Helping Farmers Establish Roots in Local Schools and Institutions

By Shane Rogers
Green Mountain Farm to School 

For farmers everywhere, there are a million things to worry about on any given day—weather, pests, soil, the sheer amount of work that needs to be done—to name only a few. However, for many farmers, added on top of this laundry list of tasks is finding a market to get the products they’re growing into the hands they have grown it for.

“It’s easy to grow the stuff, the hard part is figuring out the outlet […],” says Molly Willard of Willow Brook Farm in Peacham.

Green Mountain Farm Direct (GMFD), a food hub run by Green Mountain Farm-to-School, is working to address that problem by connecting local farmers with schools, restaurants, and institutions across northern Vermont to increase farms’ sales and boost consumption of local food in institutions and the overall region. Those partnerships have created a distribution infrastructure in the region that has allowed many farmers to tap into markets they hadn’t been able to before.

“Green Mountain Farm Direct is working on building a local food system where we are picking up products at our local area farms and delivering it right to the door of our customers.” says Catherine Cusack, Green Mountain Farm-to-School’s assistant director.

Started in 2008, GMFD has helped to facilitate over $1 million in sales for farmers and food producers in northern Vermont. With over 100 active customers, more of the region’s farmers are seeing their food featured in the meals of schools, hospitals, and other institutions across the region.

Watch this video to learn more about GMFD:

-Shane Rogers is the communications and development coordinator for Green Mountain Farm-to-School.

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