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Winrock International

Volunteer Post

Dinner at the Gleanery: A community supported restaurant

Sheri Kabaou

Demetria Arvanitis, VTA Program Director, and Howard Prussack, an organic farmer and F2F volunteer, had the chance to dine with Chef Ismail Samad at the Gleanery, located in Putney, Vt. With menus changing rather frequently (sometimes daily), the Gleanery is a community supported restaurant that connects local farmers, producers, and consumers by offering the best of the best of local and seasonal foods. The restaurant also offers “irregular” or surplus crops that some consumers might shy away from, by providing an extensive canning and preserving program to farmers.

The Gleanery has contributed to sustainability and the viability of the farmland and has offered consumers an enticing and gracious experience. The operational model of the Gleanery is the same as an agricultural CSA, in which customers pay farmers in bulk for produce at the beginning of the season, and in return receive weekly boxes of farm fresh products. The Gleanery redeems memberships in the form of monthly credits that can be used at the restaurant. By purchasing memberships, community members help raise start-up capital and the restaurant redeems memberships for monthly credits on food. In return, the community benefits by having a fabulous place to eat!