Spring 2020 Newsletter

Reflections on COVID-19
Colleen Trout, Executive Director

As the staff at Valley Food Partnership work remotely and stagger schedules to maintain distancing protocol in the office, we are working hard to keep up to date on precautions, needs and services in our regional community. We have gathered together a list of links to important resources and provided them below and also on our website.

Our current goals are to safely run the Montrose Farmers Market, and plan for upcoming programs including Niagara and Youth Collaborative Community Gardens and ramping up Local Farmacy Rx. We have also been working on grants for operations including a Beginner Farmer/Rancher program which ideally starts in 2021. 

A huge thank you to the VFP Board who works tirelessly providing staff with guidance and support, and especially planning and staffing important events that enable VFP to meet its important mission. 

  • Thank you Partners! You are many and varied from financial supporters, community members, farmers and ranchers, restaurant owners, chefs and volunteers … We appreciate your support and recognize it is a challenging time for many of you!

  • Thank you Colorado Health Foundation for a very generous donation and all the other foundations across the state who are helping prop up Colorado non-profits.
  • Food Boxes: VFP is working to develop an online ordering system to offer pre-paid Food Boxes to get food into the hands of those who cannot make it to the Montrose Farmers Market due to work schedules, health or transportation issues, and to minimize risk and exposure for those who do attend. 
  • Local restaurants and food businesses: Many have been impacted by COVID -19. While some restaurants and taverns are open for take-out, catering and other food companies may not be. We urge you to support local businesses during this trying time, many of whom source products locally. Get creative, share food and recipes (safely) or have a remote potluck!

We urge you to take a deep breath, spend time outside and try to exercise each day. Hold onto your friendships and relationships either remotely or with distance and support each other. Don’t hesitate to reach out, pick up the phone, or organize a virtual book club. Contact those you love and care about
those in need - take care!

Thank you for being a Partner with Valley Food Partnership,
Montrose Farmers Market and with each other!


Valley Food Partnership’s staff and board have compiled a summary of resources for our community.

These resources are focused on regional food access & distribution; rancher and farmer relief programs; as well as city, county, state and national COVID-19 information.

This list is by no means exhaustive and will be updated as often as possible. We aim to create a relevant and manageable list of COVID-19 resources for our community.

AFT's Farmer Relief Fund

¿Quiere ver esta página en español? Haga clic aquí. The coronavirus pandemic is impacting businesses that rely on direct contact with their customers, including farmers and ranchers that primarily sell their products through farmers markets and...

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A special announcement from the market
The Montrose Farmers Market
will be OPEN Saturdays
April 11th & 25th
10 am - 1pm
Centennial Plaza (downtown)

Local Farmacy Rx Program Update

Nurturing Farms and Families
Rose Clarke, Local Farmacy Rx Program Director

There has never been a better time for a focus on wellness! We are moving forward and preparing to host our 6th year of Local Farmacy Rx  (LFRx) 
with classes in Montrose and Delta scheduled to run July through October. This popular VFP program engages low-income families with a free 6-class-series of cooking and nutrition education from Cooking Matters plus $30 per week in local produce incentive vouchers. Kids ages 6-12 and their families/ caregivers are identified and invited to participate with the help of partnering Public Health and healthcare providers. 

Since 2014, LFRx has provided 131 families in Montrose, Olathe, and Delta with the means and knowledge to buy local, seasonal fruits and vegetables and has directly reinvested over $43,000 into our local farmers. We are currently operating under a grant from The Colorado Health Foundation ,
and the program could not operate without the support of volunteer cooking and nutrition instructors, class assistants, and childcare providers! 

If you are interested in contributing to LFRx as a volunteer or donor,
please let us know.


A conversation with Grandpa (aka Richard Mueller)

How long have you run Grandpa’s Peanut Brittle?  Since winter of 2014, before that I just made [peanut brittle] and gave it away”

Where did your recipe originate from? “I got it out of a cookbook. I use cookbooks all the time”

What got you started?..... Read Grandpas full conversation Here!

Thank you Sammie Alteri for this delightful interview with Grandpa!
To try Grandpa's Peanut Brittle you can find him
where you will also find his Pizzelle's ! ( traditional Italian waffle cookies)
Feature a Farmer!
With Steve Hale of
Congratulations on being nominated the President of the Advisory Committee! What are your goals for the MFM this year?
Steve: Thanks! 2020 is a pivotal year for MFM, as we have new leadership from VFP, new Market Manager and other positions, as well as new faces on the Advisory Committee. We will be focused on getting the basics right for the vendors and our customers, improved  market promotion and increased public awareness including getting more sponsorship's and partners. If we succeed at these basics, our market will gain in financial strength and value to our vendors and community.

How long have you been ranching? Where is your ranch? How many Acres?....
VFP Welcomes

Sammie Alteri, Food Security Coordinator!

Sammie believes that growing, preparing, and serving food is one of the most human ways we can connect to each other. After studying food sustainability in Perugia Italy she pursued her interest in food security and food system sustainability through her campus community farm.
In 2019 Sammie graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Sammie enjoys going to the beach, rowing, embroidery, and picking up new hobbies.
Rose Clarke, Local Farmacy Rx Program Manager!

Rose moved to Montrose last year from her hometown of Portland, OR and has been getting to know the Western Slope through hiking, knitting, mornings at the Farmer’s Market, and generally looking for ways to keep her toddler busy.
Rose has a degree in Botany, background in environmental education, and worked with University of Minnesota Extension and Oregon State University Extension in Forestry, natural resource, and sustainability outreach and education.
Julie King, Montrose Farmers Market Manager!

Julie, the Montrose Farmers Market Double Up Food Bucks Advocate, was already a familiar friendly face when she was hired to be the Market Manager in January.
Julie also runs her own landscaping business and her family loves to spend time on the ski slopes in the winter and hiking in the summer. She has grand visions for making the market a fun destination and her top priority is supporting the vendors.

Our 2020 Lovin' Local Food Guide
is scheduled for circulation in April!

Thank you Partners! Near and far who have paid for a listing, or sponsored an ad. To those who paid in 2019 thank you for your patience.

Click HERE to view the online edition of the guide

If you would like to be listed in 2020 Guide please visit our web site HERE to download forms, view details and pricing.

Applications due by April 30, 2020 .
Contact us at  info@valleyfoodpartnership.org or 970-249-0705 for assistance with forms or other inquires
Niagara Community Garden Plot applications are live!
Niagara Community Garden (NCG) is an organic, community-based gardening opportunity open to all.

Located at 2424 E. Niagara Road, NCG has 46 total plots, with options of 10ft x 20ft, 10 ft x 10 ft, and wheelchair height 5ft x 20ft plots.

Applications are available on the  City of Montrose Garden Website for the 2020 season (May-October). 

Gardeners may reserve up to two plots; reservation of more than two will be reviewed by the NCG leadership committee. Returning gardeners who want to continue with their same plots must submit their renewal application and payment by the April 10th deadline. All remaining plots are available on a first come, first served basis. If more applications are submitted than plots available, there will be a waiting list. 

ORIENTATION: Our scheduled mandatory gardener orientation is May 2nd. That being said, we are monitoring local, state, and nationwide information on COVID-19 and  this scheduled meeting is subject to change.  All updates will be posted on the Niagara Facebook page and emailed to gardener applicants. 
CoVid-19 Know Where Your Food Comes From - San Juan...

The Western Slope offers residents a variety of local foods (and beverages) and makes it easy to find and buy local products. Take a look at the following options for purchasing direct from producers or purchasing locally at specialty markets....

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2020 Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum
Thank you sponsors, committee members, speakers, volunteers, food donors and especially Attendees – thank you all for coming! The 2020 event was a huge success with many talented speakers including soil health expert
Nicole Masters

Visit WCFFF website to view all presentations at

Thank you to Storm King Distillery and D'licious Food Truck for a fun Dine out for Charity Event! Fabulous Food and drinks were shared by all who attended!
Valley Food Partnership envisions a resilient regional food system that sustains the land, producers  and healthy communities.
Our Mission is to strengthens the regional food system and community well-being through education, access to quality local foods, and promotion of sustainable agricultural practices.