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A Moment with

Spencer Welton

President of the burlington fa r m e r s ’ m a r k e t

products to have a better story to go along with the high-quality ingredients they purchase and use. For the producer, it’s about getting the direct feedback from customers, whether it is praise or suggestions for improvements. Explain the role of the Northeast Organic Farming Association in the Vermont farming community. NOFA is an organization that provides support for the organic farming community. Some of the vendors at the Burlington Farmers’ Market are certified organic and some are not. Both groups of farmers are very conscientious about the methods they use to grow and raise their products. This is another way that the face-to-face interaction the market provides benefits both producer and buyer. The farmers get the chance to convey the thoughts they put into every step of the growing process, and the buyers get to ask questions they may have about how something is produced.

Mara and Spencer Welton. Photo by Jessica Bongard.

There seem to be many younger faces participating in the Burlington Farmers’ Market as vendors. How is this generation of Vermont farmers different from those of the previous generation?

that they produce. Many younger vendors come to this vocation through a very winding path and end up at the market as a result of following their passions and pursuing their dreams.

I think that the younger vendors come into the market driven by an enthusiasm for sharing their products with a broad audience. The agriculture vendors are very interested in talking about enjoying food and how best to prepare and eat the vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, honey, or maple syrup

How important is it for farmers to meet their buyers face to face? The market offers a great opportunity for face-to-face meetings and provides benefits in both directions. Food tastes better when it has a good story behind it, and meeting the farmers allows those who eat their


You and your wife Mara operate a farm in Burlington. When you do get some time away, what do you like to do? We are enthusiastic cooks, and we like to talk about food, look up new recipes, try different restaurants, find exciting vegetables, read cookbooks, and share food with friends. We are involved with Slow Food Vermont, the local chapter of Slow Food USA, and this allows us to do all those things with food enthusiasts around the country and around the world. We also have two miniature dachshunds that keep us entertained as we work on farm projects in the summer and house projects through the winter months. w

Best of Burlington - Summer 2014  

Read about the Burlington Coast Guard Station, the South Village, Lake Champlain and more in the Summer 2014 edition of Best of Burlington.