Three Hilltown farms have been recognized for their vital participation in and significant contributions to the Hilltown Mobile Market Pilot program earlier this year: Crabapple Farm of Chesterfield, Hart Farm of Conway, and Intervale Farm of Westhampton. The awards were given out at the Hilltown CDC Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 15th in Worthington. The event celebrated the growing Hilltown local food economy with a spread of delectable local foods prepared by Chef Hunt Chase at the newly reopened Rabbit Hole Restaurant in the Fiddlehead Inn.
Hilltown CDC was proud to partner with Healthy Hampshire and the Hilltown Community Health Center to launch the new Hilltown Mobile Market this summer, a 10-week “pop-up” farmers’ market in Worthington and Huntington offering fresh, affordable, Hilltown-grown produce to local residents. “The market was not an easy program to launch with many administrative and regulatory hurdles,” explained Executive Director Dave Christopolis. “But we have a very dedicated team of staff and community partners committed to improving access to healthy local food in our community and supporting our local agricultural economy. Hilltown residents were incredibly supportive. It was an inspiring success that we look forward to expanding next year.”
Kate Bavelock, Director of Community Programs, presented the awards to Maureen Dempsey of Intervale Farm, who received them on behalf of all three farms (the other two farms were unable to attend the event as regular vendors at the Northampton Tuesday Farmers’ Market). “We would not have been able to do this without our dedicated farm partners, who waited patiently even through May and June as we worked out how to set up HIP-reimbursable farm shares and enroll customers in the program,” said Bavelock. In response, Dempsey said she was was pleased to participate in the program and looked forward to future iterations.
The future of the Hilltown agricultural economy was a theme of the night, as well as larger goals around developing sound rural policy that ensures that Hilltown communities are not left out as the State works to address issues like education, transportation, and climate change.
“This year’s Mobile Market program was a very small drop in the bucket, but shows what is possible when multiple stakeholders come together to find solutions to community challenges.” said Chistopolis. “Local food touches on all of these complex issues, but it also brings us together.”