By Josey Hastings
In The Herald of Randolph
"Along with the rumbling of thunder, there was a sense of festive joy in the air this past Sunday as members of the Floating Bridge Food and Farms Cooperative held their second annual Market Day at theBrookfield Old Town Hall. Shoppers milled about sampling goat cheese and cantaloupe, buying blueberries and maple yogurt, and chatting with farmers.
The Floating Bridge Food and Farms Cooperative is comprised of 17 members, all located in Brookfield or an adjoining town who produce or work with local food. The Cooperative is dedicated to locally grown food and sustainable agriculture, and to providing farm visitors with authentic experiences that deepen their understanding of a working agricultural community.
“We consider ourselves to be part of a larger community that we want to support by providing locally grown food and educational farm experiences,” said Judith Irving, chair of the Cooperative board. Many of the member farms host visits from local schools so that young people in the area can learn about how food is grown.
The Cooperative also offers vacation packages centered around the farms, products, and skills of the many members.
“We started meeting with a general belief that working together would be helpful to all of us,” said Irving, “but we weren’t sure what form that would take. Ultimately, the cooperative concept made sense because it is designed to help every business, and to encourage every business to help each other. There’s a great sense of camaraderie and excitement.”..."