I’m struggling to put my experience in Vermont into context for the blog. My goal for that weekend was to see if I could make a go in the farm-to-cafeteria movement that’s sweeping the nation. Are there careers in the field that interest me? Do I have the necessary skill sets? What am I missing?
I learned a lot–about myself, about the world of food service directors (an unexpected career option for me), the fascinating ways that schools are working with farmers to bring fresh food into schools. I learned that I have a lot to learn.
The highlight of the trip was our local food-filled reception at Shelburne Farms, a 1,400-acre oasis that feels like the French country side hundreds of years ago. I already knew Vermont was a special place, but seeing Shelburne & hearing a presentation by the wonderful man who coordinates all purchases for Burlington schools showed me just how deeply the logic of local food permeated Vermont culture.
And they’re still not satisfied. They’re pushing harder for organics. They, the former “bread basket” of the East Coast, are working to restore their grain industry as a way to transition larger farms off of more chemical-intensive crops. This state of less than one million people is serving as a model–for larger metropolitan areas nearly the size of the state & for the country as a whole.
Let’s stare at the beauty of Shelburne Farms & be inspired for a while.