The Great River Co-op is co-hosting a summer Farmers Market in Walpole, now through September 30th. The market will be held in the future location of the Co-op store, between The Hungry Diner and Pinnacleview on Route 12. Stop by and support local vendors on Wednesdays from 4-7pm. (Closing at 6:30pm in September.)
The joint project, with Sustainable Valley Group, is organizing the Wednesday Walpole market plus the one in Bellows Falls on Fridays, 4-7, at the Waypoint Center near the train station.
Safety measures include signs posted at the entrance, limited capacity, one way traffic, 6 foot distancing, mask recommendations for customers and requirements for vendors, hand sanitizing stations at each vendor and at entrance and exits, and volunteers stationed to help with maintaining safety.
The Great River Co-op strives to uphold the Seven Cooperative
Principles. Principle #7 is Concern for Community. We see that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) face threats to their dignity, health, safety, and lives due to unjust systems and
structures, and we are concerned for our broader community.
The Board of Directors stands with those protesting the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many before them. We protest these injustices in our society and assert that Black Lives Matter. We commit to solidarity in the fight for racial justice both in the form of educating ourselves and others, and taking action in our community. We aim to do our part to address systemic racism.
We know that there are complicated issues at the intersection of racism and the food system, and we have a responsibility to further educate ourselves on how these issues manifest and how we, as a physical store in the future, and as an organization with a platform now, can work to address them. As we learn, we will highlight BIPOC voices and concerns.
We wholeheartedly welcome input from fellow owners and community members on how the Co-op can incorporate anti-racist practices.
Here is how we can push for change as a food co-op:
-Educate ourselves and our community on systemic racism
-Take local action to support BIPOC financially and work to fight racism and injustice
-Support people and farmers of color in the Northeast, and learn about their experiences
-Promote BIPOC food and land sovereignty
-Acknowledge and support the BIPOC throughout the food system
An uncomfortable truth is that our food system was built on Indigenous land and with forced labor by people of color, and that systemic forces continue to make land sovereignty for BIPOC difficult, among many other obstacles they face.
Are you looking for a specific way to get involved with the Great River Co-op? We have a number of new initiatives to support this project AND our community this Spring/Summer.
First, we have a volunteer working hard doing the legwork to pull together a Farmers' Market for this summer. Once that gets up and running, we'll need more volunteers to make sure we can pull it off in a safe and organized way.
Next, if you are a first-time gardener, or trying to branch out to more than just basil, you can try getting paired with a gardening mentor - we already have a seasoned gardener who can offer her expertise to someone who's not sure how to start. By the way - getting veggie starts from a nearby farm is one way to support local agriculture, check out our list of local farms here.
And lastly, are you interested in learning more about the big picture of our food systems and the co-op model? There are members interested in having a virtual book discussion (we could read Grocery Story, the Foodie's Guide to Capitalism, or Food Fix, among others...). Maybe you're the right person to offer a little organization to pull it together!
To sign up or see other concrete ways to help the co-op and our local food system, check out:
Have more suggestions for us? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Our board of directors lead our Annual Meeting virtually, on Tuesday, April 28th.
The recording is now available, and we'd love to hear your questions or thoughts on the project. Please watch, and then let us know your thoughts!
Ahead of the 2020 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 28th, our voting members are being asked to submit a ballot voting on new and returning members on the board of directors. The following are the new and returning board members on the ballot.
Click Read More to Meet the Board Members on the Ballot!
Join us for the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting of the Great River Co-op on Tuesday, April 28th at 7pm. The meeting will be held via Zoom.
The evening will include a celebration of accomplishments to date, an update on new developments and member input on future directions.
Voting members will receive a ballot to vote for new members on our board of directors either by email or by mail. You will RSVP for the meeting via your ballot.
All others interested in attending may RSVP by sending an email to email@example.com.
More info to come!
The COVID-19 virus and shelter-in-place orders have created challenges for everyone in our community. The Great River Co-op physical store location is still in the works, but in the mean time we are committed to upholding our values and doing what we can to help our local producers and the community right now.
We feel the most immediate way we can help is to provide connections between our local producers and the community.
-- We will be creating a free directory on the Great River Co-op's website to help provide information on how community members can support their local producers and businesses. --
Please note that the information on the directory will remain mostly static (we may look to update seasonally depending on how long this lasts). We will be using Facebook to provide more frequent updates on products you have available by sharing your posts.
-- If you would like to be a part of the directory, please fill out this form https://forms.gle/mUytNcBQ9WyaLjJv6
Our goal for this month is to sign up 29 members in 29 days! And, we’re offering a Great River Co-op tote bag to anyone who signs up in this 29 day challenge!
If you’re already a member, please consider gifting a share to a family member or friend! It’s a unique gift that supports a local cause and area growers!
A single share is $25, and if you buy four shares at $100-you are a voting member. This means you will have a say in what the store looks like, what we carry and more!