By Sona Desai, Food Hub Manager
This fall, the Intervale Center hosted the Vermont Regional Food Centers for a tour and discussion about food hubs. The Vermont Regional Food Centers is a group of around 15 organizations around the state that are working to help connect farmers to markets by providing aggregation, distribution, marketing, storage and/or processing support.
We hosted folks from the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, Foodworks at Two Rivers Center in Montpelier, Saint Johnsbury Local Food Alliance, Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN) in Middlebury, Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) and others.
The tour of the Intervale Center’s lands and programs included a visit with Andy Jones of Intervale Community Farm, along with visits to the Intervale farmer barn, greenhouse complex, Intervale Conservation Nursery and the Intervale Food Hub.
Following the tour, we had a great conversation with Jim Barham of the USDA and Katie Enterline of the Wallace Center to discuss Food Hub trends on a national scale. Food Hubs are cropping up all over the country — 100 have already been identified, and the list is growing. The Intervale Center is excited to be leading this movement here in Vermont.
All in all, it was an engaging and inspiring day as we learned from others and shared our work.
We were also lucky enough to have lunch catered by Mara and Spencer Welton of Half Pint Farm (an Intervale farm). They created a wonderful burrito bar that included homemade tortillas, pinto beans, green chili sauce, red chili sauce, and preserved local veggies from their farm. They are serving their amazing burritos at the Burlington Winter Farmers Market all winter long, so check them out!