Farm Stand Sells Locally Grown Food

By Emma Eastwood-Paticchio

MiddFarmstand, an online farmer’s market offering produce from local farms, opened for faculty and staff this past summer. The coordinators are now looking into expanding the service to students.

The program is a branch of yourfarmstand.com, which originated in Charlotte, Vt. in 2010 and has now expanded to over a dozen markets, benefitting both the producers and the consumers in communities across Vermont.

Market Coordinator Greg Krathwohl ’14 and Francisca Drexel, academic coordinator for film and media and market manager, were the primary organizers of the market at the College, which takes place in the café at the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts (CFA) every Tuesday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The service is simple and effective, according to staff. Once a user has signed up on yourfarmstand.com and selected the Middlebury market, they can put money into their account via check or PayPal, browse the categories of produce available that week and add items to their cart. On Tuesday, the staff or faculty member picks up their order at the CFA. There are no lines, and the experience is often supplemented with free samples, while customers catch up with colleagues.

“The market is a great idea, very well organized and in a lovely setting,” said Bill Beaney, golf and hockey coach.

The market also features over twenty producers and provides a wide variety of products to consumers. Meat, eggs, pies as well as freshly picked fruits and vegetables are all available for purchase.

Ioana Uricaru, assistant professor of film & media culture, shared Beaney’s enthusiasm.

“I just moved here from LA, and I’m very happy to be able to get fresh food,” said Beaney. “The radishes look great, and the pie is beautiful and enormous.”

The presence of different types of produce also ensures that the suppliers are not competing with each other, but are instead working together to draw in more business and more interest in buying locally. This past Tuesday, every producer had orders, making the service worthwhile to everyone.

New Market Coordinator Kathryn Benson ’13 pointed out the benefits the online market gives to the farmers as well as the community.

“Producers know it’s a guaranteed sell, so they don’t have to pay a worker to wait at a farmer’s market where they can’t always sell all their produce,” said Benson.

According to Drexel, Students interested in joining MiddFarmstand will have to wait a little longer in order for the plan to be approved by the President’s Office.

“We must first make sure that there isn’t a complication with those students who’ve enrolled in the College’s meal plan,” she said.

Drexel will soon meet with other department heads to discuss the initiative.

Students interested in the service can follow MiddFarmstand on Facebook to stay apprised of announcements.

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