Connect Your Family with a Farm Near You

Max eating strawberry

We’re raising our family in the Upper Valley for many reasons, and having ‘our farm’ is a big one. We aren’t farming ourselves—our weedy lettuces and 7 freeloading hens prove it—‘our farm’ is our nearby Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. Every week as we pick up our veggies, the kids visit baby chicks, choose their favorite carrots, say hi to their adored Farmer C., or sit on the tractor. So far, it’s turned out just the way we wanted (although Farmer C. might have something to say about how much syrup my kids ‘sample’ every March). The kids run free on a working farm, they eat vegetables, they know the life cycles of animals, they see the connection between work and food, they are interested in the success of our neighbor’s business. It’s not a special event, it’s normal.

Farmer resources

CSA is one of many ways to build a relationship with a farm, and if you’re ready to consider joining or rejoining one for the summer of 2016, now is the time to find your farm and sign up. It’s easiest to join a CSA farm when the farm or the delivery is on your routes between home, work, and/or school. We’ve made it easier to find a farm on those routes: we just updated the Valley Food & Farm online guide to show you where farms deliver and sell their products. Visit the Guide, search for ‘local food’ and ‘CSA/Farmshare’ to pull up all the farms near you as well as those delivering to locations nearby. Upper Valley farms have a wide variety of prices, products, and payment plans, including many offering subsidized shares. Explore and see if this might be the year to get your family a farm!

Written by Becka Warren, Valley Food & Farm Manager at Vital Communities

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Meet. Eat. Buy! The Flavors 2016 Vendor Line Up Is Here!

Check out the hottest new vendors and returning favorites at Flavors of the Valley 2016!

April 10, 11am – 3pm at Hartford High School

Special thanks to our amazing sponsors!

Mascoma Savings Bank, Co-op Food Stores, The Skinny Pancake

King Arthur Flour, Yankee Farm Credit, NH Dept. of Agriculture, Great Eastern Radio

Upper Valley local foods assessment hot off the press!

Our 2014 local foods market assessment is complete! Download it here and on our website to learn about promising growth areas for our local food system. Valley Food & Farm undertook a local market assessment as a sophisticated analysis of the regional food marketplace.  The assessment provides data that Vital Communities, farms, and other food system businesses and organizations can use to develop the local food marketplace. Farmers can learn where customers shop and what foods they are seeking as well as why they buy what they do buy. Farmers can also learn about the interest independent grocers and retailers have in buying local foods. The report also details how our Upper Valley farmers hope to grow their businesses.
Two downloads are available:

If you have questions or comments about the reports, please contact Becka Warren, Valley Food & Farm Manager at becka@vitalcommunities.org.

Six Steps To An Awesome Dinner Salad

 salad

July is here and so is Everyday Chef’s new theme: the Dinner Salad. As the weather heats up we’ll be here to help you transform a simple side salad into a complex, satisfying meal that will leave you largely out of the kitchen and with more time to enjoy your summer days. Not to mention, a salad is an ideal opportunity to utilize all of the beautiful, seasonal foods that surround us here in Vermont during the month of July. Your salad misconceptions will end here. As RAFFL’s Executive Director, Tara Kelly, likes to say, “It’s not just rabbit food!” And she’s right. A salad dinner incorporates a variety of greens, vegetables, proteins, fruits, dressings and toppings. The combinations of flavors and textures are endless, but more importantly, a salad can be a fulfilling dinner – even for the hungriest of individuals.

Here’s how, in six steps:

 

And here are a few of our related posts to get you started on your salad planning.