Vermont is losing population, especially young people. They leave for various reasons, mostly amounting to Vermont not meeting their needs. People are trying all kinds of things to reverse the decline.
Every small town needs local businesses, but they are closing and not getting replaced. A variety of causes feed into this process. Here are some ways to revitalize the local economy.
Community Supported Agriculture is a business model that directly connects farmers with consumers. It can be expensive to join, but you typically save money in the long run. The best time to join is in the fall or winter. Many people think of joining in spring, when it's often too late. However, some CSAs reserve some extra shares to sell during the planting season when people are curious, others allow members to resell shares (for instance, if they move out of the area), or have other options for latecomers. Veg Out Vermont simply divides their year into seasons, selling one or two seasons in advance. A feature of most CSAs is the use of uncommon produce, or rare varieties of familiar ones, and Veg Out capitalizes on this opportunity.
Greens on the Green is a Terramagne-American program that encourages healthy eating habits by serving fresh fruits and vegetables in a park. It typically includes a variety of workshops and demonstration booths about how to grow, harvest, and prepare produce. Often the program sources its supplies from local farms.
Community Supported Enterprise can work in various ways. The Preservation Trust of Vermont is one organization supporting this concept. Look at the critical elements of a great village and how you can help. This handbook explores the growth of CSE.
Here's a look at what Illinois is doing. Arts and crafts can drive rural development. Teens think about the future of businesses. Placemaking creates resilient downtowns.