Food System Updates
Green Mountain Farm-to-School
has released its
Annual Report for 2015-2016
. They currently serve 51% of all students in the NEK by maintaining school gardens, offering nutrition and agricultural programming, and sourcing fresh local food. GMFTS is welcoming
as the organization's next executive director, as founder
transitions to development director in the coming year.
Green Mountain Farm Direct
, GMFTS's regional food hub, reports sales of more than $350,000 to schools and institutions over the past year, benefiting 34 farmers and food producers. In fact, GMFD's partnership with the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility (NERCF) in St. Johnsbury was
recently profiled in Seven Days
. NERCF estimates that Vermont-grown food accounts for about 4% to 5% of its $360,000 annual food expenditure budget. In addition to eating fresh and local, inmates have an opportunity to learn the how-tos of food service and preparation, much-needed skills that can prepare them for a successful re-entry.
The Vermont Land Trust's Annual Report for 2015-2016
features farmland conservation projects in Barnet, Brownington, Craftsbury, Greensboro, Holland, Derby, Newport, Troy, and St. Johnsbury. The 35-acre
Roots Too Farm
-- home to the iconic century-old Locust Grove Farm Barn in East St. Johnsbury --
is the cover story of VLT's annual report
Susan Monahan and Hisa Kominami, who operate a CSA and maintain a steady following at the Caledonia Farmers' Market in St. Johnsbury, were able to acquire the property through VLT's Farmland Access Program. In Brownington, Heather and Adam Moulton also were able to purchase and conserve a 134-acre, certified organic farm through VLT's Farmland Access Program. The farm's previous owners, Neal and Rebekah Perry, had purposely sold the land to VLT so that the property could remain in agriculture.
Can we interest you in some goats?
If you are familiar with the NEK Food System Plan, you know that the Plan supports regional efforts to bring more value to Vermont's dairy goat farming through
goat meat processing
. Specifically we aim to promote opportunities to farmers who may be interested in raising goats on forage/open land. If you are thinking of raising meat goats, you may take heart in these findings from a six-year study at Texas A&M, which show that properly managed meat goats are valuable property
-- even if you only keep a few animals
. Data also indicate a rise in goat prices over the study period. The study is featured in the October 31 edition of
, which highlights research and experience on making grazing operations more successful. You can read the article
Do you have news to share?
Please drop me a line at
. In the meantime, thank you for all you do in promoting and expanding our region's food system. All the best to you in 2017!