at the forefront

An article in yesterday’s NYT caught my attention: Uniting Around Food to Save an Ailing Town. The story is about Hardwick, a little town in northeastern Vermont, that is slowing turning empty storefronts into sought after real estate with the areas greatest resources: Food and Art. Area farmers are sharing equipment, ideas, and investors in order to secure a future for the town. Hardwick, once known as “Little Chicago,” was a center for entertainment and money in its granite producing heyday. To return to the boom days, these resident entrepreneurs are working together to use all their resources, such as, learning to turning raw products like pumpkin squash into soup and whey from cheese-making into a wood finish, instead of feeding them to compost piles. hub for entertainment and wealth once thriving as a granite producer and entertainment hub.

The true test for Hardwick and other small New England towns will be its ability to survive even rougher economic times to come. Will they retain their initial vision against outside investors who may offer larger profits but little concern for the future welfare of its townspeople?
Reading the article reminded me of a feature article published in the NYT’s Magazine titled, A Short-Order Revolutionary about The Farmer’s Diner located in Quechee, Vermont. The diner first opened in 1999 in Barre, Vermont and set out as a rural leader in using local and regional foods to sustain their community. Another NYT article of note, Businesses Try to Make Money and Save the World, discusses the viability of business models that attempt to profitable and sustainable over time. D and I read the article in Boulder, Colorado and once we relocated to New England, we made the trip several times from Massachusetts to Vermont to support this local effort. What we discovered was exceptionally fresh and flavorful food that kept us driving across state lines for more.
We even have a day trip planned next week to visit the diner in the new Quechee location. Stay tuned for the story next week…
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