At Vermont Valley Community Farm we market our produce solely through our CSA.  You will not find us at the Farmers Market, on restaurant menus, and other than our garlic at Willy St Coop, you will not find our produce in stores.  This means that when we have excess or less than perfect produce, we need to have an outlet for the bounty.

Each week of the CSA delivery season the Vermont Valley crew brings thousands of pounds of produce in from the fields.  After the produce has been sorted and washed we are left with hundreds of pounds of vegetables that have imperfections.  We have developed relationships with organizations in the Madison area who gladly accept produce donations.

This season the Mt. Horeb School District received over 1500 pounds of tomatoes, peppers, onions, eggplant, sweet corn, and summer squash from Vermont Valley Community Farm.  Food service director, Michelle Denk, organizes a dedicated group of volunteers to help her process the produce to be served throughout the school year.  This is our second season supplying food to the Mt. Horeb school district.  We are proud to be getting fresh organic produce into the lunch room!

Students prepping produce.

Trays of tomatoes, summer, eggplant, onions, and peppers.

The Goodman Community Center incorporates our produce into it’s meals each week through the Kid’s Cafe Program, a partnering of Madison community centers and local farms, funded by Group Health Cooperative.  Between May and September, the Goodman Community Center has served over 1200 pounds of Vermont Valley produce to the kids during summer day camps and after school programs.

Jonnah packing an order for Goodman Community Center.

Elisabeth harvesting collard greens that will be served at Goodman Community Center.

During June, July and August we coordinate a weekly donation of produce to Badger Camp, a camp in Prairie du Chien serving those with developmental disabilities.  Badger Camp served upwards of 600 pounds of  Vermont Valley Community Farm produce to it’s campers this summer.  The campers assist in preparing the food.

Badger Camper with 2012 Events Director, Emily Blackbourn.

Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin has accepted  5500 pounds of potatoes, 3000 pounds of sweet potatoes and 600 pounds of various summer vegetables this season.  Second Harvest distributes donations to food pantries, shelters, and hunger-relief programs in 16 counties in southern Wisconsin.

Jesse and Chad loading Second Harvest truck with tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and cucumbers.

Second Harvest truck backed up to packing shed to be loaded with Vermont Valley Community Farm produce.

Our produce also makes it’s way to other events and organizations such as FairShare CSA Coalition Bike the Barns, AIDS Network AIDS Ride, First United Methodist Church Food Pantry, Madison Area Rehabilitation Center – Mt. Horeb, and Middleton Outreach Ministry.

Bikers eating under a tree at Vermont Valley Community Farm stop of the FairShare CSA Coation Bike the Barns Event. Photo: Mallory Shotwell

Each week is an opportunity to put more healthy food into the community.  We are fortunate to have a connection with organizations that see the value in serving fresh, local produce.  With each passing season Vermont Valley Community Farm becomes more involved with schools, community centers, and charitable organizations and we are proud to be part of helping to improve the local food system.