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2011 Addison County Guide to Local Food and Farms — Page 3

Welcome to the second annual Addison County Guide to Local Food and Farms! For the first time in 50 years, the number of farms is increasing. The tide is slowly shifting as change wells up from the grassroots. People want more control over what they eat - they want to know WHO grew their food, HOW they grew it and processed it. They want to support their local economy and keep their dollars in the community. We are witnessing the early spring signs of an agricultural renaissance. The ACORN Network has been in the difficult business of trying to grow awareness about the importance of local food and agriculture since 2005. It’s been a slow, patient journey. The results have often been underwhelming – beliefs and habits change slowly. On the other hand, we’ve learned a lot about the land and people of this county and networked hundreds of connections between growers, businesses, schools and community organizations. One of the problems we faced was that we had very little information or data about the local food market. So we set out to find out for ourselves about what was happening on the ground. The results of that study were published in a local food plan in 2010 which you can download from the ACORN website at www.acornvt. org. You can also sign-up to receive our e-newsletter for updates. The plan’s 10-year goal is to grow the local food market from a current estimated 5% share to 15%. The report recommended three key initiatives to support that growth: 1) launch a wholesale produce market to better connect local growers and local markets and institutions; 2) hire a Farm-to-School coordinator to encourage local food purchasing, gardening and food education programs in the three school districts in the county, and 3) develop a Local Food Index to create a baseline metric for the local food market to be able to track our growth going forward. All three initiatives have now been launched. The ACORN Wholesale Collaborative is currently in the middle of an intensive 5-month planning phase which has been funded through grants from the High Meadows Fund and the John Merck Fund. Through a partnership with the Willowell Foundation, ACORN was able to hire Hannah Mueller, an AmeriCorps volunteer, to serve as the county’s first part-time Farm-toSchool coordinator. And the first quarterly report of the Addison County Local Food Index which includes Middlebury College, Porter Medical, Addison Northeast Foodservice, Greg’s Market and the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, will be published in early April. We invite you to participate in the following events which we are sponsoring in the next 6 months:

Young pigs sit in a pen at the Thompson/Duclos Farm in Weybridge last March.

Save the Date April 5: STONE SOUP: Addison County’s Farmto-School Conference from 4-7:30 PM at Middlebury Union High School, Middlebury April 14: ACORN ANNUAL MEETING featuring Ben Hewitt, author of “The Town that Food Saved” from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Lincoln Peak Winery in New Haven. Please RSVP to April 28: FARM-TO-PLATE REPORT by Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund Executive Director Ellen Kahler: “What does Farm-to-Plate mean to Addison County growers and businesses?” at McCardell Bicentennial Hall 216 at Middlebury College from 7-9 PM. September 18: TOUR DE FARMS and APPLEFEST, Bicycle tour and harvest celebration, Shoreham Independent photo/Trent Campbell

We’ve just learned that the 2010 Guide won a second place award for special sections among weekly publications at the New England Newspaper and Press Association conference - it’s a great honor for a first-time publication – we tip our hats to the Addison Independent and to everybody who helped make that happen! The 2011 Guide is no exception. Susan Smiley, who has diligently built the grower directory since 2005, had the bright idea of approaching Kevin Behm and Claire Tebbs at the Addison County Regional Planning Commission to create the beautiful GIS map to help readers more easily locate growers. We have a wonderful selection of stories, recipes and profiles this year, including a look at the history of agriculture in the Champlain Valley for which we turned to the Sheldon Museum for help. I’d like to personally thank Andrea Suozzo for her editorial leadership and Hannah Mueller for her many vital contributions to the 2011 edition. Finally, thanks are due to our many advertisers who work the local food economy every day and who make this publication possible – please support them with your business! —Jonathan Corcoran The ACORN Network

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Addison County Guide to Local Food and Farms 2011  

The Addison County Relocalization Network and the Addison Independent present our second annual Guide to Local Food and Farms, featuring a p...

Addison County Guide to Local Food and Farms 2011  

The Addison County Relocalization Network and the Addison Independent present our second annual Guide to Local Food and Farms, featuring a p...