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Peaceful Harvest Mushrooms: VCLF Borrower Cultivates Health & Wellness Vermont Community Loan Fund Lends $1,371,936 So Far in 2020

Karen and Brian Wiseman carefully cultivated their careers. Both spent years at Boston-area bio-tech and pharmaceutical companies, dedicated to the advance of health, wellness and medicine. “I was a chemical engineer, working on the early development of protease inhibitors, now used to treat HIV,” Karen recalls. At another point, she managed multi-million-dollar projects for the pharmaceutical giant where she met fellow employee Brian. But, as the Wisemans’ Peaceful Harvest Mushrooms website explains it: “…we wanted to weave the fabric of our lives back together in a different way; one that was truly in line with our values.” So it was that in 2010, Karen recounts, that they left their big jobs and home in southern New Hampshire to become mushroom farmers in central Vermont. “Our friends thought we were crazy.”

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Sterling College Farm Creates Food Hub to Help Small Growers and Reduce Food Insecurity

SNAP Benefits for CSA, Food from Micro-Local Producers, and Seed Library

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School Lunch Programs Keep Milk Flowing with Grant Support

New England dairy farmers, along with other generous partners, have provided school meal programs across New England nearly $255K in total grants and equipment to date. The schools we’ve supported are serving over 1 million meals and milks per week. That’s an estimate of over 10 million meals being provided to students in these communities since schools closed. Below are more details about the grants provided:

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New Chapter’s Impact on Local Food Systems

New Chapter®, a Brattleboro-based wellness company, is leaving a lasting impact on the local food systems by being Food Connects highest-level corporate sponsor. New Chapter’s® donations in 2019 have paved the way for the most successful first half of the year in Food Connects’ history.

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School meals continue through the summer: WSESU looking for volunteers to help with the effort

The Vermont Summer Food Service Program kicked off on June 22. For school kitchens throughout the state, that means continuing serving thousands of meals a week to their communities’ children. In the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union (WSESU), they can’t do it alone. While school staff are the backbone of the operation, the program can’t operate without volunteers helping with food preparation and working at the distribution sites.

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Northeast Kingdom farm to grow additional food for anyone in need

The Vermont Land Trust, in partnership with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and ShiftMeals, a program that provides healthy food to people affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis, are working together to ensure that an acre of land at Bluffside Farm in Newport will increase food production and food access in the Northeast Kingdom. Two open houses for interested volunteers and community members will be held at Bluffside Farm on July 2 — from 10:30 to 11:30 am and again from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. To learn more or sign up as a volunteer visit, www.shiftmeals.org/join-our-grow-team.

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Sterling College Announces Living & Learning Pods for the Fall Semester

Reopening with health and quality of education in mind

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Vegetable Starts Make it to the Community

Hundreds of veggie starts made it out to the community in early June thanks to Sarah Rosow (Guilford’s Farm to School Coordinator), Lilac Ridge Farm, and VT Hemp!

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Input Needed for a New Vision of Farming and Food in Vermont

Help shape the future of farming and food development in Vermont. Share your input and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to a Vermont farmers market of your choice. By participating, you’ll be adding your voice to the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan.

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New Farmers.gov Feature Enables USDA Customers to Manage Conservation Activities Online

You can now manage your conservation activities and request assistance from USDA through a new feature on farmers.gov. These conservation features join several others already available through the farmers.gov portal, including the ability to view farm loan information.

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