How to Eat Local in Rutland County


A while back, the lovely Kayla Tornello shared a post here on Vermont Mom about the Climatarian Diet. If you missed that post or you’re needing a refresher, here are the CliffsNotes:

  • A Climatarian diet, as defined by the New York Times is “a diet whose primary goal is to reverse climate change.”
  • You can follow a Climatarian Diet in three easy ways: buy local, cut back on red meat, and reduce food waste.

While this can feel intimidating and you might not know where to start, I suggest beginning with buying local. If you live in Rutland County and you want to buy local, you have three convenient options to get started.

Here are three easy ways to eat local in Rutland County:

1. Join a CSA

If you’re unfamiliar with this, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. To participate in a CSA, you will typically pay upfront (prior to the growing season) and then receive weekly shares of food from that farm (or groups of farms).

CSA pickup day at HAMMS farm. A great way to eat local in Rutland County.

Here in Rutland County, my family participates in the HAMMS Farm CSA. They have been running this CSA out of Pittsford for 11 years and are 30 families strong. They offer shares in veggies, eggs, blueberries, meat, and baked goods. Each year, we purchase a full combination package. This means we get veggies, eggs, and baked goods each week, plus (over the course of the season) 10 quarts of blueberries, 10 whole chickens, 50 pounds of pork, and one turkey. 

Other farms in Rutland County that offer CSA shares include:

Riverbed Homestead in Wells, VT

Boardman Hill Farm in West Rutland, VT

2. Participate in a REKO Ring

So, what is a REKO Ring? Here we go… Simply, it’s a way for producers to advertise and sell their products digitally, then drop off the pre-sold goods at a predetermined location at a predetermined date and time. It’s a great, new way to eat local in Rutland County!

The backstory? REKO is a Swedish acronym that loosely translates to “real consumption”. The concept was started by Finnish farmer Thomas Snellman, who was looking for a better outlet for selling his products than grocery stores. Because of their convenience, REKOs have been popping up all over the US since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here is a full breakdown of REKO Rings.

Here in Rutland County, we have two active REKO Rings, one in Pittsford and one in Poultney.

Pittsford area REKO Ring:

The Pittsford Area REKO Ring runs year-round. To participate in the Pittsford Area REKO Ring, you’ll want to join this Facebook Group. All offerings are posted by Saturday. You comment your order directly on each post and pick up your items at HAMMS Farm in Pittsford on Tuesdays between 5:30 and 6:30 PM.

The Pittsford area REKO Ring includes the following businesses: 

HAMMS Farm – offering a wide variety of baked goods, fresh organic juices, granola, quiches, and fruits and veggies that are not used by their own CSA. 

Marble Valley Catering – offering fresh premade entrees and baked goods.

Rokpaw Farm – offering plenty of potatoes and other veggies, 

Phil Spark and Charlotte Firestone – offering backyard garden herbs and veggies.

SVT Farm – offering lamb, beef, and pork as well as a wide variety of garden veggies

Hot Stove N Bread Loaves – offering a wide variety of both gluten-free and standard breads, rolls, and dips. 

Birdseye Bees and Poultry – offering local, raw honey, fresh eggs, and garden veggies.

Pickup day at the Pittsford Area Reko ring. A great way to eat local in Rutland County

Poultney Area REKO Ring:

The Poultney Area REKO Ring also runs year-round. They meet on Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 PM at the East Poultney Baptist Church. To participate in the Poultney Area REKO Ring, you’ll want to join this Facebook Group. You place your order in the comments below each producer’s post any time from Monday-Wednesday.

The Poultney area REKO Ring includes the following businesses: 

Old Gates Farm – offering tons of beautiful veggies.

Otter Point – also offering tons of beautiful veggies.

Little Flower Farm – lots of veggies as well.

Wicked Wings Honey – offering local, raw honey. 

Pink Boot Farm – offering farm-fresh, premade food as well as beef, pork, eggs, and syrup. 

Happy Home Farm – offering houseplants, jams and relish, garden veggies, and Switchel ( a down-home VT, old fashioned beverage), 

Riverbed Homestead – offering farm-fresh veggies, 

SVT Farm – offering beef and lamb as well as beautiful veggies, 

HAMMS Farm – offering pies, cookies, muffins, fresh juices, quiches, fruits, and veggies.

3. Visit the Farmer’s Market

In Rutland County, we’re lucky to be home to the Vermont Farmers Market. The Vermont Farmers Market is one of the largest and most diverse farmers’ markets in Vermont! It was the first farmer’s market to operate all 52 weeks of the year. Any given week, you can find over 100 vendors from Vermont and the neighboring area of Washington County, NY.

Vegetables on a table at a farmer's market

You can visit the Summer Market every Saturday and Wednesday at Depot Park in Downtown Rutland and every Thursday in Fair Haven. In the winter, the market moves indoors. Visit the Winter Market every Saturday, November through April at the Vermont Farmers Food Center in Rutland.

Some of my family’s favorite vendors to visit and sample are:

Pin Up Pickles

Ana’s Empanadas

Rays of Sunshine

Yoder Farm

Little Haveli

My kids also love watching the woodcarvers at work and grabbing a shaved ice!

Is there a great farm or opportunity to eat local in Rutland County that I missed? Let me know so we can check it out! Are you a Vermonter living outside of Rutland County? I’d love to know what farms and farm services you enjoy! Shout them out in the comments.

How to Eat Local in Rutland County


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