Aaaaaand we’re back! With the return of the outdoor Boulder Farmer’s Market two weekends ago and the nearing of finals, it seems as if summer is around the corner, despite the fact that it’s only the second week in April. You won’t catch us complaining, being summer-born babies we can’t wait for the return of our favorite season and to (finally) turn 21.
In celebration of both food and people we’ll be starting up our People of the Boulder & Burlington Farmers’ Markets postings. We love love love doing these because they allow us the opportunity to chat with people that provide one of our favorite things: FOOD! While I was not at the Boulder Farmer’s Market for its opening Saturday, I did get to go the following weekend and it brought back all the ~feelz~. One of the best things about the farmer’s market, which both of us got the opportunity to witness though in separate locations, is the family presence. Being surrounded by college students all week is great but there are few things more heartwarming than seeing a family with happy kids marveling at giant carrots or just enjoying the sunshine and high energy. That being said, the farmer’s market is truly one of the greatest people watching locations.
While we definitely did our fair share of people watching, people-meeting (and food buying of course) we’re the real reasons we were there. At the Boulder Farmer’s Market, I had the pleasure of meeting the guys of On Tap Kitchen. After sampling their cinnamon sugar, original, salt & malt vinegar, and Sriracha-flavored pretzels, there was little doubt in my mind that I would find a better local pretzel. I decided to get the scoop on all things On Tap Kitchen, realizing that this was the first season I had seen them at the market. I learned that On Tap Kitchen was inspired by the desire for better snack pairings with the many many craft beers Boulder offers. Though (as previously stated) I am not 21, I can assure you that I know what beer tastes like and these pretzels offer a crunch and flavor perfect for a relaxing evening. Pretty awesome in my opinion that the love of fine beer inspired a craft snack free of GMOs and unpronounceable ingredients.
One of the coolest things for me to learn was the flour used in these pretzels is actually from Colorado, as well as the sunflower oil. Colorado Mills uses locally sourced seeds and presses them into oil at their facility in Lamar, Colorado. We love stories of local purveyors benefiting from each other’s’ goods and services and this story is no exception.
The greatest (most mouth-watering) thing I learned during our chat was that On Tap Kitchen will be selling soft pretzels later in the farmer’s market season. I don’t know if I fully expressed my excitement over this during our interview, but I really hope I did because soft pretzels are one of my all-time favorite things. The thought of a cinnamon sugar soft pretzel. Wow. Amazing. Yes. Please. Want ASAP.
A big thank you to On Tap Kitchen for a great interview and endless enthusiasm for great food!
For more information on On Tap Kitchen check out their website : https://ontapkitchen.com/ or
on instagram: @ontapkitchen
While all this was happening in Boulder, Colorado, 2 hours prior I was interviewing the one and only Miss Weinerz of Miss Weinerz American Sweets in Burlington, VT. I stood back and watched as hungry afternoon customers drooled over blueberry corn and maple buttermilk donuts. All inhaling the fumes of turmeric carrot soup, eager to get their last indoor farmers market fix.
Of course donuts were a hot discussion topic, but something else that Weinerz spoke to was a new project working within Vermont’s food system. Having not heard about this and being intrigued by the name we dropped the donut talk to discuss Foodfightvt.com. Foodfightvt.com is an online website designed to be a tool for the local food scene in Vermont to meet, share, and organize together. “The beautiful thing about this is it is just a tool. That's just what we want to do. But then all these other things can happen through the site, through other people meeting each other, through people forming local chapters and collectives, because the entire platform is an open source” says Weinerz.
Vermonters love food and know that if we do not all come together and collectivize to promote a sustainable food system, the future ahead will not be so bright and cheery. This includes everyone. Consumers, producers, distributors, and growers."Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed lays it out like this, saying “hey this is fair trade...this is exactly what it is". We need to get closer to this. So that's also part of our mission, to get much closer to fair trade and to be really transparent about what is possible and what is not possible. Instead of getting sad that something is not possible, trying to help create and foster industry to provide products that are not there and build those up and support the people that are going to try and fill in those gaps” says Miss Weinerz.
The website is constantly being updated and will soon include an interactive map feature that allows the user to see who is around him or her and what they’re doing. The conversation page works in the same sense as a craigslist posting. “It's just there if people need it. It seemed like people needed it and that is why a bunch of us got together and made it on a hunch. We know we need it, so we're gonna formulate this collective that is within it (the Winooski collective) and the other people can form their own collectives” explains Weinerz.
Restaurants looking to hire can post open position listings, farmers looking to sell extra chicken can let the public know, and families and friends traveling looking for open farm events to take kids to or looking for new places to go can easily find them. “Knowing about things outside of the county can be a little overwhelming especially when you're specifically looking for food” says Weinerz.
To get a taste of what Food Fight VT is really about Weinerz encourages all customers to head out to Arts Riot on April 30th between 12 and 4pm for their Disco Soup event. “Disco soup?” you ask. A global food waste awareness dance party, but of course. A free event open to all ages. “We're trying to get a lot of people with a lot of different skill sets in the same room so we can start having more mentor programs but then we also hear a lot from processors (i.e. chefs, people who are making value added products, folks who are doing whole sale, folks at the markets) that we need more training in our community to raise food literacy. Just the fact that it is there does not mean that it is accessible. So really want to focus on that as another element as well.”
A huge thank you to Miss Weinerz for taking the time to telling me about Food Fight VT while serving soups and donuts to new and returning customers. Check out her website at : http://www.missweinerz.com/ as well as on Instagram : @missweinerz
Get engaged with foodfightvt.com. Yes you! Foodie or not foodfightvt is for everyone, as Miss Weinerz mission states “Food is attached to so many memories we have, and to those we wish to create. Eating is a collaborative act! There is something deeper to the craft of food we choose to explore. From the seed to the palate, many choices need to be made for many complex reasons.” And keep an eye out for the new bike cart that will be spreading the word about FoodFightVT while serving fresh local foods equipped with recipe cards.
Catch ya next weekend!