The Littleton Food Co-op was bustling with activity this August in honor of Eat Local Month! Take a look back at some of our favorite, most local-est memories over the past month:
1. Biggest Little Farm Opening Gala
To kick off the month we partnered with Meadowstone Farm and the Bethlehem Colonial to bring the critically acclaimed feature film “The Biggest Little Farm” to Bethlehem. We believe that our local farmers are the true superstars, and what better way to honor them than giving them the celebrity treatment. Farmers and movie-goers were treated to a feast of hors devours from Meadowstone Farm and the Littleton Food Co-op prior to the movie. We even had “paparazzi” photographer Isidro Rodriguez from Urban Nature there to document the evening. At 7:30pm we all sat down to watch “The Biggest Little Farm,” a film that covered the highs and lows of rural agriculture with such honesty and picturesque cinematography that it was hard not to feel something for the farmers and animals alike. It was the perfect movie and the perfect event to begin our celebration of all things local.
2. Rooted in the Community
Also in early August we were joined by special guest Chad Proulx of ACHS for his conversation and discussion “Rooted in the Community.” Chad brought some new recipes as well as some summer classics to show how you can maximize your local (and healthy) eating. Participants walked away with valuable information, full stomachs, and swag bags! Thanks again to Chad and ACHS for another fun and informative workshop.
3. Local Community Lunch
There’s no better way to celebrate Eat Local Month than eating local! On August 13th community members came together at the Co-op to feast on delicious local foods at our free community lunch. The Co-op sourced ingredients from all across New Hampshire and Vermont, and it was all hands on deck to make sure everyone had a chance to eat local. Over 200 community members showed up for the chance to try the products of Meadowstone Farm, Wozz! Kitchen Creations, McKenzie’s Deli, Vermont Coffee Company, Gingue Farm, Vermont Bread Company, and more. We hope this event inspired people to continue eating local (it’s not just restricted to August)!
4. Produce Farm Tour
On August 14th, members of our produce department, operations team, and marketing department had the opportunity to tour four of our local farms to gain a deeper insight on where our produce department comes from. The group started just down the road at Meadowstone Farm in Bethlehem. They got to peak into greenhouses and across fields with Tim, Sam, and Katie from Meadowstone, and even see some of the operations that stock our meat, cheese, and dairy departments. Next, they traveled to Four Corners Farm in Newbury, VT. Owner Kim Gray gave them a tour of their picturesque farmland from the back of her truck (which the team had a little too much fun with). From there, everyone traveled to Small Axe Farm in East Ryegate, VT. We saw every corner of this off the grid farmstead from owners Heidi and Evan (and farm dog Sally) themselves. Lastly, we ended the day at Joe’s Brook Farm with Mary and Eric. We chatted and toured the farm while picking their beautiful flowers and eyeing their abundance of produce that will one day end up back at the store. Thank you to all the farms for having us and giving us an inside peek at what local food looks like.
5. Eat Local Day
Saturdays are usually a busy day at the Co-op, but when you add a dozen local vendors AND a member appreciation day into the mix it makes for a big party! Local producers and members of the Co-op staff spent the day talking to shoppers about a number of diverse samplings. Customers (and their taste buds) learned more about White Mountain Apiary, Blue Moon Sorbet, Red Kite Caramels, Eddie’s Bakery, Kingdom Kombucha, Vermont Smoke & Cure and more! This was a great opportunity for customers to try local products and see how far and wide local spreads. Thank you to all the vendors and customers who stopped by to show support local food.
6. Partner of the Month Fair
Even though there are still four months left of 2019, we shifted our sights to 2020 at the end of August to pick our Partners of the Month for 2020. The decision process kicked off on the 20th with our annual partner of the month fair. Representatives from all twenty four organizations up for consideration came to talk with members and share why they think they deserve one of our nine open spots. Members were tasked with the difficult process of voting for their nine favorite organizations. Voting is open until August 27th – learn about voting here. Thank you to all the organizations for spending time with our members, and to our members for learning about our wonderful community partners.
7. Intuitive Eater Workshop
We ended the month by welcoming Kelsey McCullough, R.D, L.D to the cafe to present her workshop “Ditch Dieting and Reclaim Your Intuitive Eater.” Kelsey shared in an accessible and not intimidating way the dangers of diet trends, as well as tips and tools to overcome them. She covered what the media isn’t telling us! Thank you to Kelsey for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us and giving an introduction to intuitive eating.
Thank you to everyone who helped us successfully celebrate Eat Local Month here at the Co-op! Which August event was your favorite? Remember that eating local is a staple here all year long, so stop by anytime or visit our website to learn more about how you can continue eating local and contributing to our local economy.