I am writing to express my support for Emmett Dunbar as state representative. I moved to Vermont five years ago. Prior to that I was a chef in Boston and in New York; but my passion for a local food economy prompted my move to South Londonderry.
I met Emmett several years before my move here at the farm-stand on his land, Anjali Farm, in South Londonderry. I was immediately impressed with his energy and inspiration for the local food and agricultural economies in Vermont. Soon thereafter, I decided to leave New York, because I wanted to learn how to grow food organically. So I contacted Emmett, and he agreed to let me stay on his farm for a full growing season.
This was not my first stay on a farm, but Emmett is an excellent teacher and an accomplished farmer, so I learned more from him about growing crops than I had during any other farming experience. I also participated in the local distribution that he helped create through farmers markets, restaurant sales, direct sales on the farm, and the making and marketing of value-added products. Emmett continues to support my efforts as a new young entrepreneur in this area, and I credit him greatly for my ability to live here and contribute to the local economy. I recently started a small business selling handmade pastries and products at several area farmers markets. I source nearly all my product in Vermont, with most of it coming directly from farmers at the market. The most rewarding parts of my work are my direct contact with farmers across Southern Vermont, and what I learn every time I speak with them or visit their farms. There is now a new generation of young farmers following in Emmett's footsteps, and in the path of the great agricultural traditions of Vermont. It is these traditions that inspire people to come here and learn a sustainable way of life, and it is people like Emmett Dunbar who make it possible for us to stay and to give back to these amazing communities.