Serving Up Vermont

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
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By Carrie Putscher, Assistant Outreach & Education Manager

Guest post by the Intervale Center

An Update on Intervale Center Programs and the Annual City Market COTS Tree Sale

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
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By Carrie Putscher, Assistant Outreach & Education Manager

Guest post by NOFA-VT

Do you believe that all Vermonters should have access to nourishing, local food? So do we! That’s why we’ve teamed up with City Market for the 20th year in a row to raise funds for our Farm Share Program. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020
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By Carrie Putscher, Assistant Outreach & Education Manager

On a blustery October day, I drove out to West Charleston to visit the orchard of Eden Specialty Ciders and help harvest some beautiful heirloom apples.

Monday, October 5, 2020
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By Carrie Putscher, Assistant Outreach & Education Manager

October is Co-op Month, and we’re proud to partner with a number of cooperative partners to celebrate what makes co-ops so special! Co-ops are alternative business structures that are created to meet the needs of their Members and are owned and governed by their members. Want to make sure you’re a part of a business that lets your voice be heard? Join a co-op!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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By Carrie Putscher, Assistant Outreach & Education Manager

City Market is a proud presenter of A Force to Be Reckoned With: Womxn in VT’s Food System, a webinar series hosted by ShiftMeals. This six-part series, happening every Thursday at noon from September 10th through October 15th, puts the spotlight on the experiences of womxn and femmes in Vermont who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Each date will feature a variety of panelists coming together to share their knowledge and experiences with the audience, creating a diverse sharing space to empower panelists and participants alike.

Friday, September 4, 2020
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By Carrie Putscher, Assistant Outreach & Education Manager

In conjunction with the series of outdoor cooking and education classes we’ve been able to offer to our community in partnership with the Intervale Center, we’ve also been hard at work transitioning to some virtual programming options. We’re grateful to have the opportunity to connect with our community members in a new, exciting way!

Monday, July 27, 2020
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By Carrie Putscher, Assistant Outreach & Education Manager

It’s been a whirlwind few months around the Co-op, and we’re so excited to be able to safely offer outdoor class programming to our community again! We’ve teamed up with the Intervale Center to schedule a series of outdoor cooking classes that allow for space and fresh air in a beautiful setting. With a variety of policies and procedures in place for our community’s wellbeing—smaller class sizes, a face covering requirement, and socially distanced workstations—we’re chopping, dicing, and grilling our way to new summer favorites.

Monday, June 29, 2020
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By Chad Estey, Media Coordinator

We recently caught up with Amy at Strafford Creamery to see how they've adjusted over the last few months during COVID:19. 

How are you doing considering the current circumstances we find ourselves in?

We are doing pretty well, actually.  The creamery is just a four-person crew and while that makes us incredibly vulnerable should Coronavirus sweep through, it also limits our exposures.  Our crew has been great about making the commitment to keeping their personal circles tight to protect the farm.  It's in everyone's best interest to stay strong and productive and we're doing that.  On the farm side, everyone lives here--our family and our two farm employees and we decided early on that the farm would be its own circle.  In the creamery, everyone wears masks and keeps distance as much as possible, but it's much harder to do that when you're leaning over an engine or pulling a calf.  The good side of that is that we were able to hold the biggest sports event in the state last weekend--the RockBottom Farm 2 v. 2 Tournament, with five teams.  Jackson, our 17-year-old son had just won the state D-III basketball title with Thetford Academy and dreamed up the tourney.  He built a half-court arena in the hay loft with hay-bale bleachers and an old backboard and rim.  It was hilarious and awesome all around.  Kim and Harley came back from an early loss to me and Jackson, sweeping the loser's bracket and then toasting us in the final on the strength of Kim's lights-out outside shot and Harley's foot-taller-than-his-mom rebounding.  

As far as business goes, sales are up.  I don't know if it's because people are worried about the security or fragility of a more regional or national food system or are just wanting to shore up their supply of food close to home, but we went from having a slight surplus of milk before spring calving to having a slight shortage with most of the cows calved in.  Ice cream sales are strong as well.  We've been eating more ice cream at home, too, and I think it might be because it's hard to be worried when you're eating a bowl of your favorite ice cream.  (I am going to get some strawberry right now, to test the theory.)

Vermont has an amazing history of supporting its local communities and farmers, any specific moments that have stood out to you during this time?

We were running tight on our supply of reusable glass bottles before quarantine, and saw our return rate drop off a cliff in the early days and stores struggled to adapt their bottle return protocols to the new normal.  I put out a post on our Facebook page, explaining that we would have to dump milk if we didn't have bottles to put it in.  Our customers shared that post around over 350 times and within a week, we were back in great shape with bottles.  People offered to mail them from Albany, drive around their neighborhoods collecting them, or donate the deposits just to get them back.  People were just fantastic about it.  Our two closest stores collected over 500 bottles in a week--five times more than normal.  I also found a few bottles in my mailbox.  

Friday, June 26, 2020
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By Chad Estey, Media Coordinator

We talked with Diggers' Mirtch Collective back in early May regarding farm updates with COVID:19. 

How are you doing considering the current circumstances we find ourselves in?

We are doing well, thank you. We are a seasonal farm, and are starting the season in the midst of the pandemic without quite knowing what to expect. We're just taking it one day at a time. Getting to work feels surprisingly normal. We are grateful for our work and for our health. We are a little short staffed with some of us are at home with kids and there is one non-COVID injury but, despite the cold weather, things are starting to grow!

Vermont has an amazing history of supporting its local communities and farmers, any specific moments that have stood out to you during this time?

Farms that have produce or meat to sell have been innovating with their marketing by starting online stores, doing home deliveries, and using the internet to communicate with their customers. These are all things that we are working on as well. The Diggers have a very small online presence, so this represents quite a change for us. But we see it as a positive move.

 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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By Carrie Putscher, Assistant Outreach & Education Manager

Guest post from Mandy Fischer, Director of Development and Special Projects at the Intervale Center

The COTS tree you purchased from City Market in December may be a thing of the past, but the tree it helped grow is just now beginning its life in Vermont! The community purchased over 600 COTS trees as part of City Market’s annual tree sale to fund the important work of COTS. For every tree purchased, City Market also donated funds to the Intervale Center to plant a tree through our enterprise, the Intervale Conservation Nursery.

Planting trees is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve Vermont’s water quality for the long term. It is also an important nature-based solution to climate change, as trees soak up pollution and dust from the air, rebuild natural habitats, and bio-sequester carbon.