Ever heard of the Center for Agricultural Economy?

Neither had I. But now, they are my new heroes.

Last week we were were lucky to try out some pre cut veggies from a new program called Just Cut. Their mission is to provide options for seasonal produce from small Vermont farms to institutions that are looking to increase their local buying options, but that face the usual challenges of limited storage capacity, kitchen equipment, or skilled kitchen staff time.   This very cool project is supported by.... yep,  The Center for Agricultural Economy, based in  Hardwick VT.

From their brochure:

Founded in 2004, the Center for an Agricultural Economy has acted as a non-profit resource for local food systems in the northeast kingdom.

From food systems planning, technical assistance, business advising, to hunger relief, public events and community projects, the CAE is striving to create a regenerative, local based, healthy food system.

Pretty great, right?

They also run the Vermont Food Venture Center, a "multi-use process facility" designed to help budding food  entrepreneurs and farmers get their businesses running. They offer business plan consulting, training in the use of their industrial kitchen spaces - they have three, each with different specialty industrial equipment - and storage for farms  and food businesses.

Just Cut offers veggies that have been minimally processed (peeled and cut, or cut and frozen, nothing else) right at the Food Venture Center. The produce is high quality, local and traceable, and available for ordering right now through several area produce distributors.
Currently they are offering beets, potatoes, carrots, and broccoli in various cuts, fresh or frozen. We sampled three cuts of fresh carrots ( shredded, diced, and sticks) and fresh sliced beets.

They were great! Everything was fresh and delicious, and the beets especially were a huge hit.
beautiful beets
even the pan was pretty

Chicken soup made with the Just Cut diced carrots

Lunch for the babies

I am beyond excited about this program! Getting more local produce into schools and other institutions while strengthening small farms and community food systems...? Everybody wins.
Read more about the CAE and everything they do here...


Meanwhile, we've been cooking and eating up a storm in the kitchen at BCS. Here are some little folks enjoying some shepherd's pie along with shredded carrot slaw made with napa cabbage and sweet dressing...

Yes, these are....
actual preschooler lunch plates!

And a few random kitchen pics from this week.....

Shepherd's pie headed for the oven, 

Beautiful radishes from our farm share get a soak in the sink

Have a great week!

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