The Food and Farm Program is now offering a public community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that supports the Health Care Share, the community members it feeds, and the Vermont youth it employs. The share costs $620 and includes 15-weeks of organic produce, $100 in VYCC Farm Bucks that can be used at our Richmond Farm Stand, and $100 to sponsor a Health Care Share that will support a family in need.
VYCC’s season of Conservation and Farm youth and young adult crews is nearly here. We have a few spots left for Crew Leaders and Crew Members and need your help filling them. These are all paid positions and include a range of hands-on skill building in carpentry, farming, trail building, and more. Applications are due by May 18. Read more!
Summer is just around the corner, and outdoor activities are beginning to bud all around Vermont. Creamee shops are open for business. Neighborhood gardens are starting to blossom. Trails are opening all across the state, and youth crews are being hired to conserve them. This season, you can support their work while indulging in your favorite sunny day activities!
This time of year, many Vermonters are thinking about signing up for a CSA share at their local farm. Meanwhile, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is getting ready to supply a different type of Community Supported Agriculture – one you pick up at a doctor's office.
Driving on Interstate 89 through Richmond, it's hard to miss the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps’ twin red monitor barns. What's tougher to see from the highway though is the youth-run farm nestled between those barns.
With high school still in session, most kids won't start work at the farm for another two months. But the growing season is already underway.
Ruby Bertola, 23, says they started planting seeds in the greenhouses last week.
"We usually start with onions, 'cause that’s our biggest push," Bertola explains. "We do like a hundred-something flats of onions."
Teenagers and twenty-somethings grow 10 acres of vegetables here each summer, and tend to chickens, pigs and a small herd of resident cows.
Once harvested, all those onions — and other fresh vegetables — will be divvied up among CSA shares. But unlike the CSA you might sign up for at your local farm, these shares will be delivered to doctors’ offices.
The day starts early, I woke up in my hotel room, eager to reunite with my former coworkers for another VYCC style get together. I walked to the Vermont state house and looked up at the old gold roof and thought about the history of this building, and what it truly stood for.
The building is not only a place for all the, crazy politicians to conspire new ideas and laws, but its also a building that represents the United States. This building is a symbol of the free world, of democracy.
"It’s a privilege to be digging deep into the story of our food with the Venture Semester program this year. This excitement is only eclipsed by the joy of seeing such curious, self-motivated young adults explore their own interests in the environment I love."
Upon receiving the grant, Dan Bailey, Development Director of VYCC said, "The continued annual support from the International Paper Foundation is a difference maker in the success of the HCS program. These funds help us meet our programmatic goal of reaching over 500 hundred food-insecure families throughout Vermont.”
“Is that a road or a stream?” asked Tracy, a corps member on VYCC’s Leadership Development Crew. She was referring to a ribbon of mud and water that was cutting a 12 inch-deep gully down the middle of what was originally a roadbed.
A note from Breck: “…what really warms my heart during these cold winter days is how VYCC makes me feel about our future.”
We are really proud of our 2017 high marks, but what really warms my heart during these cold winter days is how VYCC makes me feel about our future. Year after year, young people join VYCC wanting to serve, they are eager to work hard, and they are committed to make the world a better place. Given national and world events, this gives me a daily sense of hope and even excitement for what is to come.
Ultimately, I think the Health Care Share is most special in this way: it connects everyone with food, including our Farm crews. Forty-three Youth Corps Members working on the Health Care Share throughout Vermont took home a share to their own families each week. Crew Leaders and Corps Members at the Farm in Richmond prepared lunches for the entire Farm team each day, and Farm Corps Members at all production sites participate in food and nutritional education each week.