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Vermont Farmer Building Sailboat To Transport Produce To NYC
by Neil Casey for Gothamist
The city has lots of rooftop farms and greenmarkets for feeding your crippling ramps addiction, but a Vermont farmer wants to add produce-via-sailboat to the mix. Rice farmer Erik Andrus has begun a Kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 to build a sailboat that would transport goods from the Green Mountain State down the Hudson River into New York City and the Lower Hudson. “We’re looking to provide things into the urban marketplace that can’t be officially produced there because they take up too much space,” Andrus told WPTZ. “Here in rural New England, we have the space but we don’t have the markets.”
The 39 foot sailboat—named Ceres after the Roman goddess of agriculture and grain crops—is currently being built by an all volunteer crew of students and members of the community. When completed, the boat would be capable of transporting 12 tons of Vermont-produced goods down the river without using any gasoline. If they’re able to get the funding, the Vermont Sail Freight Project would launch in Lake Champlain in July and would sail Ceres on her maiden voyage in September. This harkening back to older shipping methods was also implemented by Williamsburgs’s Mast Brothers chocolate, who transported cocoa beans by schooner in 2011, the first time such a method had been used in NYC since 1939.
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