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Krupp: New Local Solutions

02/06/13 5:55PM By Ron Krupp
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(Host) It's hard to keep with all the new farm and food initiatives taking place in the Green Mountains. Commentator Ron Krupp describes three new sustainable models in Burlington, Berlin and Newport.

(Krupp) Two miles from the urban core of Burlington, the Intervale Food Hub markets and distributes local vegetables, blueberries, maple syrup, breads, apples, cider, eggs, salmon, meats and cheeses. The goal of the Hub is to provide the greater Burlington community with convenient access to high quality foods while returning a fair price to farmers. And the Hub offers convenient, year-round delivery service.

Many of the vegetables come from right there in the Intervale. Dairy products are produced at Mount Mansfield Dairy in Stowe and berries come from River Berry Farm in Fairfax. The wild salmon comes from Anthony Naples of Moretown who spends the summer fishing in Alaska. The CSA or Community Supported Food model of purchasing shares is used as the vehicle for online ordering and payment.

Travis Marcotte, the director of the Intervale Center told me the Hub is growing by about 25 percent a year. Most deliveries are made to individuals and some to companies like Gardener's Supply, Dealer.com, and the Burlington School District and City Hall.

Greg Georgakis has a business called Farmers To You based in Berlin. Farmers To You makes weekly food deliveries of Vermont vegetables, cheeses, meats, bread and milk to more than 375 families in Boston - expanding the link between Vermont farmers to consumers in the city. The bread that comes from Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex is baked the same day it arrives in Boston. A day after orders are made online, Farmers To You collects the food from Vermont farmers and processors and takes it to the main food warehouse in Berlin.

Julie Wormser of Boston says the food is fresher and connects her to farmers who grow the food. She'd rather get apples from Vermont than organic apples from Chili. Farmers To You was started two and a half years ago by Georgakis. Unlike the CSA model, consumers pick what they want online from a variety of Vermont products. The prices are comparable to those at food cooperatives.

Meghan Stotko of Newport displays and sells local food from a large white truck called The Lunchbox, a project of Green Mountain Farm-to-School. The mobile market truck and commercial kitchen is adorned with an artistic billboard along with loaves of bread, baskets of potatoes, bunches of red kale, stacks of winter squash and farmers' cheese. The project began in Newport in September and plans to have market days in Irasburg, North Troy, and Island Pond. The idea is that if you bring food to people where they are, at a price they can afford, they'll choose to buy healthy food products.
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