The summer salad greens are crisp. The rhubarb is red. This season's first strawberries and fresh green spinach from Vermont farms are out of the fields and into the market bins. Vermont artisanal cheeses and our famous cheddars are on display. Markets that connect Vermont farmers with Vermont families are an important part of our way of life. A new Vermont Fresh Market - specializing in produce, dairy and meat from Vermont farms - opens this weekend in Barre, and Senator Bernie Sanders is joining the celebration of healthy eating and small family farms.
"Preserving family farms makes sense from an economic standpoint, from an environmental standpoint, from a food safety and nutrition standpoint, and from a national security standpoint," he said.
In Barre, Ariel Zevon converted a vacant building that used to house a department store into a market and café specializing in Vermont-grown produce and supplies. Markets in towns and cities all over the state also supply shoppers with fresh, healthy, home-grown Vermont farm products.
Meanwhile, Sanders is working in Congress to rewrite a farm bill to encourage access to healthy fruits and vegetables. He joined other senators in urging the Agriculture Committee to increase support for farmers' markets, let schools request local food for their lunch and breakfast programs; and protect farmland from encroachment by sprawling cities and suburbs.
For a copy of the senators' letter, click here.
For information about the Local Agricultural Community Exchange, click here. http://www.lacevt.org/index.php
For more information about Vermont farmer's markets, click here. http://www.nofavt.org/markets-list.php