Food Summit 2022

Friday, May 20
7-8 pm | CAPA Symposium or on Zoom

Getting to Local: Challenges and Opportunities on the Path to Food System Transformation

The re-localization of food systems is often put forward as a strategy to address a wide range of problems—from climate change issues to the disconnect between farmers and consumers. However, local food initiatives have also been critiqued for focusing too much on geography, while overlooking important social and environmental considerations. In this keynote address, Dr. Bryan Dale, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment and Geography at Bishop's University, will discuss research that he has been undertaking in the Canadian context that analyzes opportunities to invigorate local food economies from a social and environmental-justice perspective. He will discuss food sovereignty and agroecology, and explore how these concepts can be put into action in practical ways—from food hubs and cooperatives to social movement organizing. 
 

Saturday, May 21
9:00 am-3:00 pm | Downtown Bennington

Workshops, activities, and lunch in Willow Park! 

If you would like to pick up a list of these events and a map to show you the locations, please stop by the Bennington Community Market (239 Main Street) anytime after 9:00 am on Saturday, May 21st. We will have coffee, tea and cinnamon rolls! 

Participants include Bennington Community Garden, Bennington Community Market, GBICS, Lake Paran, PAVE, Robert Frost House, Shires Housing, Southshire Regenerative Food Center, and Sunrise Family Resource Center.

On Saturday afternoon from 1:00-3:00 pm, there will be a free lunch at the lower pavilion at Willow Park prepared by Becky Arbella and her colleagues in the food system and cooking classes at Shires Housing. All are welcome. 

LIST OF EVENTS (9:00 AM - Noon)

Bennington Community Market

239 Main St, Bennington
https://www.benningtonmarket.com/

The Town of Bennington Community Development Director, Shannon Barsotti, will lead a tour of the progress on the Bennington Community Market at 239 Main Street in downtown Bennington. The market will sell fresh produce, meat, and dairy products from local farms, as well as a variety of pantry items from local food producers. It will also include a bakery, café, commercial kitchen, and event space, and is scheduled to open by late summer. Come to check out the space and learn more about how to get involved!

Workshops at the Bennington Community Market outside in the front parking lot:

Face Painting

Bennington College students will be face painting using natural face paints made with natural ingredients like organic Shea butter, castor seed oil, clay and mineral based pigments. All ages welcome.

Block Printing on Tote Bags

Learn how to make a block print while making your own unique tote bag. All supplies are provided.

Seed Balls

Small balls of clay, compost, and seeds are a fun and easy way to disperse wildflower seeds. In this drop in workshop, you will make seed bombs with wildflowers for sunny, shady, and wet habitats and will go home with some seed bombs of these beautiful plants that support pollinators, birds, and other wildlife.

Bennington Community Market is a community-supported grocery store that supports local farmers and makes healthy food accessible to everyone in our community.

PAVE (Project Against Violent Encounters)

Will be stationed at the Bennington Community Market, 239 Main Street

Learn to start herb seeds in repurposed milk jugs.

PAVE provides Bennington County with DV and SV survivor services and prevention education while promoting a vision of a world where all people are empowered to enjoy safe, secure and fulfilling lives free from violence and abuse.

Bennington Community Garden

655 Gage Street, Bennington
https://vtgardens.org/garden-directory/bennington-community-garden/

Join UVM Ext. Master Gardeners Bennington Chapter, Bennington Area Makers, and Head Start for a Seedling Swap & Composting 101 on Saturday, May 21st from 10am- 12pm at the Bennington Community Garden, located at Bradford St and Coolidge Ave in Bennington. Drop off seedlings for donation, swap seedlings or pick up free seedlings. Fruit, vegetable and flower seedlings are welcome! Donations of seedling trays and nursery pots are also appreciated.

The event includes a family/kid friendly seedling planting activity table to learn how to successfully get your seedlings off to a healthy start. In addition to our seedling activities, Master Composter Reed Goosen will lead a Composting 101 session from 11:00-12:00 at the garden. Tour our Giving Garden, meet our community growers and learn about all the great things happening at Bennington Community Garden!

Additionally, students from the Frost House Program at Mount Anthony Union High School along with Bryce Sullivan, a Bennington College senior, will be showcasing their Participatory Action Research project, which investigated local food systems and involved preparing garden beds on site for spring planting and interviews with the gardeners.

Bennington Community Garden is an organic, 35 plot garden in the heart of the Town of Bennington. Located next to the Bennington Rec Center, Bennington Community garden has a long history of community based support.

GBICS

Kitchen Cupboard Open House, 9-10am

Drop in at GBICS' Kitchen Cupboard for a tour of our food pantry and conversation about food insecurity work in Bennington County

GBICS (Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services, Inc) is a local non-profit organization whose mission and programs are designed to advance the health of our neighbors by helping them meet their basic human needs including food, shelter and access to health care.

Lake Paran

269 Houghton Street, North Bennington
https://lakeparanvt.org/

Join Lake Paran for drop-in tours of our licensed commercial kitchen rolling from 9am-12pm. See the potential of our community kitchen/ incubator space for aspiring food entrepreneurs. Then at 11am, join us for a cooking demo where we will make arugula pesto and crostini. Take a walk or stroll around our lake front property while enjoying your freshly made snack.

Lake Paran is a not-for-profit recreational and environmental education organization located in historic North Bennington, Vermont that is lovingly maintained and operated by local nature lovers. Our mission is to affordably bring the natural beauty of Southern Vermont to people of all backgrounds, while also providing healthy, outdoor fun!

Northshire Grown: Direct

Northshire Grown: Direct is a local food initiative that has supported local farms, grown communities and supported Bennington County's regional food economy since 2020 with the support of the Merck Forest and Farmland Center. Plans are underway to replicate and customize Northshire Grown: Direct for the greater Bennington community under the auspices of Shires: Direct. Shires: Direct will be a program of the Regenerative Food Network.

Northshire Grown: Direct launched in 2020 as a Covid-19 response effort to help local farmers and food businesses recoup sales after their market channels were all shuttered. This direct-to-consumer online sales platform has continued to grow Bennington County’s food system…one box at a time. Over 50 area farms and food producers have participated in this initiative which is both a new market channel and a supply and demand study for the region. Customer-generated philanthropy  has helped to distribute over 1,000 boxes to families who need extra food support through Northshire Neighbors in Need. Information materials and tables will be set up at the Bennington Community Market and the Southwestern VT Regenerative Food Center on Shields Drive on May 21. Interested in learning more? Contact shiresdirect@gmail.com.

 

Lake Paran Village, Shires Housing

Paran Road, 9 am - 12 pm

These beautiful apartments are part of the Shires Housing portfolio. The Lake Paran Greenhouse Project is also brand new this year. Due to Covid we had to postpone it from 2021. It is our hope that residents will start their vegetable and flower plants in the greenhouse. Riverbend Farm Supplies has graciously donated seeds to start. We will be partnering with Lake Paran and The DREAM program on this project. This program has been made possible in collaboration through Shires Housing, the Mellon Grant Community Resource Funds, Bennington College and River Bend Farm Supplies Townshend Vermont. Debbie Allen and Edna Bartlett will be on hand to answer questions from 9 am - 12 pm.

Lake Paran Village is a mixed-income, 22-unit rental housing development in Shaftsbury, right over the town line from North Bennington. Shires Housing (formerly Regional Affordable Housing Corporation, or RAHC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit housing development corporation serving Bennington County and headquartered in Bennington. Shires Housing’s mission is to provide safe, decent and perpetually affordable housing options for limited income residents of Bennington County. Shires Housing has a staff of twenty-one and an eight member Board of Trustees consisting of local volunteers.

Orchard Village Community Kitchen/Shires Housing

236 Applegate Dr, Bennington

The community kitchen has been a host site for many in person and online cooking, canning and preserving classes. This is also the site of the Orchard Village VT Foodbank food drop site. This program has been made possible in collaboration through Shires Housing, the Mellon Grant Community Resource Funds, Bennington College, The VT Foodbank and River Bend Farm Supplies Townshend Vermont. Sue Cottrell and Becky Arbella will be on hand to answer questions from 9 am - 12 pm

Shires Housing (formerly Regional Affordable Housing Corporation, or RAHC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit housing development corporation serving Bennington County and headquartered in Bennington. Shires Housing’s mission is to provide safe, decent and perpetually affordable housing options for limited income residents of Bennington County. Shires Housing has a staff of twenty-one and an eight member Board of Trustees consisting of local volunteers.

Southshire Regenerative Food Center

139 Shields Drive
Tours starting at 10am

We'd like to invite you to join us for a walkthrough of the vision and space that will become the Southshire Regenerative Food Center.

The Southshire Regenerative Food Center will be home to many local food enterprises, including the new Bennington Food Hub, Southshire Meats, the Regenerative Food Network, and adjacent to Little City Cider.

 

Robert Frost Stone House Museum

121 Vermont Rte 7a, Shaftsbury, 10 am - 11:30 am
https://www.bennington.edu/robert-frost-stone-house-museum

Please join us for a morning with artist and Guerrilla Grafter Margaretha Haughwout making seed bombs for tactical food forestry and discussing her Food Forest Futures installation at the Robert Frost Stone House Museum as part of the Bennington Food Summit.

The Robert Frost Stone House Museum at Bennington College is a community-focused space that celebrates Frost’s poetry and life in Shaftesbury, Vermont. We want to open up fresh conversations about the foundational elements of Frost’s life: poetry, farming, and teaching.

Sunrise Family Resource Center

Sunrise Pantry Tours and Full STEAM Ahead Program Demos and Free Activity Kits

226 Union Street
https://sunrisepcc.com/

Visit Sunrise’s Pantry to see all the concrete supports we provide to our program participants and the greater Bennington County community. Connor Weis, Community Health Project VISTA at SVMC, will be joining Sunrise to offer Full STEAM Ahead program demonstrations and free, take-home activity kits.

Sunrise Family Resource Center has been a part of the fabric of Bennington County since 1969. Our mission is "Strengthening Families". Sunrise works in partnership with individuals, families, and community members to provide a variety of supports and services. These services promote the growth and development of individuals and families through encouragement of strengths, expansion of opportunities, and support in times of stress. Our vision is that ALL families have the strengths and resources to reach their full potential. Sunrise belongs to the Parent Child Center (PCC) Network of Vermont and is the only PCC in Bennington County. As a PCC, we offer eight core services: home visiting, early childhood services, parent education, playgroups, parent support groups, concrete supports, community development, and information and referral.