Local Food

Farmer Spotlight: A Visit to our Local Producers

Throughout the year, City Market staff members make the rounds to visit our local producers and get a behind the scenes look at their operations. With over 2,700 Local and Made in Vermont products, we have plenty of incredible vendors to choose from. This past week, a group of us visited Miskell’s Premium Organics in Charlotte and Besteyfield Farms at their new space in Hinesburg.

Flocking to the Fields for Open Farm Week

Last Saturday, a group of City Market’s trusty Member Workers headed down to the Intervale for a Crop Mob at Pitchfork Farm. This event was one of 102 events on 44 farms around Vermont as part of the Third Annual Open Farm Week. This weeklong celebration of food and farms began in 2015 as a collaborative effort among a number of members of the Vermont Farm to Plate Network.

Community Class Spotlight: A Culinary Baking Adventure at Brot Bakery

Located off a dirt road in Fairfax, Vermont, Heike Meyer and her husband Jens run Bröt Bakery, a micro-bakery that specializes in organic, naturally leavened breads and pastries. With a custom wood-fired oven and a dedication to making hearty, delicious bread, Bröt Bakery is a favorite for City Market customers.

A New Movement Takes Root in Vermont’s Food System

Here in Vermont, we’re often recognized for our thriving local food system and commitment to the farm and food economy.

Celebrating Local Food & Farms at Summervale

Here at City Market, we work closely with the Intervale Center as one of our Community Outreach Partners. Each summer, we sponsor their weekly celebration of food, farms, and community: Summervale.

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food: Farm Tour Recap

Every summer, City Market hosts farm tours open to community members where we visit local farms and learn about agriculture in our home state. In June, we visited Pine Island Community Farm and Riverberry Farm and earlier in July we visited Green Mountain Bee Farm. Farm tours are part of our summer education programming, where community members and visitors can sign up for a day of meeting farmers and learning about where our food comes from. It really makes the “know your farmer” effort easy—we bring you right to them!

A New Direction for Vermont Agriculture

This is a guest post by Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm. All views expressed in this article are personal to Jack.

Just about every dairy farmer in Vermont will tell you that their industry is in a grave crisis situation.  The experts tell us that our present system of pricing commodity milk from the farm is broken and pretty much unrepairable. There is simply too much milk being produced.  According to the agricultural economists, we are now in a global marketplace and milk prices show no sign of improvement in the near future.  Several well-respected commentators have recently made some pretty radical suggestions they feel will help the situation.  For some time now, James Maroney of Leicester has been pushing for a statewide transition to organic dairy practices as a way to improve water quality in Lake Champlain.  More recently, Roger Allbee, a very well respected former Secretary of the Vermont Department of Agriculture, has suggested that the only cure for the present milk pricing malaise is to move the Vermont dairy industry en masse into the organic sector.  Reactions to these proposals have been rather predictable.  The conventional co-ops that handle the lion’s share of Vermont produced milk are incredulous and dead set against any such change while folks in the organic camp are elated that a former agriculture secretary would recognize the viability and economic advantages of organic farming systems. 

Confessions of a Grainiac

This is a guest post by Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm. All views expressed in this article are personal to Jack.

I grew my first grain crops during the 1977 season one year after buying our farm.  Total acreage was six—four of wheat, one of barley and one of flint corn. The cereals were planted with a wooden wheeled antique grain drill and harvested with a PTO driven John Deere grain binder and a large tin Dion threshing machine.  We ended up with some very nice looking hard red spring wheat that seemed to glow at us.  Beginner’s luck was upon us.  This initial success bolstered our confidence and nurtured a passion for grain growing that has continued until very recently.

What is CAPS Accreditation?

In 2015, one of the recipients of the Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants was the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Grower’s Association’s (VVBGA) Community Accreditation for Produce Safety (CAPS).  They received $12,700.55 from the grant program to help cover the cost of creating and implementing the CAPS program, including developing a web platform and providing farmer workshops.  CAPS is a voluntary and affordable Produce Safety Accreditation specifically for Vermont farms. The goal of CAPS is to help farmers reduce the risk of food-borne pathogens and maintain food safety credibility in the marketplace, even if they are exempt from the final rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

A Farmer’s Thoughts on 100% Grass Fed Dairying

This is a guest post by Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm. All views expressed in this article are personal to Jack.

One hundred per cent grass fed dairy products (aka “grass milk”) has been a relatively recent arrival to the dairy section of most natural foods outlets.  The health benefits of 100% grass fed dairy have long been espoused by The Weston A. Price Foundation and others.  When cows live on a diet from which grain has been eliminated, the omega 3 fatty acid profile increases in their milk.  Grass fed beef has become quite popular because of the presence of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA’s) in the meat.  Higher CLA’s reduce one’s risk of cancer and other diseases.  These same nutritional advantages hold true for 100% grass fed milk products. 

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