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Anything But Small Potatoes.

I’ve been on the road about a month now. . .

. . .A couple thousand miles in and 3 states visited. 

Though it is my only nomadic pursuit to date; this is not my first rodeo in the realm of stateside travel.  And as I was driving the other day – I couldn’t help but think about how much of our country’s land is still used for agriculture.

Seems everywhere I go – the farm life is alive and well.  OK – maybe not necessarily well, but alive and staying alive, at any rate. . .

So, I wanted to learn a bit about the agrarian situation in Vermont, since that’s where I’d be working next. 

Are you sitting right now?  Good.  I’m about to upset you.

There are over 14 MILLION POUNDS of vegetables and berries left on Vermont farms each year. 

Wasted.  Rotting.  Tilled back into the earth.

Yes - 14 MILLION POUNDS.

Jarring, right?  Especially in a state where nearly 13% of the population are food-insecure. 

Well – Salvation Farms is an organization that’s doin’ somethin’ about that. 

Julia, another four on staff, and an arsenal of volunteers – they are cultivating sustainable programs which are changing the way local food moves from farm to table.  I joined them one rainy day in their processing kitchen to find out how.

There’s a common theme I’m seeing – in organizations that get stuff done.  They don’t exist as islands.  They share goals. . .they pool resources. . .they partner. . .

They commune with each other to exact real change.  And though it’s relatively foreign to a guy from the corporate dregs – it’s exactly what I had hoped I’d find on this journey.  What is it – only my 3rd formal stop? 

Awesome.

And, undoubtedly - on the day that I joined in the S.F. mission – we collaborated with ReSOURCE VT, who brought along a crew of visually impaired teens participating in a program called LEAP.

Never really known as a complainer – I’ve still had bouts with the ‘I can’t do this’ sentiment.  But if there’s one thing to shut me up – it’s to put me in a room full of people who are less able and more determined. 

Now, I’m no expert in the kitchen – but it would seem to me that vision is not a faculty required for efficiently peeling, dicing, blanching, and bagging homefries as a team.  At least, that is what this group proved in the 6 hours I spent with them.

All by Hand, All with Smiles. . .

All by Hand, All with Smiles. . .

We united, we made 120 lbs of food from what would otherwise be compost, we learned some things. . .we laughed. . .

And - we accomplished a few different missions. 

A few, I said. 

Not bad for a Monday, right? 

Well - it’s anything but small potatoes with these GREAT people. . .