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Deconstructing Dinner: Pedal powered groceries/Tom Stearns on Hardwick, VT


Pedal-Powered Groceries

Martin Gunst is an active cyclist in Vancouver. Throughout the summer of 2009, Martin joined Kevin Cooper in a unique project that offered bicycle delivery services to customers at Vancouver farmers' markets. Known as Marketcargo, the project also assisted the UBC Farm and an urban agriculture business with their bicycles and heavy-duty trailers. Martin then went on to launch Grocer Gunst - a bicycle delivery service for freshly harvested biodynamic produce from three Demeter certified farms in the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan: Biota Farm in Abbotsford, Forstbauer Family Natural Food Farm in Chilliwack, and Harveys' Orchards in Cawston.

Tom Stearns on Hardwick, VT

Hardwick is a town in Caledonia County, Vermont. The population is approx. 3,400 and has become a unique model of a small community that is sustaining a number of innovative agricultural and food security businesses. In September 2009, Tom Stearns of Hardwick's High Mowing Organic Seeds joined Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman at an event in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Tom shared the history of Hardwick and the future of food security work both there and throughout North American communities.

Guests

Martin Gunst - founder, Grocer Gunst (Vancouver, BC) -
Martin grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and moved to British Columbia to attend the University of British Columbia (UBC). At 21 years old, Martin is a student of philosophy, economics, and Spanish. He loves good food, local economies, and active transportation. He's proud to be the only biodynamic produce distributor in Vancouver offering services to his neighbours.

Tom Stearns - president, High Mowing Organic Seeds - (Hardwick, VT) -
Tom launched High Mowing Organic Seeds in 1996 with just 28 varieties. After tilling up a portion of his backyard and turning his shed into a seed packing area, he had no trouble selling the seed he grew that first year.

Suddenly, what had started as a hobby became a practical business pursuit as Tom realized the growing and unmet demand for organic seed. This demand allowed Tom to expand the business beyond his backyard, renting parcels of land to produce the seed he was selling through a hand-made catalog. By 2001, business had grown to such an extent that Tom began to contract with other local farms to grow seed, in addition to continuing to produce seed himself on High Mowing's own 5 acres.

Download this episode here

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