Last August, shortly after Hurricane Irene did its damage, I wrote about “agricultural time” and mentioned Hudson Valley Harvest, a new company developing a “local food distribution model in which local products are bought at harvest, processed and frozen locally, and then made available throughout the winter.” They’re trying to get local food on local tables year round. And this is not just a potentially smart business, it is also something that can improve consumer health, contribute to well-being, and even enable people to psychologically flourish in ways not possible when rapidly ingesting industrialized calorie delivery systems. But distribution remains a thorny problem, made even more difficult by marketplace distortions created by the government’s agra-business welfare program, aka the Farm Bill.
So, after reading Mark Bittman’s recent story about the Intervale Food Hub in Burlington, VT, a public-private non-profit effort at getting local food on local tables, I decided to revisit Hudson Valley Harvest. What I found included significant progress, along with psychologically interesting developments in how they are balancing trust, convenience, and perceived value.
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