ACORN's mission is to promote the growth and health of local food and agriculture in Vermont's Champlain Valley.
We are working with growers, schools, businesses, and community and statewide partners
to double the consumption of locally-grown food by 2020.
MIDDLEBURY, — Addison County’s very first food-based prescription program, Farmacy, launched on July 10. The Farmacy Program, a collaboration of ACORN, the Vermont Department of Health, Bristol’s Mountain Health Center, Middlebury’s UVM Porter Medical Center and three local farmers, enables doctors to prescribe fruits and vegetables as medicine to patients with chronic or nutrition related illnesses.
Deanna Fielder, a mother who picked up her first share of food in Middlebury, said, “I’m most excited about experimenting with different vegetables I’ve never cooked with before and finding something healthy that she’ll like to eat; food that’s good for us,” gesturing to her 13-year old daughter.
As Jessica Ball, Farmacy’s Program Manager, explained it, “one major goal of the program is to introduce affordable, nutritious foods that taste good, too. Providing fresh food is an important part of Farmacy, but the education component is just as essential to helping people adopt new habits that will improve their health.”
At the second delivery of the summer last week, members received an educational handout, two smoothie recipes and a sample taste of a deliciously sweet kale smoothie. The tastings and recipe cards are a regular part of the educational component to Farmacy that aims at helping members put their food to good use. While at the delivery, registered dietitians and Farmacy participants chatted about the fruits and veggies that filled their bags, as well as ways to prepare food that the whole family will love.
As rates of chronic illnesses and food insecurity increase across Vermont, Farmacy offers an integrative approach to improving healthcare and food access. Although this year Farmacy was only able to provide 45 shares at three practices, organizers hope that the program will increase in the future to more participants and more practices.
As Farmacy’s Program Intern, Haley Goodman, stated, “You can already tell this is working from the smile on people’s faces when they see the food in their bags. They’re ready to learn, eager to support local farms, and hungry for the opportunity to improve their health.”
2019 Champlain Valley Guide to Local Food and Farms is Out Now!
The Champlain Valley Guide to Local Food and Farms is an annual publication featuring a directory of local food producers in the region.
The Addison Independent released the Guide as an insert in the May 2 edition, and we mailed 22,000 copies directly to every household and business in Addison County and the surrounding region.
Use the Guide as a year-round resource for buying local! Pick up your free copy at Addison County food stores, restaurants, shops and cafes! OR click here to read the Guide online.
August Cultivating Connections E-Newsletter
Open Farm Week is coming to a farm near you!
We know you love local food and farms, so if you want to get to know your farmer even better -- and get a behind-the-scenes look into Vermont's vibrant working agricultural landscape -- make your plans for Vermont Open Farm Week August 9-15!
We've got bluegrass, brats and beer at Philo Ridge, a hops tour in Starksboro, a pizza dinner in Monkton and more!
ACORN's 3rd Annual Producer, Buyer and Distributor Forum
The 2018 Forum was held Wednesday, November 7 at Kirk Alumni Hall, Middlebury College, from 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM. This event connected buyers, producers across all food categories, distributors and food system thinkers. There was be a panel, a Keynote by April Moulaert of Vermont Tortilla Company and networking and building strong alliances that promote stronger business to business partnerships.
Panelists included Netaka White, hemp consultant, Marikje Shemendine of It's Arthur's Fault! Sauces and Marinades, Rosalie Schleinig of Red Tomato Produce, Thomas Wentworth, Farm to Plate Consultant, Joshua Pfiel of Vermont Pepperworks and Eli Lesser Goldsmith of Healthy Living, among other notable speakers.
We have been receiving fabulous feedback on this unique format which guarantees time to delve into deep conversations and work together to meet Vermont's Farm to Plate goals.
This event is #RootedinVermont and ACORN is an active member in the Farm to Plate Network.
Rikert Adaptive Trike Program
Help Adaptive Trike Rikert create an adaptive trike and bike program at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Vermont! This program would make adaptive trikes available to people with limited physical abilities, allowing them to access the great outdoors and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of year-round exercise.
The funds raised during this campaign will be used to purchase an electrically-assisted foot-powered recumbent fat-tire trike from Hase Bikes USA and RAD Innovations Vermont. Any funds remaining after the purchase of the trike will go towards growing the program to include more trikes and bikes, and to create partnerships with other winter sports centers around Vermont.
While there are currently other adaptive winter sports programs available, they are mostly geared towards competition. We want to create a program that is open and accessible to anyone at any skill level. Learn more about the Rikert Adaptive Trike Program here: https://www.gofundme.com/adaptive-trike-rikert
No-till Farmers Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser Keynote from the 2017 NOFA/ Mass Winter Conference
Tour de Farms featured in The Local Motive series on VT PBS
This new, six-part series explores six separate aspects of Vermont's local food system: production, processing, distribution, farm to institution, the consumer and waste.
See ACORN's Tour de Farms segment from February 21, 2017. Click the image above to watch. The ACORN segment starts at 19 minutes, 50 seconds.
Your support for ACORN helps to build a stronger food culture and local economy in Vermont's Champlain Valley. Your donations make possible the Tour de Farms, matchmaking events and conferences, our Farm to School outreach, the Guide to Local Food and Farms, and more.