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67 Merchants Row
Rutland, VT, 05701
United States

(802) 417-1528

Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) promotes local food knowledge, production and market opportunities for farmers and community members throughout our region.

RAFFL Updates

News, cooking tips, recipes, and more from the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link.

We're hiring! Marketing & Community Engagement AmeriCorps VISTA

Amanda Landry

RUTLAND AREA FARM AND FOOD LINK SERVES A POPULATION THAT STRUGGLES WITH POVERTY AND THE NATIONAL AMERICORPS VISTA PROGRAM HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN HELPING US BUILD OUR PROGRAMS AND CAPACITY.

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SEEKING A MARKETING COORDINATOR & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AMERICORPS VISTA

LOCATION: RUTLAND, VT

SERVICE DATES: AUGUST 28, 2017 - AUGUST 27, 2018

APPLICATION DEADLINE: JULY 31, 2017

DESCRIPTION:

Help us build a farm and food sector in the Rutland region of Vermont that benefits all residents. RAFFL is committed to making our programs more inclusive. The AmeriCorps VISTA will help connect people across the economic spectrum with our work. This position will be instrumental in supporting communications, outreach, volunteer involvement, and fundraising. Examples of program improvements include creating a program to accept SNAP benefits at our online farmers’ market and developing cooking education that targets community members with limited kitchen facilities. The VISTA member will help decrease food insecurity and alleviate poverty in the Rutland region by addressing structural barriers to local food and implementing an inclusive outreach strategy. 

This position is one of 31 positions on the SerVermont VISTA Team. The SerVermont VISTA Program is a comprehensive umbrella project that welcomes host sites tackling a wide array of poverty related issues in Vermont. We place members in organizations and state agencies to fight poverty across the state by increasing education and job-training opportunities, creating more food-secure communities, increasing safe and affordable housing, and serving veterans and military families. Our VISTAs build and strengthen systems in order to increase their sites capacity to provide these services to those who need them most.

BENEFITS:

Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Relocation allowance (if applicable), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training

In addition to the standard VISTA benefits, our members participate in monthly training that help them succeed in service and achieve future goals. Topics include personality and leadership styles, personal career plan development, time management and project management, communication skills, grant writing, cultural competency, resume writing, and job search strategies. Each member also receives a training fund so that they can find and attend training and professional conferences that align with their individual goals.

OTHER CONDITIONS:

-Car recommended
-Permits attendance at school during off hours
-Subject to criminal background check

FOCUS AREAS:

Office Activites InCommunity & Nonprofit Development, Economic Security, Education & Youth, Health & Nutrition, Homelessness & Housing, Legal Assistance

LIVING ALLOWANCE:

$990 - $1108 monthly

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS:

Some College

WEEKLY HOURS:

40

SERVICE TYPE:

Indirect "capacity building" for a direct service program

SERVICE ENVIRONMENT:

Indoor

PLACEMENT:

Individual Placement

SERVICE SETTING:

Community-based Nonprofit, Community Development Organization, Higher Education Institution, Homeless Shelter, Soup Kitchen, or Food Bank, Hospital, National Nonprofit/Affiliate, Organization primarily serving older adults, State Agency other than State Service Commission

Announcing 2017 CRAFT Schedule

Amanda Landry

Join RAFFL, NOFA-VT, and a diverse group of Rutland & Bennington County Farms for our regional C.R.A.F.T. Program - The Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training.

What is C.R.A.F.T.?

 - A 7-part workshop series for aspiring and beginning farmers of all ages seeking meaningful mentorship from farmers

- A networking opportunity with other apprentices and mentor farmers in the region

- Workshop topics this year include mushroom cultivation, cover cropping, crop planning, marketing, and more.

- Workshops are FREE, and include farm tour, training session, followed by a potluck!

- Receive a CRAFT Certificate and resource manual from RAFFL and NOFA-VT apprentices by attending4 of the 7 workshops

- You do not have to be an apprentice on one of the host farms in order to participate


CRAFT 2017 Schedule


To sign up or for more information - Contact Mara Hearst, Farmer Services Advisor

The Rutland Area Farm and Food Link | www.rutlandfarmandfood.org/farmer

(802) 417-1528 x 4 | mara@rutlandfarmandfood.org

Download and print a CRAFT flyer and schedule. 

Click on the flyer below to open

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Exciting New Producers on Farm Fresh Connect

Amanda Landry

In the past couple weeks, two new local producers have joined Farm Fresh Connect as vendors. McKenna Hayes, our Farm Fresh Connect Manager has been trying to diversify the online local food market with an assortment of products to offer customers year round.  She identifies gaps in the our online food market and tries to recruit producers in Rutland and Bennington Counties who have products that will fill those gaps.  Filling these food gaps ultimately increases access to fresh, local products for customers as well as provides a year round market for producers in which they receive fair prices for their products.  

Read More

Farm Manager Position at Dutchess Farm

Amanda Landry

OVERVIEW:

Dutchess Farm, a 5 acre vegetable farm, has an immediate opening for an enthusiastic, passionate and dedicated individual to fill a full time, year round Lead Farmer position. This is an excellent opportunity to learn all aspects of vegetable farming with people who not only love farming but also enjoy life off of the farm.

Located in Castleton & Poultney Vermont, Dutchess Farm is a tight knit, family farm that has been in business since 1986. We grow a variety of produce for our CSA members & wholesale accounts. We are known for our garlic, herbs, greens, sweet peppers, tomatoes and more. We use cover crops extensively and grow with organic inputs.  More information is available on our website at Dutchessfarmvt.com.

JOB DESCRIPTION/DUTIES:

The lead farmer's primary role will be to participate in all aspects of the garden operation. This includes, but is not limited to:

Assist owners in the planning & layout of the garden

·       Work with owners to develop weekly and daily schedules such as planting, harvest, watering, pest control

·       Work with owners to create schedules and applications for organic pest control, fertilization, soil amendments

·       Manage a small crew and weekly volunteers to help them successfully complete daily tasks both inside greenhouse & out in the field

·       Determine produce available for weekly shares and wholesale accounts

·       Share weekend responsibilities with the owners on a mutually agreed schedule

·       Co-Manage greenhouses year round

·       Set up drip irrigation

·       Run tractor, tillage & weeding equipment

 

REQUIREMENTS:

An ideal candidate will possess the following skills and experience:

·       Experience in vegetable farming, possibly in a managerial role

·       Dependability

·       Attentiveness to precision and detail

·       Team player; adaptable & collaborative

·       Ability to perform labor-intensive tasks

·       An interest in agriculture and local foods

·       Ability to lift 50lbs

·       Mechanical aptitude

·       Familiarity with organic farming standards is a plus

 

COMPENSATION & PERKS:

·      This position is paid hourly, depending on experience & performance

($14-$17/hour)

·      Great produce & local foods

·      Housing is not available with this position

Contact Dutchess Farm at dutchessfarm@gmail.com or call (802) 468-5893 to apply.

 

Join us at the Poultney Earth Fair

Phil Gurley

This year marks the 10th annual Poultney Earth Fair on April 12th from 2-5pm. RAFFL is teaming up with Marble Valley Grows to host a table on the importance of local fresh food and increasing outdoor activity. We will have smoothie bikes, in which we will be incorporating local veggies from our Farm Fresh Connect service. We will be stressing the importance of real vs processed foods through having a healthy food pledge for kids! 

We hope you will join us on April 12th to celebrate our planet's sustainability. 

Volunteer with Us!

Phil Gurley

Here at RAFFL, volunteers are the heart of our efforts.  For over 10 years our volunteers have helped to fulfill our mission to  build connections that grow a strong agricultural economy and healthy community. They allow us to reach out to our community through helping with events, gleaning, Locally Grown Guide distribution and more!  

As we enter into April we are preparing for the arrival of our new Locally Grown Guides! We have 22,000 guides, which we distribute around central and southern Vermont and parts of New York. These guides help us to spread knowledge of local farmers to those in our area of the Northeast. Help us promote local agriculture and business through distribution of the guides! We need guides throughout Bennington, Rutland, Middlebury, and other areas! In order to distribute you just need a vehicle and a few hours of available time. You can pick up guides at our office located in downtown Rutland. Please sign up here if you are interested and let us know which locations and dates you are available to help us deliver.  

Calling All Producers and Devotees of Local Food!

Amanda Landry

Hello producers and devotees of local foods!

At RAFFL, we are in the process of planning our annual Twilight in the Meadow event on June 24, 2017 at Brown Boar Farm in Wells, VT.  This year's theme is "Boots on the Ground" in honor of all of the hard work that makes local farms and food a vibrant part of our community. 

We want to hear from you! Please share your story describing the role local farms and food play in your life. And attach a photo showing your boots on the ground! We will be using your stories and photos in our social media posts and at Twilight. Everyone who shares a story will be entered to win two complimentary tickets to Twilight in the Meadow 2017!

Please send your entry to Amanda Landry at amanda@rutlandfarmandfood.org by May 1st, May Day! 

Thank you for your continued support and we hope to see you on June 24 !

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A Letter from our Everyday Chef Coordinator

Amanda Landry

Dear Rutland Area Farmers and Community Members,

The Everyday Chef Program (EDC) is in the midst of its’ first fundraising series: Mexican Cooking Classes. This series was launched as a response to our community feedback request for lessons on how to make healthy Mexican food. The series focuses on authentic Mexican meals with fresh ingredients, all made from scratch. Many of our participants are well versed in Mexican culture and seasoned eaters of its cuisine. It has been a pleasure to cook for them. After the first class we all left learning something.

The series was also promoted as an EDC fundraiser as the program is in the final year of grant funding.  I have been working to expand the program with more bi-weekly workshops on introductory cooking at a number of partnering organizations around Rutland.

As the Mexican cooking series winds down, I am  getting excited for an interactive cooking workshop, Mastering the Kitchen with Chef-Instructor Lisa Fennimore.   Fennimore runs the Stafford Technical Center (STC) culinary program and its beloved Dollhouse Restaurant. Mastering the Kitchen is offered in partnership with STC and the workshop will be held in their professional kitchen on Thursday, April 13 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.   It is being offered to the community to help make long-term successes in everyday cooking and clean-up.  The $25 workshop includes materials fee for each participant, recipes and kits to take home.  All participants are entered into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to the Rutland Area Food Co-op. You can register below this letter. 

Additonally, through a partnership with Rutland City Parks and Recreation Dept., EDC is offering two series at the Godnick Center this summer: Cooking for One and The Family That Cooks.   Cooking for One offers a variety of workshops on the pleasures of cooking for one and Family That Cooks is an array of family friendly workshops that are enjoyable for both kids and their parents. All of these workshops are only $5 and you get a meal too! It’s the best deal in Rutland.

 

                                                   

Finally, the EDC program also has a new PEGTV show Local Farmer, Everyday Chef which offers thrifty ways to eat well and with local ingredients, taught by Rutland area farmers. You can find the first two episodes starring Alchemy Gardens’s Scott Courcelle, and Yoder Farm’s Ryan Yoder.

Thank you for your continued support of the Everyday Chef Program. We hope to see you at our upcoming workshops!

Grace Davy
Everyday Chef Coordinator
grace@rutlandfarmandfood.org
(802) 417-1528 x 5                                                        

Upcoming Workshops

2017 Spring Grow It! Workshop for Garden Leaders

Amanda Landry

Gatherings of garden leaders at locations all over Vermont

 Join community and school garden leaders from your region to learn strategies, share stories, and swap ideas that will boost your garden programs. Our spring Grow It! workshop theme is “Growing Community.” Come and explore with us:

  • How can your community-based garden strengthen community?
  • What makes your garden more than just a space to grow food?
  • Where are the opportunities for community collaboration in these common spaces?

Workshops are held at locations around the state.  Find a workshop near you!

*All events will take place 4:00-7:00pm and include a light meal.

  • Rutland – Vermont Farmers Food Center – March 9
  • White River Junction – Center for Transformational Practice – March 14
  • Montpelier – Montpelier High School – March 16
  • Lyndon Center – Lyndon Institute – March 21
  • North Bennington – The Village School of North Bennington– March 23
  • Burlington – Bishop Booth Conference Center at Rock Point – March 30

 

Registration is $35 per workshop. Sliding scale is available upon request. Please pre-register.  Online registration at: http://vcgn.org/what-we-do/growit.  Questions?  Email libby@vcgn.org or call (802) 861-4769.

Everyday Chef Authentic Mexican Cooking Series

Amanda Landry

March can be the worst sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to find joy in each season, but I always get antsy in March. I love spending evenings in front of the wood stove with soup, a crossword, an episode of Parks and Rec, or Mindy Kaling book, but I need to stop hibernating and do something.  I need to switch it up and ease off the soup making.

March is the time when I get heavy into all those roasted tomatoes and that Sungold cherry tomato puree in my freezer and start laying off the vegetable broth.  I want some freakin’ Mexican food.  Turns out you do too!

I’ve been coordinating the Everyday Chef program for only a few months, but a large percentage of workshop survey responses are asking for “healthy Mexican food.”  So this March, Rutland is going Mexican.

Tacos, quesadillas, heck, even grilled burritos take 15 minutes to make at home, and are all delicious. They are in heavy rotation in my house, and most other homes I visit too. (As a “flatlander”, after school quesadillas were a high school rite of passage.)

So for our program’s fundraising series, we are offering you classes on the Mexican food we order when we are out but never make.  This cuisine is still flavorful when it’s not weighed down by oily cheese and sour cream.  Turns out it’s pretty nutritious too.

Mexican food you prepare, instead of assembling, is a beautiful thing.

Since there is so much good Mexican food, there are 4 classes—a new one each week. Week 1 is Pork Abodaba, enchiladas and horchata: the pork is marinated in dried chilies and vinegar and stewed, the corn tortillas for enchiladas we’ll make from scratch, and the traditional sweet and milky beverage I’ll make ahead but give you starter kits to bring home.

Week 2 is as authentic as it gets. Local artist Maya Zelkin will bring local heirloom Vermont corn she dried to this class; she will work with you washing, cooking, and grinding corn into masa. Masa is the ingredient in authentic Tortillas (the ones in my class the week before will be made from cornmeal—still tasty) and Tamales, two delicious dishes you’ll be preparing.

Week 3’s star is Chile Rellenos—a dish I am obsessed with. Whenever I am traveling, I look for a Mexican restaurant where I can get good chile rellenos. Local chef Julie Redington’s spin is vegetarian; the mild poblano peppers are stuffed with quinoa, corn, cheese and spices. You’ll also be making a creamy avocado condiment, Avocado Crema, and Agua Fresca, which is like a homemade soda. These drinks are made with fruits, nuts or seeds and are bright and refreshing: perfect for March.

Desserts, of course, are the sweet ending to the series. RAFFL’s Executive Director Elena Gustavson has been making authentic Mexican food for decades and will lead this class on all her favorite sweets. Mexican Hot Chocolate; Cajeta, a goat milk caramel that holds its own against dulce de leche; and Flan—a sweet custard pie with hints of warming spices.

Everyday Chef is a program that works to bring ideas on how to incorporate nutrition into everyday meals and to wean ourselves off processed foods and ingredients. Our dishes incorporate local produce as much as possible, which makes sense, as RAFFL is a resource for farms, and our local produce is head and shoulders more nutritious--and tastier--than factory farmed vegetables.

We hope you get a lot out of this and have fun cooking with us!  

Last Call Registration! - Online Business Courses - Beginning & Advanced!

Mara Hearst

FOR ADVANCED FARM-BUSINESS OWNERS: 

The Farmer's Edge - Chef's Edition

A year-long online business course for farmers and food businesses. The course begins THIS Wednesday, January 11th, but there are still 1-2 spots available. The class meets once a month for two hours. See the web link here for more details: The Farmers Edge

Course offered by Julia Shanks, Food Consulting. Contact Julia directly at julia@juliashanks.com or at 617-945-8718.

FOR START-UP FARMERS: 

Growing Places: A short, online-course for aspiring and start-up farmers

Dates: January 16-February 6, 2017
Location: Online
Cost: $150

Growing Places is a non-credit, Extension course that helps beginning farmers and ranchers learn the nuts and bolts of successful farm business start-up. Topics include goal-setting, resource assessment, decision-making, risk assessment, and financial and marketing basics

More course information and online registration can be found on the UVM Extension New Farmer Project website. For additional information, email newfarmer@uvm.edu.

 

It's time to sign up for 2017 CSA shares

Amanda Landry

A new year brings a new season filled with fresh local produce in Vermont.

Sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share today with a farm near you.  You can find winter, summer or fall CSA shares in the Locally Grown Guide Index.  


We regularly stock five locations with Guides:

  • Northshire Bookstore (Manchester)
  • Stone Valley Community Market (Poultney)
  • Rutland Area Food Co-op
  • Bennington Welcome Center
  • Fair Haven Welcome Center

Print copies are available at hundreds of local businesses, markets, co-ops, and community centers.

Can’t find a print copy near you? Help distribute guides in your town! Contact 802.417.1528 or guide@rutlandfarmandfood.org for more information.


What is a CSA?

 A farm offers a certain amount of shares or memberships for purchase to the public each season.  Typically a share will include a variety of vegetables while some share will include other farm products like meats and eggs. A customer will purchase a share at the beginning of a season and receive produce every week or month directly from the farm.

Benefits to the farmer?

  • Receives payment early in the season which helps with cash flow in the slow winter months.

  • Gets to know the people in the community who eat the food they grow.

Benefits to the Consumer?

  • Forms a relationship with the farmer who grows the food they eat and also learns how their food is grown on the farm.
  • Receives fresh local  healthy produce on a weekly/ monthly basis. 
  • Gets exposed to new vegetables and other products.
  • Visits the farm.

VFFC Health Care Share innovates with food Rx

Phil Gurley

By Julia Purdy of The Mountain Times

RUTLAND—Wednesday, Dec. 21, was the final day of the 2016 season for eligible households to pick up a hefty shopping tote stuffed with fresh, local farm produce at the Vermont Farmers’ Food Center at 251 West Street in Rutland, site of the regular Rutland winter farmers’ market. For the past two years, VFFC has been sponsoring Health Care Share (HCS), an innovative program that brings seasonal vegetables, fruits and fresh milk to low-income households. Although the farmers’ market was mostly quiet on a cold day, the back corner of the barn-like building hummed with friendly activity.
Last week, colorful totes lined a table for pickup. They contained carrots, winter squash, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, applesauce from Yoder Farm in Danby, milk from the Farm & Wilderness dairy farm in Plymouth, and the famous Gilfeather turnip, named the official state vegetable in April 2016 at the urging of students in the Wardsboro elementary school. (Developed originally in Wardsboro by farmer John Gilfeather, the century-old turnip variety is one of Vermont’s heirloom vegetables.)
As folks stopped by to pick up their “share,” Grace Davy was rattling the pans in the on-site kitchen, using frozen corn-on-the-cob in a stick-to-your-ribs vegetable soup, cooking up a panful of the mild-flavored Gilfeather turnip, and baking a hearty cornbread made with Vermont-grown buckwheat flour. Sample cups of fresh, crisp sauerkraut were also available.
Davy does the Everyday Chef program for the Rutland Area Farm & Food Link (RAFFL). She said that each HCS pickup day, a different volunteer takes over the kitchen, putting together a light supper and samples cooked with that day’s vegetable or fruit selections. Flyers on the information table offered Davy’s winter vegetable soup recipe and detailed instructions for preserving and using sweet corn through the winter.
RAFFL supports the HCS program, along with several other organizations with similar missions. They include Hunger Free Vermont, the Vermont Food Bank, Smokey House Center in Danby, the Shrewsbury Institute for Agricultural Education (SAGE) and the Farm to Plate Network.
Galen Miller, a Shrewsbury resident, works with SAGE. She was assisting on pickup day, answering questions, providing quiet activities for kids, and seeing the elderly to their cars across the icy parking lot. Miller has taken part since HCS’ inception.
According to Heidi Lynch, who coordinates the HCS program for VFFC, there are 360 individual members (including children) in the HCS program. The program functions like a regular community-supported agriculture (CSA) cooperative, with one unique and important difference. Participants are Vermonters who are not getting enough to eat or need to remedy a nutritional deficiency and whose doctor enrolls them in the HCS program by writing a “prescription” for locally produced, nutritious whole foods. Participating doctors in the Rutland area include primary care physicians at the Community Health Center in Rutland, the Community Health Team at Rutland Regional Medical Center, and the Green Mountain Family Medicine addiction recovery program.
Lynch, a native of Rutland who worked as an Americorps volunteer with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC), said that VYCC developed the unique farm-share model that is being piloted in Rutland. Though better known for its land stewardship programs, VYCC also operates its Farm and Food Program through its own working farm in Richmond. The program supplies the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin and UVM Medical Center. In the summer, VYCC crews help pack vegetables at farms for the program.
“By aggregating from existing farms you can take the program anywhere,” said Lynch. She explained that Health Care Share sources all its foods from beginning farmers, creating a niche market for them.
Each share is free to the enrollee. Three years of program funding from Rutland Regional Medical Center’s Bowse Health Trust in the amount of $100,000 began in 2015; the program is now ending its second year. Ben & Jerry’s is also contributing funds for 2017. Shares may be sponsored at $250 per share by “cultivating members,” and fundraisers are held. Health Care Share has raised over $150,000 since its inception in Rutland, Lynch said.
Back at the food center, Frank Wallace told the Mountain Times, “This program is one of the best.” Wallace and his partner Dolly Cole are food stamp recipients but have found personal fulfillment in the HCS program. They call themselves “ambassadors” for the program and are on hand to welcome newcomers, explain and “sell” the program to them, and direct them to where they can convert their SNAP food stamps to “crop cash” for shopping at the farmers’ market.
The shares and community suppers are available for twelve weeks in the summer and one Wednesday per month in the winter, 3-6 p.m. The 2017 winter schedule is: Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 15, April 19, and May 17.
For more information, contact vermontfarmersfoodcenter.org.

- See more at: http://mountaintimes.info/vffc-health-care-share-innovates-food-rx/#sthash.9pBzPczG.dpuf

RAFFL: The Year in Pictures 2016

Amanda Landry

January 2016.  Everyday Chef workshop with Elena Gustavson - The Family That Cooks Together
February 2016. Free Movie Night at the Paramount Theater as a big thank you to our volunteers and supporters of RAFFL. We showed The Hundred Foot Journey and had delicious samosas for sale. Stay tuned for the next one!
 
Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

March 2016: Rachel of Yoder Farm delivers produce for our year-round online local food market, Farm Fresh Connect.
 
Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

April 2016. RAFFL's Farm Business Adviser, Jen Miller (in the middle) visits H.A.M.M.S Farm in Pittford, VT. We work with farms all year long around business and financial consultation, land access and more.
 
May 2016 "Hot off the press!"  One of our many volunteers helps us distribute over 20,000 copies of the 11th annual Locally Grown Guide to businesses, farm stands, restaurants, visitor centers and stores all over Vermont. 
 
June 2016. Americorps VISTA and Glean Team coordinator for 2015-2016, Julie Schubert works with volunteers to harvest spinach.
July 2016 Stephen Chamberlain of Dutchess Farm delivers fresh carrots to Farm Fresh Connect's distribution site at Vermont Country Store in North Clarendon, VT.
 
Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

July 2016  RAFFL volunteer Grace Ecklund Gustavson directs cyclists to their rest station during Vermont's Farm to Fork Fondo, an event with Wrenegade Sports that RAFFL was invited to participate in. 
 
July 2016.  One of our favorite programs done in partnership with Someday Farm, Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training ( aka CRAFT) brings together farm apprentices with seasoned farmers to learn, socialize and network together. This one, at Alchemy Gardens with Scott Courcelle, was a beautiful summer day.
August 2016. Our hunger program, The Glean Team, relies heavily on volunteers to help us harvest over 12 tons of food in 2016. Our volunteers come from high schools and colleges, businesses, organizations, and interested individuals. 
 
Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

September 2016. After a one year hiatus, Twilight in the Meadow was held this year at the beautiful Larson Farm in Wells to honor our founding Executive Director, Tara Kelly, who retired from RAFFL to pursue her roots in city planning.  
 
Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

September 2016.  Honoring RAFFL's Founder, Tara Kelly (on the left) with our Board President, Kara Soulia (on the right) at RAFFL's signature fundraising event, Twilight in the Meadow.
 
Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

Photo Credit: Heidi Bagley

September 2016. Rutland Area Farm and Food Link Board of Directors and Executive Director, Elena Gustavson come together after a tour of Larson Farm. Pictured from left to right: Andy Maas, Maria Reade, Nancy Mark, Geoff Brown, Kara Soulia, Elena Gustavson, John Pollack, Eleanor Tison, Marli Rupe and Larry Courcelle
 
October 2016. Philip Gurley, our 2016-2017 Americorps VISTA Outreach Coordinator, helps Stephen of Dutchess farms sort and pack his produce. 
 
November 2016.  Wrapping up a successful gleaning season at Laughing Child Farm with Green Mountain College volunteers.  Mary Bilecki, our 2016-2017 Americorps VISTA Glean Team Coordinator is shown on the far left, all bundled up!
 
December 2016. We said good-bye to good friends in 2016, but said hello to new ones. Meet the RAFFL Staff that will be heading into 2017 together. From the top, left to right: Phil Gurley - Americorps VISTA Community Outreach & Marketing Coordinator; McKenna Hayes - Farm Fresh Connect Manager; Elena Gustavson - Executive Director; Stephanie Jones - Locally Grown Guide Manager; Grace Davey - Everyday Chef Coordinator; Amanda Landry (w/ baby James) - Communications & Marketing Manager; Mary Bilecki - Americorps VISTA Glean Team Coordinator; Mara Hearst - Farmer Services Advisor

Be a Sustaining Supporter!

Amanda Landry

By giving a monthly donation (of any size!) to RAFFL, you make a difference! Be a Sustaining Supporter and have an impact on your community!

$5/month - Provides two hours of business and financial planning assistance to new and beginning FARMERS.

$10/month - Covers the cost of supplies for 4 people in the addiction recovery COMMUNITY to receive hands-on, whole food cooking classes through our Everyday Chef program and provides ingredients for them to take home.

$20/month - Allows 10 farmers to participate in workshops that advance their KNOWLEDGE towards creating and sustaining successful farm businesses.

$50/month - Ensures that SIX MONTHS worth of vegetables, harvested from our local farmers, can be SHARED fresh to our communities in need via our Glean Team.

Holiday Sides: Front and Center

Phil Gurley

Are you still drumming your fingers over what sides to make for your holiday meal? These quick and simple crowd-pleasers might actually upstage your roasted beast!

Root Vegetable Gratin: Beets, Parsnips, Carrots, Rutabaga, Turnips, Potatoes…we never tire of these flavors.  The combinations are endless and delicious. Try combining your favorites in this video recipe.


Broccoli with Mustard Butter: This is a standard side in my house, and it doesn’t lose its’ specialty when served on a holiday table. And broccoli is so good this time of year. All you need is:
Broccoli (1 big head serves 2)
Unsalted Butter (3 tbsp. serves 2)
Your choice of mustard (I like those grainy ones. 1 tbsp serves 2)
Kosher Salt, Pepper

Cut your broccoli florets small and bite-sized. Take off all that dead white stuff. Bring to a boil in an inch of water covering the bottom of a pot or saucer pan (depending on how many diners you have). Add broccoli, cover and boil 1-2 minutes, depending on floret size. Makes sure it’s tender, not soft.

Drain broccoli, season it, set aside. Melt butter in pan, add mustard and mix together. Add broccoli and mix to coat. Check for seasonings and serve.


Brussels Sprout Gratin: Brussels roasted with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper on 375 for 40 minutes is a thing of beauty. Try them with blue cheese added on top and cooked 5 minutes extra.

Parsnip or Sweet Potato or Squash Latkes: Latkes are usually made with potatoes, but swapping in sweet potatoes is a really delicious holiday twist. Assemble your ingredients:
3 cups grated sweet potatoes or other root vegetable of choice (just like with the gratin, mix and match your roots!)

2 med. onions, grated
4 med. sweet potatoes, grated
1 med. carrot, grated
1/2 c. matzo meal or 1.5 tbsp flour
Salt & pepper to taste
6 eggs 

Mix matzo meal, seasonings and eggs with grated vegetables. Spoon into hot oil. Flatten a bit and fry a few minutes, until edges brown. Turn once, fry until golden brown.
 
Serve with applesauce, and instead of a sour cream-dill accompaniment, try either hot sauce and plain yogurt mixed together, or cinnamon with little chunks of crystallized local honey in your dip.

Videos credited to Saveur Magazine: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3mn3k3_dominique-crenn-makes-a-root-vegetable-gratin_lifestyle