Based in Vermont, The Farmers Diner has a vision of a nationwide network of diners based on this philosophy: "The Farmers Diner™ in Barre, Vermont demonstrates that buying local foods and making them available to the entire community is possible and profitable. Currently at our Barre restaurant over 65 cents of every food dollar we spend is spent with farmers and small-scale food producers who live and work within 70 miles of the diner. From the success of this diner on Main Street , The Farmers Diner™ is building more diners, first in Vermont and then regionally, to continue the good work of reviving a strong rural community."
(Hmmm, I wonder why they don't have LocalHarvest.org on their links.)
I am reminded of something that Kirsten told me today, about the restaurants she sells to. Her best client is Theo's, which is one of the best (and more expensive, for Santa Cruz) restaurants in the county. She says Chef Nicci Tripp is happy to pay a little more for the freshest produce to support Kirsten and Jasmine, who can't compete with a larger farm like Happy Boy...because they're "his" local farm. He'll take a little or a lot...and make magic with it.
I tell you, this kind of thing is music to my ears.
NOTE: In today's Santa Cruz Sentinel, there is a feature piece on Dee Harley and her wonderful goat dairy. Say Cheese: Happy goats make luscious cheese at Harley Farms in Pescadero. I'll be visiting Dee next week. Because I'm not afraid of goats. Except Billy at New Natives. Him I can do without.
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The Farmers Diner
Theo's Restaurant: my hometown, Soquel, California