Summer 2017

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Final Reflection

Final Reflection

As my time in Middlebury this summer is coming to a close I am feeling very reflective on all of the things that I have learned and the ways that that I have grown. I think the change that I am the most grateful for […]

Final field trip

Final field trip

For our class field trip this past week we visited Rutland, Vermont where I was excited to explore the Rutland Area Farm & Food Link Center and later the Vermont Farmers’ Food Center. After a peaceful drive to Rutland, we parked our car and walked […]

delivery day

delivery day

This week for me mainly consisted of executing Midd Foods duties in preparation for our deliveries which will be this upcoming Friday and Sunday. Because I manage the communications branch of the operation, it is my job to advertise our business on social media and to remind people during delivery week of their pickup times and locations. One of our largest problems at Midd Foods occurs when customers forget to pick up their orders so it is extremely important that I reach as many people as possible with reminders about their pickups. If as a team we can strive for a 100% pickup rate from our customers, Midd Foods would save a considerable amount of food, money and time allowing us to effectively eliminate waste and stay more organized with our inventory. Being part of small business for the first time my eyes have been opened to reality of all the various moving parts and time/effort it takes to execute an operation of this nature. I definitely have grown a greater appreciation for small business owners and more specifically the people who start and run Midd Foods during the year. Another major lesson that I am learning is that within our small business it is  imperative that everyone is meticulous about his/her individual jobs so that things do not fall through the cracks and we do not upset our precious customers. I have learned that one careless and seemingly unimportant mistake can have a whole host of effects that trigger bigger issues in the operation. For example, forgetting to put one item in food in one customer’s bag or putting one bag in the wrong pickup location can have the potential to throw off the numbers for multiple sites. I learned this lesson the hard way during our past delivery when a customer came to pick up her order and when I went to grab her ravioli I remembered that I had accidently placed it with the Brandon orders. I apologized profusely to our customer and explained my mistake and all she said back was “well there goes my dinner”. This was one of our customers who is currently on EBT and I felt terrible thinking about how her and her family might not have sufficient food for dinner that night because of my mistake and failure to double check. On a more positive note though, I something that I love about our deliveries is that for the most part the operation runs smoothly and often at pickup customers will praise us for our efforts or tell us how big of difference we are making for the community or their families. The customers do not realize the huge impact that these words have on all of us who have been extremely stressed all week and need these types of comments to inspire us to keep going. In terms of delivery tomorrow, I am really hoping for a smooth delivery but not aiming for perfection as I know that this is unrealistic. There is no such thing as a perfect delivery and there will be slip ups but the most important thing is to keep moving forward and to remember how far the company has come and how many people care about it. I am excited to hopefully take a larger role in the operation tomorrow and to try to take some of the weight and stress off of the individuals who usually run it. I want to do my job the best of my ability and remember the Midd Foods mission and in doing that I can leave the weekend feeling accomplished no matter what happens.

mindful summer

mindful summer

Something I find interesting about food is that it plays an integral role in the lives of every individual on this earth and every person has his/her own unique relationship with food. I first became fascinated by food over my freshman year J-Term class regarding […]


My Diary

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As my time in Middlebury this summer is coming to a close I am feeling very reflective on all of the things that I have learned and the ways that that I have grown. I think the change that I am the most grateful for this summer is my deepened appreciation for eating local and my personal role in the food economy. Before this summer I never truly understand the need to eat local or all the various components that are necessary to allow a sustainable food economy to function. Now after taking this class in addition to living on my own and needing to purchase my own food, I have a much deeper understanding of the tension that exists between buying local and eating cheap food. I think that this is a real issue and this summer has shown me ways that I can support the local food economy while also managing a strict budget. Vermont as a food economy is vastly different from the suburbs of Pennsylvania where I grew up and exploring this has giving me a whole new perspective that I really appreciate. In Vermont I feel that it is very important to many members of the community to try to support local farmers and in my experience it is common to see families who demonstrate this support by going to Farmers’ markets, having gardens outside of their houses or using or supporting the local Co-op. For example when we visited Professor Anderson’s house it was inspiring to see how much of her family’s own food was grown right in her small garden outside of her house. Additionally, a large portion of the other food that her family consumed seemed to be local. I remember reading in “The Town that Food Saved” a point that was made by Ben Hewitt that stuck out to me. He mentioned how the average american does not take any part in the growing or processing of their food but instead simply consumes processed food with no idea where it has come from or how it was produced. Although a sustainable lifestyle in which every individual takes some part in growing their own food may seem daunting, I think that it is definitely worth it. When I am older with my own house and family I want to remember these sentiments and take the initiative to learn how to produce as much of my own food as possible no matter how daunting a task it may initially feel.

Another reflection that I am experiencing after finishing this class is the enormous importance that community has on promoting a sustainable food economy. One example that we witnessed occurred at the VFFC. In the video that was shown to our class, Greg spoke about how the plans for his project seemed impossible but because there was such a strong sense of community and desire among the people to initiate change, the program is now well on its way. This was especially impressive considering that the initial vision for the VFFC seemed almost completely impossible.  When I get home, while I am in Madrid and even next year at Midd I want to try to continue to spread these messages and encourage people to care about the food economy the way that I now do. As a community we need everyone to rally around this cause because it is so important and affects everyone, how we all live and our world! I feel hopeful and inspired after taking this class that I can make a change and do others to do so as well.

Overall, it is amazing to look back at this summer and reflect on the lifestyle changes that I now feel that I will initiate because my internship and this class has changed my perspective on food. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to take this class and I want to give back by spreading this knowledge however I can, volunteering for various organizations, continuing my work for Midd Foods and engaging in my own sustainable practices. I will never forget the very special summer that I have had here at Middlebury and I am so excited to see the ways in which the lessons that I have learned will influence how I approach my last couple of semesters here.

 


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