There was fresh organic spinach at the Lebanon Farmers Market today, as well as good news from Cynthia Walthour of Blue Ox Organic Farm: Blue Ox will once again be selling their organic produce at the DHMC Friday Market this summer. DHMC, the largest private employer in N.H.( about 6,000 employees), launched a weekly farmers market last summer. As employees headed home on Fridays, they were able to purchase fresh, local produce from Blue Ox and Cedar Circle farms. Additionally, hospital employees had the opportunity to purchase CSA shares from either of these farms and pick up the share each Friday at the market, with Your Farm offering shares that were picked up on Tuesdays. Cynthia says the market was a successful venture and they are glad to be returning this summer.
In addition to the Friday Market and CSA venture, DHMC has committed to buying more Blue Ox produce for use in their cafeteria
Another success for Blue Ox was FARMraiser, a fundraiser of the Canaan Elementary School PTA, selling boxes of organic produce instead of wrapping paper or candy. It was so successful that 6 schools will be hosting such a fund raiser this year.
This is how we move forward in regional self-reliance: as demand grows, farmers and producers rise to meet that demand. The Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index ranks Vermont, Maine, and New Hanpshire as the the top three states in the nation for commitment to local foods. Hooray for northern New England!