Local

Homemade Pizza

Making pizza at home might seem intimidating – especially compared to the relative ease of popping a pre-made frozen pie into the oven, but we think you’ll agree that nothing tastes better than homemade and the process is actually quite simple. PaneBelle’s organic pizza dough is featured in our weekly sale from January 16th – 22nd, along with local Maplebrook fresh mozzarella, local Bove’s pizza sauce, and a handful of perfect pizza toppings, so it’s an excellent time to try your hand at homemade pizza! Feel free to get creative with the toppings. This recipe makes 2 thin-crust 12” pizzas. If you prefer a thicker crust, follow the same instructions but create one larger pizza. 

Spotlight on New Chapter

Looking to step up your wellness game in 2019? We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on New Chapter this week and all of their supplements are 20% off for member-owners from January 9th – 15th. Read on to learn more about this Brattleboro-based B Corp that has been honoring natural well-being by nurturing body, soul, and Earth for nearly 40 years:

 

New Chapter was originally founded in 1982 by Paul and Barbi Schulick out of a passion to promote health through innovative botanical formulations made with 100% real foods and herbs. The company has grown and evolved over the past 38 years, but it still remains firmly rooted in Brattleboro, VT where they proudly employ more than 150 area residents.

 

Mission

  • To deliver the wisdom of Nature, thus relieving suffering and promoting optimal health.
  • To advance the organic mission, nourishing body and soul with the healing intelligence of pure whole foods and herbal supplements.
  • To nurture and sustain Mother Earth, the source of natural healing.
  • To honor and reward personal growth, for enlightened teamwork depends on the vitality of every member of the New Chapter® family.

 

Commitment to Sustainability

At New Chapter, concern for the planet is expressed not only through careful sourcing and formulation principles but also with every action they take as a company. New Chapter is proud to be a Certified B Corporation, which means they define success in holistic terms that encompass not just profit but people and Earth too. 

  • Sustainable Sourcing – They travel the globe to identify and build relationships with supplier partners who share their commitment to sustainable sourcing. Knowing their suppliers and the origins of their crops helps to uphold a supply chain that is both socially responsible and environmentally conscious.
  • Welfare of People – Throughout the supply chain, from Vermont to India, New Chapter aims to engage partners whose workers are treated with respect and provided with working conditions that are safe, healthy, and balanced.
  • Climate Friendly Farming – New Chapter is proud to be a part of the growing regenerative agricultural movement. Replacing industrial practices with regenerative ones can reboot plants’ natural cycle of removing carbon from the air by sequestering it in the ground. Along with adherence to organic standards, soil regeneration practices include rotating crops, composting, using cover crops, and avoiding deep tilling. These techniques create healthy, carbon-rich soil that is full of organic matter and holds water like a sponge.
  • Waste Reduction – New Chapter is able to compost, recycle, or reuse more than 80% of the waste they produce – everything from lunch leftovers and office paper to pallets and shrink-wrap. And they’re now certified Zero Waste to Landfill, which reduces their carbon footprint and uses energy recovery to convert their waste into clean energy.

 

Giving Back

As environmental stewards focused on human health, New Chapter works to increase accessibility to organic food, farming, and traditional herbal medicine. And as a Certified B Corp, they endeavor to use their business resources to help solve social and environmental problems—in communities around the world where our ingredients come from as well as locally right here in Vermont. Partners include Kindle Farm and the Vermont Food Bank.

 

 

Spotlight on Agricola Farm

Have you ever met someone so passionate about what they do that their enthusiasm is nearly palpable? Alessandra Reillini of Agricola Farm is just that someone and we’re excited to shine our Member Deals Spotlight on her farm this week. All Agricola Farm meats are 20% off for member-owners from December 26th – 31st, so it’s a great time to stock up the freezer. Read on to learn more about this ecologically-focused farm raising animals in the lush pastures of Panton, VT and the passionate Italian farmers that bring it to life:

About the Farmers

Agricola is a small diversified Italian farm in Panton, VT run by Alessandra (Ale) and Stefano (Steu). They, along with their small crew, are the farmers, the butchers, the vendors, and the chefs.  Ale originally founded the farm in 2007 with three pigs, four sheep, and big dreams. After earning a  Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale School of Medicine, she was lured to the Green Mountain State to UVM where she continues to serve as a Professor of Clinical Psychology when she’s not hard at work on the farm.  Stefano is an Agronomist and has a Masters in Agricultural Science from the University of Turin, in Italy. They share a love of good food, good company, an intense work ethic, and a strong commitment to environmental stewardship.

The Agricola “Farmily”

They specialize in raising and preparing gourmet meats and are particularly well known for their pasture-raised pork. On their farm, you’ll also find Icelandic sheep and heritage breed chickens, for both eggs and meat, along with apiaries for farm-fresh honey. In 2019 they also began raising ducks and geese and they grow many Italian varieties of vegetables and herbs, which you can sample if you’re lucky enough to attend one of their famous farm dinners, or you happen to visit their lovely farmstand during the summer months. At the farmstand, you’ll also find unique seasonal treats including fresh-baked bread, handmade Italian pasta, wildcrafted herbal teas, and artisanal soaps made with their pork lard, along with a stunning array of their fresh and cured meats.

Agricola Farm Stand in Panton, VT

The Italian Way

Ale, Steu, and the rest of their “Farmily” are committed to raising livestock the traditional Italian Way. What does this mean?

  1. The diet they choose to offer their animals promotes more natural growth. They use less sugar (no corn or whey) and fewer proteins (no soy) than the average pig diet. They also select non-GMO feed and avoid feed that speeds the oxidation process of the meat, such as brassicas and soy. Thanks to their diet and genetics, their pigs are predisposed to grow slower, reaching butchering weight at 14+ months, as compared to the usual 6 months for conventionally raised pigs. Why is this important? Muscles that grow slower are more flavorful. Many chefs describe Agricola Farm’s pork as complex and naturally flavored.
  2.  The animals can best express their pigness in pastures. Agricola Farm’s pigs are rotationally-grazed, moving to a new paddock bi-weekly, which allows them to graze the land naturally rich in grasses, legumes, parsnip roots, Jersualem artichokes, fruits, and hickory nuts. Running, digging, and grazing is a great exercise that keeps the pigs happy, entertained, and improves the flavor of the meat. According to Ale, “there is an unexplainable satisfaction in seeing pigs harvesting their own food straight from the land.” Ale and her farmily seed the pastures with grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables that they know the pigs will enjoy and they take great satisfaction in watching the pigs forage and feast.
  3. Agricola Farm processes their own meat following traditional Italian techniques for handling and cutting the meat. This allows them to celebrate their heritage while also maximizing the tenderness and flavor of their products. 

In short, the Italian Way means healthier animals, a more natural and enjoyable way of life for the animals, greater fertility for the land, and higher quality meat for the consumer. 

Happy pigs foraging in a fresh paddock

Looking Forward

Ale and her team have been hard at work rolling out an exciting new project — the opening of Agricola Meats in Middlebury! This meat processing facility will allow them the space, equipment, and flexibility to produce their own cured meat products, along with creating unique products for four other local farms. In her blog, Ale shares that, “the new facility allows us to produce a variety of cured meats such as prosciutto, coppa, pancetta, lonzino, and zillions of other products. We are so excited and ready for this shift! Our hearts also warm up because of the enthusiasm that we find for the project all around us: from the farmers that are happy to finally get a fair price for their livestock and create a unique quality product, from the shop owners that are proud to promote a product in which they believe, and from the people that buy the product and discover a delicious and nutritious way to promote responsible agriculture and be part of the green change that is happening at our farms. It has been a wild and happy ride to get this project going and we have countless people that helped us on the way.  I feel so humbled that so many people have just offered their time and their expertise and many of them have done that without asking for a compensation, only because they believed in the importance of the project… the importance of supporting Vermont Farms, the importance of supporting a type of agriculture that helps our environment and the importance of creating a top product that can make Vermont proud.”

Icelandic Sheep on pasture at Agricola Farm

Here at the Co-op, we’re grateful to work with farmers like Ale and Steu who are so dedicated to the craft of ecological farming and sustainable meat production. It’s critical that we, as consumers, support farmers that prioritize animal welfare and environmental stewardship. Agricola Farm takes pride in their products and they’re excited to become part of your family dinner table.

ducklings at the farm

Classic Hanukkah Brisket

Planning a Hanukkah feast? Local Boyden Farm beef brisket will be featured in our weekly sale from December 12th – 18th and we think you’ll love this Classic Hanukkah Brisket recipe! 

Spotlight on Champlain Valley Creamery

We’re casting our Member Deals Spotlight on a local organic creamery that produces delicious award-winning cheeses just a few short miles from the Co-op. Champlain Valley Creamery uses traditional techniques and small-batch pasteurization to produce their cheese entirely by hand in a net-zero solar-powered facility in Middlebury. Their fantastic lineup of cheeses are all 20% off for Member-owners from December 12th – 18th — just in time for your holiday parties! Read on to learn more about this fabulous local creamery and the people who make it shine:

 

 

Champlain Valley Creamery was first established in 2003 by founder and owner Carleton Yoder. With a graduate degree in food science and a background in wine and hard cider making, Yoder was eager to run his own food business. With Vermont’s abundance of amazing local milk, small-scale cheesemaking just made sense. Yoder began his adventures in cheesemaking in a facility in Vergennes where he focused on two products: Organic Champlain Triple and Old Fashioned Organic Cream Cheese. Both have been awarded well-deserved honors from the prestigious American Cheese Society.

Carleton Yoder

Over the years, the creamery has continued to grow and expand its offerings, eventually moving into a net-zero solar-powered facility on Middlebury’s Exchange Street in 2012. Yoder and his small crew now produce an expanded lineup of cheeses including Queso Fresco (available in original, house-smoked, and pepper varieties),  Maple Cream Cheese, a pyramid-shaped triple cream with a layer of ash known as Pyramid Scheme, and, most recently, they began importing Italian truffles to produce the Champlain Truffle Triple.

 

The Creamery also made a recent switch to using 100% grass-fed organic milk from the Severy Farm in Cornwall. The milk only travels a few short miles from the farm to the creamery, where the cheesemaking begins within hours of arrival. The use of grass-fed milk results in a richer, creamier cheese that displays subtle seasonal changes reflective of the changing diet of the cows as the seasons progress. It’s truly the terroir of Addison County in each decadent bite of cheese.

salting a fresh batch of Queso Fresco

Yoder is supported by a small crew that is just as dedicated to the craft as he is. They use traditional techniques and small-batch pasteurization to produce their cheeses entirely by hand.  A recent visit to their facility found the crew in constant motion, measuring, stirring, monitoring temperatures, and generally putting every bit of the day’s fresh batch of milk to good use. The bulk of the cream and whole milk are used to produce the Organic Champlain Triple, Champlain Truffle Triple, and the two varieties of cream cheese. The part-skim milk is then transformed into each of the three varieties of Queso Fresco, and the whey is drained off to create hand-dipped, basket-strained ricotta that is only available to a few select restaurants in the area. The only remaining by-product is a small amount of whey, which is sent to feed the happy pigs at Hinesburg’s Full Moon Farm, resulting in an operation that his hyper-local with very minimal waste. 

Amanda Warren & Carleton Yoder, with Carleton’s daughter,  Lila Cook Yoder, who was helping out on a snow day

According to Yoder, “cheesemaking is hard work but we strive to let the milk, cream, culture, salt, and mold shine through with their amazing flavors.” It’s this minimalist approach and the desire to honor the high-quality local ingredients that make Champlain Valley Creamery’s cheeses shine.

Picture hanging above Yoder’s desk made by his son, Nate

 

Business of the Month – Maple Landmark

Looking for local and sustainably made toys for the kids on your holiday shopping list? We invite you to check out our featured Co-op Connection Business  – Maple Landmark! They’ve been making eco-friendly educational wooden toys, games, and gifts since 1979. Have you visited their factory store on Middlebury’s Exchange Street? Show your Co-op card and receive 10% off your purchases! Read on to learn more about this fantastic local business and their sustainable practices:

 

Maple Landmark is a company of 40+ people dedicated to making great products right here in Middlebury, Vermont. Their business began in 1979 in President & Owner Mike Rainville’s parents’ basement and today they occupy a 28,000-square-foot facility where they make the vast majority of the products they sell. Primarily, they sell to thousands of toy stores, gift shops and catalogs nationwide, but they also have a sweet little factory store that shouldn’t be missed by those of us lucky enough to live nearby. They take pride in being a local company that supports other local companies who operate in a responsible and sustainable manner.

A Family Business

The business was started by Michael Rainville. Since then, three more generations have joined the rank and file at Maple Landmark. The youngest are Michael’s sons, Adam and Andrew. One generation up from there is Michael, wife, Jill, and sister, Barbara. Up from there is Michael’s mother Pat and occasionally father, Claude. On the very top is “Grandma” as she’s known around the shop. This is none other than Michael’s 98-year-old (as of 2017) grandmother, Harriett Brown. While she doesn’t come to work regularly anymore, she did well into 2016 and still makes appearances every now and then.

Michael serves as president and CEO, running day-to-day operations. Jill is Office Manager, overseeing the paperwork. Barbara is the Marketing Manager, attending trade shows, working on public relations and helping in the finish room. Adam is a Project Manager, developing new products and improving old processes. Andrew heads up Communications, working on advertising, social media, and email blasts and attending trade shows. Pat is the Supervisor of our finish room and is responsible for the application of all paints and finishes in addition to hand-painted items. Claude helps in his free time, shredding paper for packing and mowing the lawn.

Sustainable Materials

The wood Maple Landmark uses is from native species. They use rock maple primarily, as well as some pine and cherry. These are some of the best materials for wooden toys and gifts and we are fortunate to have them locally available.

There are virtually no old-growth forests left in Vermont, the region was heavily logged in the 1800s. Damaging floods in the late 1800s and early 1900’s not only knocked out the water-powered mills that processed the timber but they also taught a lesson in not laying entire mountainsides bare to runoff and erosion. Vermonters have a reputation for being stubborn but we also use our experiences to learn better ways.

In the early 1900s, Vermont was 20% forested, now it is 80% forested. The forests are growing back, even more rapidly than the rate of harvest. As dairy farms consolidate and abandon marginal hillside property, the wilderness once again begins to take over.

The majority of wood that grows tends to be lower grade material. Since Maple Landmark makes small items, they are able to use downgraded lumber by simply cutting around the defects. This strategy saves on the demand for the rarer, more premium grades. They also make use of small dimension material that is cast off from other plants.

Just as they are careful to fully utilize the wood they buy, their suppliers are careful about how it is harvested. For the entire history of their company, they have purchased the majority of their lumber from one local source, Lathrop’s Maple Supply of Bristol, Vermont. Tom Lathrop is located just nine miles up the road and supplies not just maple, but pine, cherry, and other species as well.

Click here to learn more about the use of lumber for Maple Landmark products.

Eliminating Waste

The sawdust generated at Maple Landmark goes to a couple of local farmers for use as cattle bedding. Their wood scraps are put out for locals to use for kindling. They use very minimal packaging for their products and ship their products in reused upcycled packing materials. Click here to read more about their recycling and conservation practices.

Holiday Happenings

Looking for a unique and personalized holiday ornament? Don’t dump your stump!


Bring your Christmas tree stump into the Maple Landmark showroom and they’ll make an ornament out of it for you!  Click HERE for more information.  

No Stump? No Problem! They will have blanks available in their store so that you can get in on the fun anyway. Just bring the order form with you into the showroom.

A Visit from Santa!

On December 14th, Santa will be paying a visit to Maple Landmark! He’s even bringing a few early Christmas presents… Drop in between 10 am and noon, no ticket necessary.

How It’s Made

 

Holiday Pre-Order Guide

Happy Holidays!  The season of celebratory feasting is upon us and we’ve got everything you need for a delicious, stress-free holiday spread. You may pre-order your desired items using our online form by clicking HERE, or you may place your order by phone, or in-person at our Customer Service Counter. We will continue to take orders through Friday, December 20th. If you miss our pre-order deadline, it’s still likely that we’ll be able to accommodate your needs, but pre-order is your best guarantee. Here are the items we’ll be offering:

 

Main Attractions:

We are offering Fresh Turkey from Stonewood Farm, two types of Beef Rib Roasts from Boyden Farm and a Tenderloin Roast from Silver Fern Farms. Here’s a little more info about each of those options:

Stonewood Farms logo

Stonewood Farm offers all-natural, free-range indoor turkeys from their family-owned and operated farm Orwell, VT. Stonewood turkeys will range in size from around 12 lbs to over 30 lbs. When you place your order, you’ll have the opportunity to specify what size turkey you’d like. We’ll aim to get you a turkey within 3-5 lbs of your requested size. The price is $3.19 per pound. All turkeys will be fresh (not previously frozen).

Wondering how much turkey to buy to accommodate your guest list? A handy rule of thumb is 1.5 pounds of turkey per guest. And note that it’s always better to have too much than too little – especially during the holidays when leftovers are key to feeding out-of-town guests throughout the week.

 

Boyden Farm strives to provide you with the best quality Vermont born and raised beef. They hand-select, grass-fed and non-GMO grain-finished beef cattle from Vermont family farms for the most flavor and tenderness. We’ll have pre-order options for bone-in rib roasts and boneless rib roasts from Boyden Farm. They are third-party certified by the Non-GMO Project. Bone-in roasts will be $14.99 per pound and the boneless roasts will be $16.99 per pound.

 

 

 

 

Looking for a 100% grass-fed beef tenderloin roast? Thanks to Silver Fern Farms, we’ve got you covered! Founded in 1948, Silver Fern Farms is New Zealand’s leading procurer, processor, marketer, and exporter of grass-fed and pasture-raised lamb, beef and venison. Their climate allows the animals to be on lush green pasture year-round where they’re free to roam and graze.

 

 

 

Side Dishes & Desserts

The Co-op Kitchen will be cooking up a mouth-watering array of side dishes and desserts for your holiday table. The same pre-order and pick-up schedules apply. We will have a limited supply of these items, so be sure to pre-order to guarantee that we’ll have what you need. Your order may be placed online, by phone, or in-person at the customer service counter. If you miss the pre-order deadline, please check with any Deli staff member to see if your request can be accommodated. 

Sides

Side dish options include Roasted Chestnut Mushroom Soup, Brussel Sprout Salad with Chestnuts, Stuffing, Red Skin Mashed Potatoes, Maple Sweet Potato Puree, Green Bean Almondine, and Cranberry Jalapeno Dip. 

Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

Desserts

Dessert options include a  Berry Basil Tart, Chocolate Babka, and Orange Saffron Custard Pie

Orange Saffron Custard Pie

Cheese Platters

The Vermont Artisan Platter will deliver a selection of artisan cheese, preserves, and crackers produced in our own backyard that is sure to please everyone from cheese novice to connoisseur.

You may also opt for the Vermont Farmer’s Platter, which includes a tried and true classic assortment of local Vermont cheese, local smoked sausage, nuts, figs, and preserves.

Vermont Artisan Platter

 

Click HERE to see the full list of offerings, ingredients, pricing, and more. 

 

 

Pick-Up

All holiday pre-order pick-up will begin on Saturday, December 21st and end on Tuesday, December 24th. When you arrive to pick up your pre-ordered items, please follow the signs to the holiday pick-up station located in our meat department. A staff member will be waiting to assist you!

 

Questions? Give us a call at (802) 388-7276 or ask any staff member next time you’re in the store!

 

Berry & Basil Tart

 

 

Spotlight on Krin’s Bakery

Looking to satisfy your holiday sweet tooth? We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Krin’s Bakery from December 5th – 11th and member-owners can enjoy 20% off Krin’s full line of local confections! Read on to learn more about this wonderful bakery nestled in the mountains of Huntington, VT.

 

 

Krin’s Bakery is the home of artisan baker Krin Barberi. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, then exploring and working for others, Krin opened her Bakery in 2005.

According to Krin, “We are a community of 7 Huntington women bringing diligence, humor, and really good taste buds to work every day. Our team is devoted to delicious baked goods made in small batches with deep attention to the baking process. We bring pride to our production process, using only “real” ingredients (butter instead of shortening, sugar instead of corn syrup). From ingredient choice to the mixing bowl, from oven to cooling rack, we bring that sense of pride from our kitchen to you.”

Krin is a passionate local foods activist supporting the cause by working with local distributors, markets, producers, and farmers. She takes her inspiration from her rural New England family’s tradition of supporting and participating in the life of her community. She believes that where our food comes from is important and takes pride in using local Vermont ingredients including carrots and zucchini from Full Moon Farm in Hinesburg, Bee Happy Honey from Starksboro, Huntington’s own Maple Wind Farm eggs, and dairy from Middlebury’s Monument Farms.

It is from this deep sense of community and place that Krin continues to bake love and care into each and every treat.

At the Co-op, you’ll find Krin’s famous cupcakes, mini cakes, macaroons, and cookies!

 

Spotlight on Vermont Creamery

Feeding a crowd this Thanksgiving? Then you’ll be excited to hear that we’re featuring Vermont Creamery in our Member Deals Spotlight this week! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their lineup of award-winning products from November 21st – 27th. We’re incredibly lucky to live in a state with the highest number of artisanal cheesemakers per capita, and Vermont Creamery ranks high among them. Their cheeses, crème fraîche, mascarpone, and cultured butter have garnered awards locally, nationally, and globally, creating quite a reputation for this local creamery with such humble roots.  In their 35th year of business, Vermont Creamery supports a network of more than 17 family farms, one of which is in Addison County (Tups Crossing Farm). B Corp Certified in 2014, Vermont Creamery has been ranked one of “The Best Places to Work in Vermont,” by Vermont Business Magazine. Read on to learn more about how the creamery began, their model for being a sustainable mission-driven business, and what keeps them inspired to produce their world-renowned products:

 

 

Their Story:

Allison learned how to make cheese during an internship on a farm in Brittany, France. Bob was working for the Vermont Department of Agriculture and charged with organizing a dinner featuring all Vermont-made products. When a French chef requested fresh goat cheese, Bob scrambled to find a local producer. He asked Allison, who was working in a dairy lab and milking goats in Brookfield, to make the cheese. The dinner was a success and the cheese was a hit; Vermont Creamery was born that night.

In the 34 years since the improbable business partners made their first goat cheese, a lot has changed. But the more things change at Vermont Creamery, the more they stay the same.

They’re still here in Vermont, making consciously-crafted, delicious dairy that reflects who they are and what they care about; they’ve taken the time to perfect every detail of what they make. Their cheeses and butter have won hundreds of national and international awards, their team remains their most valuable resource, and they still put taste above all. You’ll never eat anything they don’t believe in.

Co-founders Bob Reese and Allison Hooper

 

Their Mission:

Taste Above All

We believe that delicious products made with high-quality ingredients bring people together.

Consciously Crafted

You’ll never eat anything we don’t believe in. 

Bettermakers

We take the time to do things right: caring for our farmers, customers, community and environment. 

B Corporation Certified

Vermont Creamery became a certified B Corp in 2014. B Corps are a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. This designation reflects the values upon which the company was founded and their operating philosophies today. The B Corp Impact Assessment provides a roadmap to continually improve their business practices while also applying rigor to and accountability for their mission. Check out their B Impact Score here.

 

Keeping it Local

One of the 17 farms that make up Vermont Creamery’s network is right here in Addison County! Tup’s Crossing Farm is a family-owned and operated goat dairy in Orwell, Vermont. The Menguc family is proud to provide fresh goats milk for Vermont Creamery and they’re regulars here at the Co-op! 

Tup’s Crossing Farm in Orwell, VT

Looking for great recipes? Click HERE!

 

Spotlight on Elmer Farm

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Elmer Farm this week to celebrate this 90-acre organic farm and the farmers who bring it to life. Member-owners can enjoy 20% off their glorious spread of organic vegetables from November 14th – 20th!  Read on to learn more about the history and heritage of this farm, which has been providing food for this community since the early 1800s!

elmerlogo

Driving into East Middlebury on Route 116, it’s hard to miss the beautiful patch of flowers bordering the white farmhouse at the entryway to Elmer Farm. What you might not see from the road are the amazing fields of vegetables that are grown on this fertile, organic soil. Elmer Farm is a conserved 90-acre farm where Spencer and Jennifer Blackwell and their crew grow 8 acres of mixed vegetables, flowers, and herbs, all of which are certified organic. Annual inspections and certification by Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) ensure that the crops are grown responsibly and safely without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.

The farm originally belonged to the Elmer family in the early 1800s and has a long heritage of providing food for its community. The receding glaciers bestowed the farm with a wonderful mix of fertile soils and sandy loam, perfectly suited to growing vegetables and grains. It’s on this fruitful land that Elmer Farm now grows more than thirty-five different vegetables, an array of flowers, and culinary herbs. This includes over 200 different seed varieties, many of which are heirlooms. With a goal of maintaining long-term soil health, the crew at Elmer Farm also manages an additional 15 acres of rotating cover crop, keeping one-third of their acreage in production and two-thirds resting.

 

Spencer and Jennifer Blackwell, along with their children, Angus, Ida, & Mabel and their hard-working crew of farmhands are proud to grow vegetables for their community, neighbors, and friends in Addison County. They value hard work and the agrarian quality of life. They are committed to our community through various farm-to-school efforts as well as gleaning for local food agencies. In fact, Spencer helped spearhead the Local Food Access Program at HOPE.

A number of years ago, representatives from HOPE, Middlebury College, ACORN,  and the local business community, along with several local farmers, including Spencer from Elmer Farm and Will Stevens of Golden Russet Farm, got together to discuss the possibility of increasing the amount of locally grown food offered at HOPE’s food shelf. This group recognized that Addison County farmers grow vast amounts of beautiful, healthy organic fruits and vegetables, which are often unavailable or too pricey to those who need it most. They also recognized that these farms often had excess produce available that would not be destined for retail markets, which could instead be diverted to the food shelf. Fast-forward to the present day, and the idea hatched by this group has evolved into an incredibly successful program that is bringing thousands of pounds of healthy, local foods to those in our community who need it most while also diverting a lot of food from the waste stream.

 

At the Co-op, you can find Elmer Farm’s organic cabbage, red & yellow onions, butternut squash, baby bok choy, radishes, leeks, scallions, kale, chard, and their famous carrots! You can also visit their webpage to subscribe to their CSA, where you will receive fresh vegetables, flowers, and herbs each week from mid-June through the end of October for a total of 20 weeks. Also, be sure to check out the recipes on their web page!

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