- Fruits: berries (blueberries), berries (other), berries (strawberries), melons
- Vegetables: asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), leeks, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips
- Additional Plants: herbs
- Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer
- Farm Business Management: community-supported agriculture, marketing management, new enterprise development
- Sustainable Communities: community planning, community services, leadership development, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, urban/rural integration
For a strong community-based local food system in the Brattleboro area, we need to build the bridge that currently separates low-income consumers from local farmers, who are often low-income themselves. We know some of the barriers: retail farmers’ market prices are cost prohibitive, CSA memberships require an upfront payment and transportation to the farm, and both require a shift in preparation and consumption habits. A related problem is that many new farmers in the area struggle to find markets. The “Neighborhood Market,” a hybrid farmers’ market and CSA, effectively addresses both consumption and production barriers. It provides an opportunity for new farmers to grow food for their community, while developing their farming and marketing skills. It also provides new access to affordable local produce for low-income consumers, as well as food preparation education. An expanded “Neighborhood Market” project will be beneficial for more farmers and for more people in the community, and at the same time, offer a well tested model to other farmers, institutions and communities throughout the region. The project brings farmers and consumers together on a weekly basis to build community around food. Participants have the option of using food stamps through Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), thus bringing in federal food dollars. Up to five new farmers work collaboratively to make up to 65 full shares available on a weekly basis, with a projected income of nearly $20,000. The success of this project is made possible through strong community-based collaborations.
Project objectives from proposal:
The goal of this project is to bridge the gap between low-income consumers and local farmers, thus strengthening the local food system by:
* supporting 5 new farmers by creating innovative local markets and capturing Federal food stamp dollars;
•increasing access to locally produced food for 75 participants of low-income;
•improving food literacy by providing 10 cooking classes to 10 people;
•expanding Farm to School by working in 5 schools to recruit interested families, thus continuing the learning and access through the summer months
•creating a model that can be replicated and a market guide that can be shared; and
•using food to build all-inclusive community through expanding the market to full paying customers and a weekly retail option.