Vital Communities Events
To view all Vital Communities events in calendar format, please click here.
Upcoming events are listed below, in date order. Recent events follow at the bottom.
More events to come! Stay tuned!
From the State House to the Farm House
Wed., Dec. 16, 10 am-noon
Farmers and legislators are invited to this third annual event, hosted by farms across Vermont and focusing on citizen advocacy at the intersection of the working lands, community members, and policymakers. This virtual event is about building relationships among farmers/farmworkers and the (recently!) elected legislators who represent them, through dialogue about how policy can support the transition to a resilient and equitable agriculture that benefits all of our people, communities, and landscapes. In the midst of a year where so much has changed on farms and within our greater food web, and so many structural inequities have been exacerbated, there is much to discuss. We look forward to this conversation.
The event will include regional breakouts with dialogue between farmers/farmworkers and legislators. Luna Bleu Farm will “host” the Windsor County session and Orange County will be “hosted” by Cedar Circle Farm & Education Center.
More details here.
Local Food and the Pandemic: What’s Been Going On?
Tues., Dec. 8, 6:30-7:45 pm
Food and farmers have been center stage in 2020, from store and school closures, to a run on local meat and veggies, to milk with nowhere to go. How did our food supply and our farms make it through? What will the future hold? Join Vital Communities and four local farmers to hear details and get answers to all your questions about what our farmers have been facing and how they have contributed to our communities during this unprecedented year. We will hear from:
- Amy Richardson of Richardson Farm in Hartland, a multi-generational dairy farm which also produces maple products
- Jenny Sprague of Edgewater Farm in Plainfield, a family farm selling fruits, vegetables, and nursery plants at their farm stand, pick your own, CSA, and stores.
- Lisa Davis of Sweet Doe Dairy in Chelsea, producing goat milk gelato for sale at farmers’ markets and stores
- Shona Sanford-Long of Luna Bleu Farm in Royalton, producing pasture-raised meats
View a video of the event here.
Buy Local to Feed Local: Upper Valley Everyone Eats
Tues., Nov. 24, 1-2 pm
Join us at a virtual panel and discussion about Upper Valley Everyone Eats, our local hub of the statewide coronavirus relief program Vermont Everyone Eats. We’ll hear directly from participating restaurants, meal sites, farms, and project coordinators, as they share their experiences with Upper Valley Everyone Eats, and discuss its impacts. We’ll save plenty of time for questions, too.
Vermont Everyone Eats pays hard-hit Vermont restaurants $10/meal to prepare free, nutritious meals for Vermonters in need. Upper Valley Everyone Eats will provide ~35,000 meals to patrons across 17 meal sites between September 8 and December 18. We also may continue to the end of December, and we may be able to freeze meals for later distribution.
Vermont Everyone Eats is funded by the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and made possible through a grant provided by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA).
Our Vermont legislators were a part of making this program possible, so thank you! We particularly invite you to attend, to gain a clearer picture of UVEE’s impacts. However, we welcome all officials to attend to hear about the innovative program. We are also inviting members of the Upper Valley Hunger Council, and Upper Valley Strong, and interested members of the public.
View the video of the gathering here.
Home Availablity in Our Region
Wed., Nov. 18, & Tues., Dec. 1, 9-10 am
Upper Valley legislators are invited to attend either of these discussions about opportunities to meet our collective housing needs, with members of Vital Communities’ Corporate Council. The Council is a volunteer group of this region’s largest and best-known institutions, businesses, and nonprofits that collectively employ more than 16,000 people and reach well over half the households in the region. Council members are deeply committed to working across boundaries to meet shared challenges.
Each session includes:
- Update on housing-related legislative actions and opportunities in Montpelier and Concord (brief presentations);
- Update on Upper Valley actions and opportunities, including new homes data from 2019 and in pipeline (brief presentations);
- Identification of collaboration opportunities (breakout group discussion followed by report to the large group).