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Survey: VFFC Processing, Aggregation and Storage Needs

Click here to take this survey on SurveyMonkey website.

In the last several years, there have been explorations into developing a shared-use, commercial kitchen in Rutland.  The Vermont Farmers Food Center recognizes there is a need for a commercial kitchen as well as food aggregation and storage facilities.  With this survey the project is updating its marketing research to identify potential users, and their needs, to explore the feasibility of such facilities as part of other food access and food system development in the Rutland region.

What is a Shared Use Kitchen?

The concept of a Shared Use Kitchen is to assist food entrepreneurs by providing access to commercial kitchen equipment in a shared use space, to prepare and process food for the consumer and wholesale market.  The facility will meet all state and federal licensing regulations while also providing a supportive business incubator environment.

What are Food Aggregation and Storage Facilities?

These improve farmers and food entrepreneur’s capacity to store crops, ingredients and product while creating marketing and distributions options.  Features include multiple temperature and humidity controlled storage environments, loading docks, and office space.  This facility will also meet all state and federal licensing regulations.

Survey Questionnaire

Click here to take this survey on SurveyMonkey website.

To identify needs and opportunities for a commercial kitchen and kitchen incubator facility, VFFC appreciates your valuable time to respond to this survey.  The information you provide will be important in determining the need for a shared use commercial kitchen and food aggregation facilities in Rutland.  This survey is designed for current producers/businesses as well as those looking for a startup opportunity, so it is important that you answer as many questions as possible, even if you are not currently producing a product.

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Health Care Share

Health Care ShareA new initiative began to take root early last spring at the Vermont Farmers Food Center.  Inspired by an existing program in Richmond, Vermont and conversations at weekly market with farmers, activists and passionate people swapping stories about innovative farming and food ventures, a new project found footing in our community. The program is called the Health Care Share. It is a Farm-to-Patient collaborative initiative working with farmers, doctors, community health teams and local non-profits, to provide access to healthy foods for families and individuals who struggle with food insecurity and chronic health issues affected by diet.

Doctors refer patients and the Health Care Share provides free farm shares of local produce for twelve weeks of the growing season. Participants are supported in creating healthy eating habits through cooking and nutrition classes offered by VFFC, RAFFL and Hunger Free Vermont. Recipes, storage tips and shopping strategies are also provided in weekly newsletters.

Food for the shares is aggregated through a Farmers Network cooperative comprised of local, small scale and beginning farmers; Alchemy Gardens, Breezy Meadows, Homegrown Garden and Yoder Farm. The Health Care Share creates a wholesale market for local farmers and inspires lasting health and lifestyle changes. The Vermont Farmers Food Center in alliance with local and state partners, is thrilled to bring the Health Care Share to Rutland.

For more information about Health Care Shares and volunteer opportunities contact, Heidi Lynch, Program Coordinator, vffc.heidi@gmail.com 802-342-4219

Thank you for your support! We look forward to growing this initiative together.

Check out the model program run by our partners at The Farm at Vermont Youth Conservation Corps: http://www.farmatvycc.org/#!health-care-share/cr43

Solar Array for VFFC – IndieGoGo Campaign!

Here is our Big Dream – Harness the Sun!

The city of Rutland wants to be the solar capital of the Vermont, and folks at the Vermont Farmers Food Center want to join that effort. Our next big step is to build a 13kw solar array on top of our rear building to reduce our electricity usage from the grid. We acknowledge climate change and want to do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint. Our very own solar plant will get us there.

So, we are doing an IndieGoGo campaign towards funding our solar array for VFFC!  Please support VFFC in this effort.

Here is what we’ve already done

  • We’ve received a $20,000 grant from Green Mountain Power
  • We’ve received $6,000 in matching funds
  • But we still need to raise $$$ for;
  • $14,000 in matching funds
  • Replace and reinforce the roof of the building prior to solar installation
  • Run 3 phase power to the building so we can reverse the meter to the grid when the building isn’t in use.

What Your $$$$ Will Do

The Vermont Farmers Food Center has become a valuable community asset that is a model for the state and the country. It shows the world exactly how to support local farmers in bringing healthy foods to local people. Plans for the building include the creation of storage and aggregation space where farmers can process and freeze their crops for sale throughout the year. It is another way that we can make healthy local foods available to our community year round.

The Vermont Farmers Food Center is a non-profit organization that spends every penny it receives helping local farmers be successful and improving the health and well-being of our community. Being able to generate electricity from our own solar installation will reduce our overhead and increase our ability to bring more health and wealth to our community.

Your contribution of dollars in any amount will help us in this endeavor. We are always interested in community volunteers so be in touch to lend a hand. And please share this campaign (you can use the Indiegogo share tools) with everyone you know because … we need a lot of help to harness the sun.

Rutland Shines: Community Event @ VFFC, Saturday, May 17, 3pm – dusk

Rutland Shines

Performers Welcome

May 17, Saturday, 3 pm till dusk
Vermont Farmers Food Center
251 West Street, Rutland, VT 05701

In collaboration with Project Vision, Rutland Shines is a series of summertime Saturday afternoon to nighttime events starting May 17, 2014  here at VFFC that highlight the positive action and great possibilities and talent amongst us here in Rutland County. These FREE events starting at 3 pm on designated Saturdays this summer will include family interactive music, song, comedy, mime- family entertainment for all. After Master Classes in afternoon, the evening brings a presentation of local talent that performs that night with blankets and chairs style seating where audience can bring their own picnic baskets. After the local talent presentation, all are encouraged to stay for a night of dance, flash and magic like nothing else in Rutland.

This series will bring in people from all over, for free entertainment and will showcase what the Rutland region has to offer. Volunteers are welcome to be part of this new event at VFFC.

To award prizes, this series is seeking tax-deductible support from individuals, organizations and local businesses as event sponsors, prize furnishers and volunteers.
For more information, contact Kathleen Krevetski kkrevetski@hotmail.com or inquire on the website: info[at]vermontfarmersfoodcenter.org


Growing Our Way Forward: Rutland Reader Article by Joanna Tebbs Young

VFFC says “Thank You” to Joanna Tebbs Young, who wrote an article in the Rutland Reader describing VFFC’s community gardens and other future plans:

Growing Our Way Forward: Rutland’s rep is on the rise – as a food mecca
Rutland Reader
April 9, 2014
By Joanna Tebbs Young

The city’s neighbors tell tourists “Rutland is the food mecca of Vermont.” This, according to Greg Cox, president of the Vermont Farmers Food Center (VFFC), is the word from towns who send visitors Rutland’s way. And it doesn’t stop there. We have the largest (and best from Boston to Burlington, according to many) year-round farmer’s market in the state. Young farmers are settling here because of the support they receive.

All this is just what Cox wants to hear. But that doesn’t mean he’s putting his (gardening)fork down yet.

Cox and VFFC have big plans on their plate so the community can have nutritious food on theirs.

Read more of this article, to learn about VFFC’s vision and future plans in regards to the new community garden and upcoming teaching kitchen.

Historic Rutland train car finds new home @ VFFC

WCAX Story:


From AP Story:


RUTLAND, Vermont — Visitors to the Farmers Market in Rutland, Vermont, can also check out a restored 100-year-old railcar that officials say represents both the city’s past and its future.

The 51-ton, 60-foot-long railcar was moved Sunday to a spot next to the Vermont Farmers Food Center. Greg Cox, an official with the center, told WCAX-TV (http://bit.ly/1aCqpHI) that it’s a reminder that both freight and passenger trains have been rolling through the city for over a century, and that Rutland remains a major switching yard for the state.

Cox said a shelter will be built around the train, and it will be open for public viewing Oct. 22.


Rutland Renaissance Forum on October 22, 2013

Rutland Renaissance Forum
Tuesday, October 22 @5:00PM
Vermont Farmers Food Center
251 West St. Rutland, VT

Flyer: vt farmers food center-2

Join us at the Vermont Farmers Food Center for an informational working session with community leaders from various organizations and sectors about their creative efforts and how the Vermont Farmers Food Center can complement and enhance their initiatives.

5:00PM – 5:45PM: Meet & Greet with light refreshments
5:45PM – 6:00PM: Welcome by Mayor Christopher Louras
6:00PM – 6:50PM: Panel Discussion
6:50PM – 7:30PM: Q&A Session
7:30PM – 7:45PM: Action Committee Sign-up

Steve Costello – Vice President of Generation & Energy Innovation at Green Mountain Power

Paul Gallo – Rutland Creative Economy/Owner Magic Brush
John Casella – CEO Casella Resource Solutions
Dr. Mark Logan – Founder Sanctuary Integrative Medicine
Lyle Jepson – Director, Stafford Technical Center
Chris Meehan – Chief of Programs / Network Services VT Foodbank
Greg Cox – President VT Farmers Food Center / Owner Boardman Hill Farm

Please send your Tax Deductible Gift to the Vermont Farmers Food Center:
P.O. Box 1008 Rutland, VT 05701