Tag Archives: local products

Advertise in our organic guide – deadline 5/28! [update]

We’re putting together our 2014-2015 Vermont Organic Farm and Food Guide, which is a beautiful print directory of all of the producers certified organic by VOF.

Update! Deadline for advertisements has been extended to Wednesday, May 28!

» Click here to reserve your advertising space!

TTS_2013_Ras el Hanout_OpenWe’re excited to be featuring the story of Teeny Tiny Spice Company of Vermont this year, with a delicious recipe using local ingredients and their spices. You’ll also find a farmers’ market directory and information about choosing certified organic, locally grown.

This is a great opportunity to reach an engaged audience, dedicated to supporting local businesses. Reserve your ad space now!

Click to browse the 2013-2014 guide, below.

VOFFG_13_14-cover
(Click to browse in Issuu.)
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VTFMA Featured Market: Middlebury Farmers’ Market

NOFA-VT and the Vermont Farmers Market Association (VTFMA) work closely to support  farmers’ market across the state. The latest in our series of featured markets is the Middlebury Farmers’ Market.

After a mid-winter break, the Middlebury Farmers’ Market has returned from its two-month hiatus as a refreshed market, eager to supply you with its bounty! Vermonters should be excited to learn that in its pursuit of a year-round market, the Middlebury Farmers’ Market will reopen its indoor farmers’ market on Saturdays beginning March1st and ending April 27th. During the winter (November-December) and spring (March-April), the Middlebury Farmers’ Market is located indoors at the Mary Hogan School on Saturdays from 9:30 am until 1:00 pm. In May the market will return to its outdoor location at the Marbleworks in downtown Middlebury.

Learn more about the Middlebury Farmers’ Market…

For a complete directory of all VTFMA member markets, please visit our Farmers’ Market Directory. Past featured markets, market shopping tips, and resources for market vendors and managers are available at www.VTFMA.org.

VTFMA Featured Market: Jeffersonville Farmers’ & Artisan Market

NOFA-VT and the Vermont Farmers Market Association (VTFMA) work closely to support  farmers’ market across the state. The latest in the series of featured markets in the Jeffersonville Farmers’ and Artisan Market.

Since opening in 2012, the Winter Jeffersonville Farmers’ and Artisan Market has continued to grow with new vendors and unite local producers and neighbors by connecting them through great food and communal engagement. The market can be found inside of the Artfull Cup Studio and Sunrise Café building; located at the corner of 16 Iris Lane and 108S (headed towards Smugglers’ Notch on Mountain Road). Look for our sign! Opened from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on the first and third Saturday of the month, November through March, the Winter Jeffersonville Farmers’ and Artisan market offers a variety of items from producers and artisans from across the state.

Learn more about Jeffersonville Farmers’ and Artisan Market…

For a complete directory of all VTFMA member markets, please visit our Farmers’ Market Directory. Past featured markets, market shopping tips, and resources for market vendors and managers are available at www.VTFMA.org.

VTFMA Featured Market: West River Farmers’ Market

NOFA-VT and the Vermont Farmers Market Association (VTFMA) work closely to support farmers’ markets across the state. As more markets expand into winter sales, our “Featured Market” section has expanded through the winter as well!

The West River Farmers Market is now indoors! For the first time since it began its summer market in 1993, the West River Farmers Market will be operating a winter farmers’ market. Beginning October 19th and lasting until December 28th, the market will run every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. The market can be found indoors at the Flood Brook Union School, located at 91 Vermont 11, Londonberry, VT 05148. This new location is conveniently located just two miles west of its summer market location.

Learn more about West River Farmers’ Market…

For a complete directory of all VTFMA member markets, please visit our Farmers’ Market Directory. Past featured markets, market shopping tips, and resources for market vendors and managers are available at www.VTFMA.org.

FDA Website Down – #fixFSMA mailing info

Update, 11/12: As of now, regulations.gov is running again. You can comment on the Produce Rule here and the Processing Rule here.

Second update, 11/13: We’ve confirmed that written comments need to be postmarked by 11/15, not arrive by then, so if you’d prefer to send something in the mail (or if the website goes down again), you have until Friday. Apologies for the confusion; the information has been updated below.

The FDA commenting portal is out of service.The FDA’s regulation portal continues to be inaccessible due to “technical difficulties” as the comment deadline for FSMA nears. We are advocating for an extension of the deadline, but cannot say whether it will happen.

You can mail your comment to the FDA, but mailed comments must arrive at the FDA be postmarked by 11/15. That means to guarantee they’ll get there on time, you should mail them today!

Mail to:

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

Be sure to include the docket number in your comments: Produce Rule is
FDA-2011-N-0921 and the Facilities/Processing Rule is FDA-2011-N-0920. Also include your name and farm/business or organization affiliation, if any.

Thanks to everyone who is taking the time to make their voices heard!

(For more information on the Food Safety Modernization Act and how to write a comment, see our previous post.)

FSMA Comment Deadline Fast Approaching!

The deadline to comment on the Food Safety Modernization Act is Friday, 11/15 – less than two weeks away.

FSMA webinar slideToday, we held a webinar in partnership with UVM and the Vermont Agency of Ag to help farmers (and other concerned citizens) craft meaningful and powerful comments.

Click here to view the slides from that presentation. (PDF)

The future of Vermont’s food system will be changed by this bill! Please take the time to make your voice heard.

To learn more about FSMA and its potential impact, take a look at our previous posts on the subject. We also recommend the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s easy-to-understand “toolkit” of information.

Farmers Talk: Lincoln Peak

Have you seen our new episode of Farmers Talk? It features an interview with Chris Granstrom of Lincoln Peak Vineyard and Winery, the largest grape producer in Vermont.

Chris gives a thorough overview of the development of cold-hardy grape varieties, what his workflow is like through the seasons, the wine making process, and his marketing techniques. He also discusses the current state and growth potential of the grape industry in Vermont. He is not organic (and explains why), but anyone who has considered getting into grape or wine production or who is just curious about Vermont’s emerging status as a wine producing region should find something of interest.

Also, note the new addition of a menu at the beginning of the video – if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, just click on the topic of interest and it will bring you directly to that point in the interview!

Feel free to post comments on our YouTube page and let us know what you think!

A New England Education for the FDA

When the FDA team responsible for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) came to New Hampshire and Vermont last week, they got an earful — and an education. At an August 20th Listening Session at Dartmouth College, about two hundred vegetable and fruit farmers, food processors, local food advocates, and consumers showed up to tell the visitors from inside the Beltway of the many ways in which the FDA’s proposals for new food safety regulations would affect them.  Farmers and others, including NOFA Vermont’s Fruit and Vegetable Technical Assistance Advisor Lynda Prim, stood in line for an hour or more for the chance to detail increased production costs, harms to the environment, and economic disincentives, especially on smaller-scale operations.

Those who presented remarks voiced a number of specific concerns. Many pointed out that the FDA’s proposed requirement that farmers test irrigation water weekly was unnecessary, impractical, and would increase costs significantly. Others pointed out negative consequences on wildlife and biodiversity on farms.

Lynda Prim joined a number of organic farmers present in voicing concern about conflicts between proposed FSMA requirements and the National Organic Program rules, despite the fact that the FDA is explicitly directed to avoid such conflicts. For instance, proposed requirements for waiting periods before crops can be harvested after field applications of manures (270 days) and compost (45 days) greatly exceed, and are in direct conflict with, such waiting periods required by the National Organic Program. Additionally, these extended waiting periods are impractical in New England’s short growing season, and would likely increase the use of chemical fertilizers on non-organic farms. Farmers’ incomes and the environment would be negatively affected.

Many spoke of how increased compliance costs — estimated by the FDA to run to thousands of dollars annually on even small-scale operations — would either force them to leave farming entirely or significantly damage opportunities for farm expansion and new farm enterprises. Such specific, informed and heartfelt criticisms of the proposed regulations continued for over two hours straight.

Later that day and the next, the FDA team visited local farms and food businesses, including the Mad River Food Hub and Hartshorn Farm in Waitsfield, and the Intervale Farm in Burlington. They got a first-hand look at the diversity of farming practices, production systems, distribution and marketing innovations that are critical to the continued development of our emerging local food economy in the region. (You can see their impressions of the visit on the FDA’s blog.)

Throughout their visit, the members of the FDA team listened intently. They had a lot of questions and asked for advice and recommendations. More than once, Michael Taylor, the FDA Deputy Commissioner who led the team, indicated that he wanted to make sure that the vigor of local farms and the local food economy would not be derailed by burdensome and unnecessary food safety regulations. We agree, and hope to see his statements translated into action when the final regulations are published next year.

Our visitors are now back at their desks in D.C.. But farmers, organizations, consumers and businesses throughout the country have until November 15 to submit their own written comments expressing their concerns about proposed regulations, as well as their recommendations for improving them. The FDA is, by law, required to read and consider every one of these written comments before it develops and publishes its final food safety regulations in the next year or so. It’s up to all of us to make sure it’s a highly educational experience for them.

More information about the proposed rules and how to submit your own comments can be found in our earlier post on the the FSMA. NOFA Vermont and Vermont Organic Farmers are working on an official comment of our own; stay tuned to learn more.

[by Dave Rogers, NOFA Vermont Policy Advisor]

VTFMA Featured Market: Manchester Farmers’ Market

NOFA-VT and the Vermont Farmers Market Association (VTFMA) work closely to support  farmers’ market across the state. This summer season, the VTFMA will feature ten farmers’ markets statewide. The next in this series is the Manchester Farmers’ Market.

Manchester Farmers' MarketManchester Farmers’ Market is located in Adams Park, right off Route 7A in the heart of Manchester Center. Running on Thursdays from 3 to 6 pm, the Manchester Farmers’ Market is open from the May 23rd to October 10th, 2013. Known by locals as one of the best midweek markets in southern Vermont, this farmers’ market offers a wide variety of produce, crafts, prepared food items, and other services that shouldn’t be missed!

Read more about the Manchester Farmers’ Market

For a complete directory of all VTFMA member markets, please visit our Farmers’ Market Directory. Past featured markets, market shopping tips, and resources for market vendors and managers are available at www.VTFMA.org.