By Dennis Shanoff
You just can’t beat the taste and quality of fresh produce, right? And there is no fresher produce than that just picked! Those fortunate enough to live near farmlands know that the best produce is found at farm stands and farmers' markets.
So with this being the time of year where the widest produce choices are ripe for picking, it makes sense to spotlight our hardworking farmers large and small with a National Farmers' Market Week.
Reports indicate a rapidly growing interest in fresh as can be products so going to the source is as good as it gets. And farmers' markets are playing a key role in bringing the farmer and consumer together.
Even cities have created market space for weekly markets. Farmers are willing to load up their trucks and head to urban areas to bring fresh goods to those outside agricultural areas.
Wondering where your nearest market might be? Well, the USDA has a great web based market locater to help put freshness on your table! We hope there's a bountiful market near you that you get to explore soon. Many of us at Vermont Woods Studios will be heading to our favorites this weekend.
At Vermont Woods Studios Sustainable Furniture we've been working with the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership to develop an Action Plan to create a rural renaissance in Vermont that focuses economic development efforts on our working landscape. Right now we have a tremendous opportunity to build our working lands economy (farming, forestry, and value-added processing like furniture making) into a cornerstone of job creation and rural revitalization.
Many of the pieces needed for a Renaissance of our farm and forest economies are already in place. More and more people in our regional market are looking for sustainably produced products, such as our Vermont Made Furniture. But the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership needs our support in bringing some remaining pieces together.
The Vermont Working Landscape Action Plan defines what those pieces are and how we can pull all of those opportunities, policies, and new plans into one unified, efficient and effective effort. If you live in Vermont or vacation here, you are a stakeholder in this plan. We know that without taking action the landscape of Vermont will evolve rapidly and probably not in a way we would want.
Stakeholders, please take a minute to read the plan and offer your support. Thanks!