The Farmplate Blog

Farm, Bike!

Chris H. Jun 25, 2010 Event Beat 0 comments

It's 7:15 am, mid-June, and a steady stream of bikers is rolling down Riverside Avenue into Burlington's Intervale: farmers heading to work. While this image may not be a new one, the number of non-farmers hopping on a bike to pick up produce or simply pay a visit to nearby farms is on the rise. Bike-centriBikers and Foodc farm events (and even a farm-centric bike business) are sprouting up all over Vermont.

You might wonder just how many people are both into cycling and a fan of small farms? Lots, it turns out. Last year, more than 500 people attended the annual Tour de Farms, a fall ride with stops (and samples) at a variety of Addison County farms. In July, I’m teaming up with Local Motion and the Open Farm and Studio Weekend to organize the first annual Heart of the Islands Bike Tour, a ride exploring Champlain Island farms, art studios and vineyards. One Revolution, a bicycle delivery service, recently launched its services with an impressive contract to deliver CSA shares for the Intervale Food Hub.

Vermont has a reputation for healthy food and healthy people: according to the USDA’s most recent Census of Agriculture, Vermont leads the nation in per-capita direct sales of produce from farmers to consumers. In addition, America’s Health Rankings put Vermont at the top of the charts in its 2009 review (almost a third of Vermonters are regular bike riders!). In a state where we’re increasingly eager to meet our farmers and move toward healthier forms of transportation, farm-biking is on a roll.

Here are a few opportunities to “veg out” while you ride this season:

Saturday, July 10
Heart of the Islands Bike Tour
Explore Champlain Island farms, art studios, food venues and vineyards during a leisurely (and spectacular) 10, 24 or 35-mile ride to support Local Motion. Lots of free samples from farms, vineyards and eateries along the way! 10 am to 4 pm from Snow Farm Vineyard, South Hero. Register here.

Saturday, July 17
Valley Farm Ride
Riders visit farms in the Mad River Valley to sample locally grown produce in an event to benefit and raise awareness for the Vermont Food Bank. 9 am to 1 pm, begin at the Waitsfield Farmers’ Market. For more info, call Peter Oliver 802.496.5538.

Sunday, September 19
3rd Annual Tour de Farms
Cyclists choose from one of three routes that wind through the beautiful Champlain Valley and offer stops and sampling at farms along the way. Expect lots of hot food options, farm and craft vendors, along with entertainment and merriment! Tour de Farms registration forms will be available July 1 at www.ruralvermont.org.

One Revolution
Get your CSA delivered by bike! One Revolution is a new bicycle-based pick-up and delivery service serving the greater Burlington area. Jericho Settlers Farm, Intervale Food Hub and Pete’s Greens shares are all available for delivery. Visit www.onevt.com or 877-4BIKEVT (877.424.5388) for more info.

See more great images of Bike & Food events on our flickr page!