Wolcott--The first in a series of agritourism workshops, sponsored by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension, the Vermont Farm to Plate Network and the Farm-Based Education Network, will be held Sept. 7 in Wolcott.

The workshop, Dinner, Lunch and Brunch: Serving Food on the Farm, will take place at Sandiwood Farm from 3-7 p.m. It is geared towards farmers interested in offering meals on their farm, such as farm-to-table meals or catering for weddings and other special events. Ag service providers, farm insurance agents and other industry professionals who support farmers also are welcome to attend.

The cost is $35, which includes dinner and a tour of the farm, or $10 for the workshop only. To register, go to http://go.uvm.edu/agritourism2017. To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact Becky Bartlett at (802) 257-7967, ext. 301, or (800) 278-5480 (Vermont calls only) by Aug. 17.

The program will include a panel of farmers who will share their experiences with serving meals on the farm. They include Sara Schlosser, Sandiwood Farm; Jennifer Kennett, Tail Feather Farm, Vergennes; and Anne Tisbert, Valley Dream Farm, Underhill.

Several support providers will provide information on useful resources. Helen Labun, executive director of Vermont Fresh Network, will talk about how farms can benefit from her organization and DigInVT.com. Hilary DelRoss, Cultural Heritage Tourism coordinator for the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, will describe free resources available from her department for promotion.

Participants will hear from a representative from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets on navigating the regulatory environment and an insurance agent on liability and insurance coverage. Lisa Chase, Vermont Tourism Research Center director, will share additional resources and discuss how farmers can apply for one-on-one technical assistance.

The workshop will end at 5 p.m. with dinner and a tour of Sandiwood Farm to follow. The organic farm sells vegetables, cut flowers, seedlings and maple syrup and in 2012 began offering gourmet farm-to-fork sunset dinners in their one-of-a-kind greenhouse venue. They also host and cater weddings, reunions, nonprofit events, meetings and other gatherings.

Funding for this workshop was provided by the Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Center through a U.S. Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant.

Other upcoming UVM Extension agritourism workshops include Engaging Farm Visitors: Tours, Camps and Animals (Nov. 2, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne) and Dairy Tours and Overnight Farm Stays (Dec. 6, Liberty Hill Farm, Rochester).


Lisa Cheryl Chase