Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont Conference - Thanks for the Inspiration!
Jeff Gangemi Feb 14, 2012 News 0 comments
On the weekend of February 10-12, we at FarmPlate.com were lucky to be a part of the exhibitor fair at the 30th Annual NOFA-VT conference at the University of Vermont in Burlington. This year’s theme was "Ecological & Community Resilience: Building an Enduring and Adaptable Food System."
The conference had between 1,000 and 1,500 attendees, including presenters of all stripes – farmers and farm advocates, activist groups like 350.org, seed companies like High Mowing Seeds, compost sellers, the USDA, and many others. My colleague, Kaitlin, and I staffed the FarmPlate table at the exhibitor fair on Saturday and Sunday.
Our neighbors at the event were great people – Stuart and Margaret Osha – from Turkey Hill Farm in Randolph Center, Vermont. The couple, who are 6th-generation farmers, produce milk and yogurt, and organize farm-stays and cooking classes, among other things. They were staffing the Weston A. Price Foundation table.
We also were lucky enough to sit next to the good folks from Vermont Compost Company in Montpelier, Vermont.
On Saturday, I attended a fascinating session called “Co-ops Build a Better World,” with great presentations from two of our customers – City Market in Burlington, Vermont, and Putney Food Co-op of Putney, Vermont – as well as one of the farmers in five-person collective called Diggers Mirth Collective Farm. Erbin Crowell, Executive Director of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association, moderated the panel.
Kaitlin attended a workshop Saturday afternoon hosted by Margaret Osha from Turkey Hill Farm (see above) called "Making Cultured Milk Products at Home," a lesson in making yogurt, yogurt cheese, crème fraîche and kefir.
Another fascinating panel occurred on Sunday, where the topic was “The Local Menu: Building Strong Farmer-Chef Partnerships and Economical Restaurant Inventory Strategies.” Presenters included Sean Buchanan from Black River Produce (and former FarmPlate staffer!), Thomas Case from Arethusa Collective Farm, and Jeremy Silanski from The Skinny Pancake.
After the presentation, I was lucky enough to speak with a number of folks who were interested in learning more about FarmPlate, including Lindsay Arbuckle from the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) and Alchemy Gardens, her farm in Shrewsbury, Vermont.
Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by our booth. It was a great pleasure to spend the weekend with you all. We are already looking forward to next year!
Photos by Jeff Gangemi
Jeff Gangemi is FarmPlate's Director of Partnerships and Communications. A lover of both local and far-flung foods like soup dumplings and carnitas tacos, Jeff believes in the power of food, writing and entrepreneurship to effect social change.