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Side Dishes: Morristown gains ground for a co-op


Lamoille County is home to 375 farms — according to the DC-based Environmental Working Group — and not one food co-op. Residents seeking to own a stake in their farm-fresh food have to purchase a CSA, or head to co-ops in Hardwick or Montpelier. That may change soon, thanks to a feasibility study approved last Friday. Morristown could have a member-owned co-op as soon as next summer if the plan proves economically sustainable, says the town’s community development coordinator, Tricia Follert.

The idea of opening a co-op in Morristown picked up steam early last year when the town was selected for a Community Visit from the Vermont Council on Rural Development. That occasioned the assembly of a co-op task force, which, after more than a year of work, settled on the necessity of the feasibility study. Meanwhile, the team has raised $28,500 in grants, including one from the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation.

To raise awareness of the project, the Morrisville Co-op (or MoCo) committee will host a benefit dinner at River Arts on May 12. The fundraiser will feature locavore fare prepared by Jack Pickett of Frida’s Taqueria and Grill and his former Ten Acres Lodge co-chef, Bob Titterton, the subject of one of this week’s food features. Local businesses will donate goods for a silent auction.

If all goes well, residents of Morristown and environs may soon have a one-stop shop for all the local food they want, no farm visits necessary.

MoCo Update by Tricia Follert, Community Development Coordinator