Local Food

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. 

Sweet Talk: Local Honey

Let’s have some sweet talk…about local honey!  Every season, you may notice our beautiful endcap highlighting all of our local honey vendors. Even year round, our local honey selection is phenomenal. We work hard to support local honey producers, and we are committed to sharing information about each vendor with customers. We even have one staff member who is dedicated to working with local honey producers to make sure we’re offering high quality honey in a variety of sizes in addition to in what we offer in bulk.

Farmer Spotlight: Burundian Farmers Co-op

In 2010, New Farms for New Americans (NFNA), a program of Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV) started recruiting farmers and gardeners into their agriculture program with the help of a Refugee Agriculture Partnership Program (RAPP) grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The grant was meant to help connect refugee and immigrant farmers to land, resources, and education related to business development for small-scale farming and markets.  The goals of this grant helped launch the Burundian Farmers Co-op.

Local Summer Spotlight

Welcome to August! Late summer is a special time for our Produce department. Every day it is filled with bright, fresh new products from farms all over Vermont and beyond. With such bounty upon us, I wanted to shine light on some of our lesser-known veggies. Who knew linga linga would be a such a great addition to a stir fry? Or that some types of lettuce are grown for their delicious stalks? Here's the lowdown on some of our new favorites this season.

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?).


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