Support the work of Salvation Farms by ordering some Hash Purples!
Have you tried these deliciously deep-fried wonders? Hash Purples are made with local beets and carrots, a magical rarity in our Vermont food system as they can be enjoyed and stored year round. Among the most nutritious veggies we grow in VT, beets and carrots also showcase the hard work of Salvation Farms, a non-profit working hard to glean, process, store, and redistribute produce to those who need it most.
Last year they gleaned more than 1700 lbs of beautiful beets in the state of Vermont. So to help support their awesome work, we will donate $1 for every order of Hash Purples to Salvation Farms this spring until we have transformed 25% (425 lbs) of their bounty into our delicious fried purple munchies.
So right now, you’re probably thinking: why would hundreds of pounds of quality local food go unsold? The truth is, fresh, wholesome food stays on farms all of the time—and a lot of it. In the US, it is estimated that 10 MILLION TONS (ReFED report) of food is lost on farms annually and more than 14 MILLION POUNDS (SF study) in Vermont alone.
Farms in Vermont experience a booming lush of harvest every summer and fall – sometimes so overwhelming they run out of time to harvest crops like beets, cabbage, and carrots; or they try to sell into an already saturated market. In addition, some produce is simply not pretty enough for retail shelves, “ugly” produce so to speak. With more than 10% of Vermonters living in food insecure households, Salvation Farms saw all this under utilized bounty as an opportunity for change.
Working with volunteers and training a small team of professionals, this scrappy, hardworking organization based out of Morrisville redistributed nearly 200,000 lbs of not perfect, but perfectly good produce from Vermont farms to consumers in 2017. The team gets down and dirty gleaning on farms and also receives produce from farmers and gleaning programs statewide. In a packroom in Winooski, SF washes, organizes, processes and packs produce to distribute to nutritionally insecure Vermonters, working with organizations such as The Vermont Foodbank and the Chittenden County Department of Corrections.
This little team has already fed thousands of people, saved millions of servings of quality produce from remaining uneaten on farms, and helped develop a talented local food workforce of people who might have otherwise had trouble finding work. All of this has been accomplished by just a 4-person full time team of hard-working visionaries and many, many volunteers. It’s a model for how the country can help feed our citizens, maximize local resources, and support farmers. So, come down to the Skinny Pancake, enjoy some hash purples, and know that $1 of your purchase goes right to a group who will receive every penny of that donation doing amazing work for our environment and our neighbors who need it most.
To learn more about SF and food waste, watch episode 6 of the Local Motive!