Last weekend I worked at The Riverfest in Shelburne Falls. Our theme was the 100 mile diet, which is really just a hook to hang eating local on. We live in a rural area with a few remaining dairy farms. However, less visibly, hidden on the back roads are an increasing number of small farm raising produce under the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) system, selling shares for weekly distributions during the growing season, as well as goat farms making cheese, orchards making cider including hard cider, free range beef, berry farms and who knows what all. There are more farm stands and bigger farmers markets every year. This year, with the price of gas being what it is, the small local farms are finding it hard to keep up with local demand. What a wonderful problem. Whooops. I mean challenge.
The Riverfest had booths for the local energy coop, Master Gardener demonstrations, raft rides on the Deerfield river, exhibits by the Deerfield River Watershed organization. There was talk about conservation and innovation everywhere. A day filled with optimism.