and 500 pounds each), we were appreciative of the opportunity to check out the new facility and to see how the process works. 

Farm to Freezer is Back!

A couple years ago, we featured some regional frozen vegetables in our freezers in Aisle 4.  These were offered to us as part of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association’s Farm to Freezer program, and we’re happy to announce that NFCA is once again making these delicious frozen veggies available to us!

NFCA’s Farm to Freezer program started in response to Co-ops in New England needing more local or regional vegetables and fruit in our freezer aisles.  We offer a wide variety of local and regional options in our fresh food departments, like Produce, Meat and Seafood, and Cheese, so it felt only natural that a larger share of our frozen items should be produced locally or regionally as well. We have a variety of locally grown and frozen berries from Adam’s Berry Farm in Charlotte, VT, but the vegetable options were lacking.  Enter Farm to Freezer!

A Visit to Gerard's Bread

What if I told you there was a product we stocked that is in even higher demand than Heady Topper?  Would you believe me?  If you’ve ever looked for Gerard’s bread at the Co-op, then you know it’s true!  We’ve even seen folks notice it arriving at our loading dock out in the parking lot, and head back inside to meet the deliverer right as they arrive in the Bakery Department.

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