Upper Valley Shared Food & Farm Facility

In 2017, Vital Communities’ Valley Food & Farm Program began convening discussions about the need for and feasibility of a physical food hub in the Upper Valley. An Upper Valley Food Hub might contain many components, ranging from storage, aggregation, distribution, value-added processing, year-round retail sales venue, commercial kitchen, community space, or more.

With funding from a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Partnership Grant, we have been working with farmers and others to investigate the priorities and feasibility of various food hub ideas. Many valuable conversations and connections have happened during this project and we keep the ball rolling with funds from the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative.

Would your farm-based business, or the Upper Valley, benefit from a shared facility? What type of shared facility would help your business grow? Would you support a year-round farmers’ market? Would you use aggregation and distribution facilities? Are you interested in a farmer cooperative?

We will be convening steering committees to aid in this process as we prepare for feasibility studies and more stakeholder and community gatherings in the fall and winter of 2018-2019.

Please share your ideas, needs, suggestions, etc. via phone (802.291.9100 x106) or email Nancy@VitalCommunities.org

Meetings and Notes

Food Hub Listening Session
September 26, 2017
At King Arthur Flour Bakery + Cafe

Over 70 food business owners and community members joined the project partners at this kickoff event, and had a robust discussion of potential Upper Valley food hub functions. Here you can find overall meeting notes, a list of the biggest challenges in the food system identified by the group, and a prioritization of the potential uses of a shared facility.

meeting date and location goes here

Description of what happened and attached notes go here

Resources

Area processors/kitchens/etc.

Genuine Local, Meredith, NH. A purpose-built specialty food production facility.

Vermont Food Venture Center, Hardwick, VT.

Mad River Food Hub, Waitsfield, VT

Kearsarge Food Hub, Bradford, NH

Coolidge Hotel, White River Junction, VT

 

Vermont/New Hampshire Aggregators

Food Connects

Farm Fresh Connect

Food Connex

Green Mountan Farm Direct

 

Case Studies, Feasibility Studies, etc.

Farm to Institution New England – case studies, including 7 great reports on New England food hubs.

Monadnock Food Infrastructure Report

 

For Inspiration

Northbound Ventures, Summerville, MA. Project consultant for food system facilities around New England. Lots of interesting project  to read about.

Intervale Center, Burlington, VT

Unity Food Hub, Unity, ME

 

Other

Upper Valley inventory of commercially licensed kitchens collected by Vital Communities… Coming soon.

Project Partners

sare-northeast cropped

This project is funded by USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.

Join our Farmer Discussion

Learn More

The Upper Valley Farmer Community Discussion List is a forum to share items of interest to farmers in the Upper Valley. Valley Food & Farm will post information about upcoming events, agency of agriculture bulletins, market opportunities, and other items that will be useful to farmers in our region. We encourage subscribers to share knowledge, questions, items for sale, with the goal of facilitating communication within our farming community. To subscribe send a blank message to uvfarming-subscribe@lists.valley.net Subscribers can post a message to this list by simply emailing a message to uvfarming@lists.valley.net

.

What's Happening

Visit Our Food & Farm Blog

Vital Communities Program News

Staff

Becka Warren

Valley Food & Farm Communications Coordinator

Food & Farm

 802.291.9100 x 112

Food & Farm

— Becka Warren, Valley Food & Farm Communications Coordinator

Part of Vital Communities' Valley Food & Farm team since 2012, Becka fosters relationships that keep agriculture a daily part of community life in the Upper Valley. She works with current and future farmers, businesses, schools, and partners across Vermont and New Hampshire to build connections that support farm viability and keep our landscapes working. Becka lived in Seattle for many years, where she worked for the Washington State University Small Farms Program, Cascade Harvest Coalition, Seattle Tilth, and area vegetable farms. Becka is also a writer, founding and writing Ask Umbra at gristmagazine.com until 2009. She holds a BA from Brown University and lives in Hartland, Vermont, with her family.



Beth Roy

Valley Food & Farm Manager

Food & Farm

 802.291.9100 x 105

Food & Farm

— Beth Roy, Valley Food & Farm Manager

Before joining Vital Communities, Beth Roy worked in the environmental and place-based education fields for 17 years in various positions around New England including at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and as the Director of Education at the Nature Museum in Grafton, Vt. Beth is also on the boards of the Vermont Science Teacher Association (VSTA) and the Vermont State-Wide Environmental Education Programs (SWEEP), a coalition of dozens of individuals and organizations promoting sustainability and environmental education in Vermont. Beth is a New Hampshire native and lives in Hartland, Vt., with her husband and two children. When Beth is not working you will find her exploring the woods around her home with her family or cooking up a new taste test (made of local foods, of course!) for her children.



Lauren Griswold

Valley Quest and Volunteer Coordinator, Valley Food & Farm Program Assistant

Valley Quest, Food & Farm

 802.291.9100 x 107

Valley Quest, Food & Farm

— Lauren Griswold, Valley Quest and Volunteer Coordinator, Valley Food & Farm Program Assistant

Lauren Griswold joined Vital Communities in May 2017 to coordinate Power of Produce (POP) clubs at Upper Valley farmers' markets and farmstands. In August 2017 she became our Valley Quest and Volunteer Coordinator, in addition to her role as the Valley Food & Farm Program Assistant. Lauren grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in English and Environmental Studies. Her passion for sustainable agriculture took her out West, where she served as a garden educator in Bend, Oregon. After an enriching chapter in the high desert, Lauren is thrilled to be back in central Vermont. She is passionate about the rich communities and natural beauty of the Upper Valley, and enjoys engaging the next generation with wonder and enthusiasm about this special place. In her free time, Lauren can be found mountain biking, cross country skiing, gardening, knitting, and savoring meals with friends and family.



Nancy LaRowe

Local First Manager and Valley Food & Farm Coordinator

Food & Farm

 802.291.9100 x 106

Food & Farm

— Nancy LaRowe, Local First Manager and Valley Food & Farm Coordinator

Nancy joined Vital Communities as the Valley Food & Farm Coordinator in 2014. She works to support and grow our local food system and economy. Nancy has lived, worked, and farmed in the Upper Valley for more than 25 years and believes our community is healthier and stronger when our connections to food and the farms that produce it stay vital.

Nancy's informal job title is Farmer-in-Residence: she also runs a pasture-based cattle farm in Norwich, Vt. Nancy is on the Board of the Norwich Farmers' Market, and a retired Norwich volunteer firefighter and EMT. She loves puttering in the garden, hiking with her dog, and visiting farmers' markets.