Vermont's Mad River Valley has produced some of our most ambitious community-based local foods initiatives. The Mad River Valley Localvores (now the Mad River Localvores) were part of the original network of community based localvore organizations that promoted exploration of local food options through weeklong challenges to eat only food raised within 100 miles. Challenges included not only summer, but also winter and spring. The Mad River Valley Localvores even made runs to the Canadian border for 50 pound sacks of rolled oats to share with other localvore groups around the state.
The Mad River Valley has also been home to the Vermont Foodbank's initiative to expand access to local foods for at-risk Vermonters through the Kingsbury Farm, in Warren. You can hear more about the Foodbank and local food access on the January 21st Vermont Edition.
This weekend, both visitors and locals can experience some of the community spirit around local food in the Mad River Valley with the annual Souper Bowl celebration. The Mad River Valley Localvores began this tradition in 2008, bringing together local farmers, eateries, and community members to share soup and celebrate. Even Vermont's Secretary of Agriculture contributed a favorite soup to help kick off the idea. Today, the Inn at the Round Barn continues this popular event.
The Souper Bowl took a brief hiatus when the Mad River Localvores turned their attention to other projects, but ". . . it felt like such an important event for the community, we wanted to bring it back," says Janice Hurley Hollis from the Inn at the Round Barn, organizer of this year's event. They started last year with 10 local restaurants and over 150 attendees. Janice is looking forward to an even better Souper Bowl in 2014.
So, come out to Waitsfield on January 26th from 5:00 - 8:00 pm for music from Shrimp (rock/Americana), conversation, and food provided by: The Pitcher Inn, Hyde Away Inn, Common Man Restaurant, The Big Picture, Inn at the Round Barn, American Flatbread, and more!
A portion of the proceeds from this event benefit the Mad River Valley Foodshelf, and everyone is encouraged to bring canned goods to donate at the door.
See all the great food and farm events planned for this weekend around Vermont at the DigInVT.com events page.