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 cochef, 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.