Saturday, July 17, 2010

Farm to Table


The sweet juiciness of a ripe garden tomato or the sugary crunch of the summer’s first corn on the cob - there's just nothing like eating fresh whole foods in their season. July is a time when our local farms are busy harvesting a bounty of beautiful, healthy, organic foods which means lots of exciting flavors and colors for the Inn’s summer menus.
We’re fortunate to live in a place where family farms and artisan food producers have always been an important part of Vermont’s agricultural history and food culture. Long before local, organic & sustainable became the big buzz, many independent farms and small businesses were using traditional, ethical practices to create some of the best foods (like our famous Vermont maple syrup and cheddar cheese) in the country. The number of organic producers in Vermont has more than doubled since 2001, we have the highest percentage of people who buy locally grown food in the country, and an explosion of CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) and farmer’s markets.
We also have a state government more supportive of small farms and artisan entrepreneurs than most, encouraging local, sustainable food production with organizations like the Vermont Fresh Network, the Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Vermont Farm Viability Enhancement Program, the Vermont Food Venture Center, the Vermont Cheese Council and the University of Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese - the only one of its kind in the country.
The Inn’s chef, Jeff Scott, has been working with our many local, independent farm and specialty food partners to create his menus since he first began at the Inn 9 years ago. Here are just a few of the people who help create the delicious ingredients Scott uses to design the Inn’s farm fresh New England cuisine:
Taylor Farm, Londonderry, VT
A 180 year old family owned working dairy farm, Taylor Farm provides us with it’s scrumptious artisan cheeses. A wonderful place to visit while you’re in the area - they have a farm store where you can buy cheeses, maple syrup, homemade preserves and local honey direct. They also offer cheesemaking workshops, sleigh rides and farm educational activities.
Anjali Farms, South Londonderry, VT
Run by a husband and wife team (Emmet and Lini Dunbar) Anjali Farm supplies us with beautiful certified organic produce - vegetables, herbs, garlic, melons, berries and honey. Lini also has a line of medicinal herbal tinctures and beauty products (Lotus Moon Medicinals) and Emmet was the Farmer’s Market Coordinator for NOFA-VT (Northeast Organic Farming Association). You can visit their farm stand and they offer a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program every year.
Vermont Butter & Cheese, Websterville, VT
While Vermont Butter & Cheese Company has earned worldwide recognition, the company is proudest of its contribution to the health of local agriculture. Crafting prize winning artisanal dairy products in the European style the company supports a network of more than 20 family farms, providing milk meeting the highest standards of purity. From creamy goat cheeses to cultured butter, mascarpone and aged bijou, Vermont Butter and Cheese provides delicious dairy products for our menus all year.
Might Food Farm, Pownal VT

Certified organic since their first growing season, Mighty Food Farm grows a large variety
 of produce and raises 300 organically fed laying hens for eggs. Chuck Currie and Lisa
 MacDougall are the farmers at Mighty Food Farm and both graduated from the University
 of Massachusetts at Amherst with Degrees in Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences. They offer
 summer and winter CSA programs and sell at many local farmers markets in Southern
 Vermont.