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Taste the Best of Local Foods At The 15th Annual Flavors of the Valley

Apr 06, 2016 03:49PM ● Published by Kirsten Gehlbach

Gallery: Foods of the Valley Event [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

Sample the fresh and wonderful flavors of the Upper Valley at this premier sampling event, with over 50 farm- and food-related vendors. Enjoy fresh produce, artisan breads, award-winning cheeses, tasty jams, local pulled pork, ice cream, handcrafted chocolates, and many other delicious local goods. It’s an opportunity to meet local producers, visit with neighbors, and buy products to take home. “Flavors of the Valley is a wonderful way to launch into spring and summer with more local foods on your menu,” says Tom Roberts, executive director of Vital Communities.

Danielle Allen, co-owner with Ben Dana of Root 5 Farm in Fairlee (www.root5farm.com), agrees, “It’s a fabulous well-attended event that kicks off the growing season in our region. It’s an event that brings together chefs, farmers, and specialty food producers and gives us a taste of place, a real representation of our local culinary skills, from fields to kitchens.”

Bring your appetite to Hartford High School in White River Junction on Sunday, April 10, 2016, from 11am to 3pm, and sample the finest homegrown culinary creations at Vital Communities at The 15th Annual Flavors of the Valley. More than 50 local farms, food businesses, and restaurants will be offering tasty tidbits, networking opportunities, and neighborly connections.

“It’s hard to believe this is our 15th year celebrating Upper Valley agriculture and the people who make it a vibrant part of our daily lives! We have another awesome lineup of vendors and a lot of farms coming for the first time to Flavors of the Valley,” said Vital Communities’ Event Manager Emily Gardner. “Bring a plate and come hungry!”

Everyone is welcome. A great day for the whole family, kids can enjoy fun local-food activities with Upper Valley Farm to School. Bring shopping bags and coolers to the event for purchases, along with a plate, utensils, and napkins to help reduce waste. Admission is $10 per person, children 6 and under are admitted free, and there’s a $30 family maximum. Cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted at the door. Please bring cash or checks for any additional purchases to take home from the vendors. Sorry, no pets for this event (only service dogs allowed).

Many vendors will have CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares available at early-bird discounts. This is an opportunity to build relationships and strengthen local agriculture and the local economy. Purchase local foods and connect with producers you didn’t know about. Enjoy samples and purchase great local products like cheese, maple confections, and sausage.

Don’t forget to take home some colorful spring violas from Piermont Plant Pantry. Abby Metcalf is the co-owner with husband John (www.piermontplantpantry.com). Starting their 46th year in business, they continue as longtime vendors at Flavors. Abby looks forward to hearing from those returning for another Flavors of the Valley. “They say, ‘Oh, you’re here!’ and tell us how much they enjoy the violas. This is good exposure for us and a chance to put a face with the product.” Abby also enjoys meeting other vendors and growers. “It’s nice to see people at the event.” She encourages people to visit the farm and offers maps showing that Piermont is not that far away for year-round local plants, vegetables, and eggs, plus pumpkins, winter squash, mums, and wreaths as the seasons turn.

“In the many years that Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company has been attending Flavors of the Valley, the push to buy and eat locally has grown exponentially. We’re proud to stand among other quality and artisan vendors who value local agriculture, fresh farm-to-table produce, and transparency in our food system,” says Sharon Huntley, who is based in South Woodstock (www.vermontfarmstead.com). “The broad spectrum of delicious foods to sample and buy, the ability to meet growers, food producers and chefs face to face, and the upbeat, family-friendly atmosphere make this event a yearly favorite that’s not to be missed.”

At Flavors of the Valley, foodies connect with producers they didn’t know about and taste and purchase local foods. Farms and food businesses form new partnerships that make local food accessible in new places and ways.

“So many dedicated local farmers and producers are creating delicious foods right here in the Upper Valley. Flavors of the Valley is our way to celebrate those people and to help build connections between their local farms and food businesses and the consumers who are hungry to support and enjoy their work,” adds Tom Roberts.

Proceeds help support Vital Communities’ Valley Food & Farm Program. For information, go to www.vitalcommunities.org/agriculture/index.cfm. The event is presented with thanks to its sponsors including Co-op Food Stores, Mascoma Savings Bank, Skinny Pancake, King Arthur Flour, NH Department of Agriculture, Yankee Farm Credit, and Great Eastern Radio.

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