For my summer internship, I am the Local Farms First Intern for the Office of Resource Efficiency. Local Farms First (LFF) is a program of the Office of Resource Efficiency (ORE) that is basically an online farmers market. The market is open for customers to order on Thursday night at 5 PM until Monday morning at 7AM. During this time, LFF members can log in and order the produce and products from over 50+ farmers that are mainly in Paonia and Hotchkiss. There are a few in Gunnison and in the surrounding area. All of the farmers are chemical free and organic. This ensures that this local food on the market is the best quality.
For my internship I help out with the weekly pickups in Gunnison and Crested Butte. This happens on Wednesday after the food order is picked up from each farmer and delivered to the pickup locations. The farmers receive a purchase order of what was ordered by customers each week on Monday and on Wednesday it gets driven over Kebler pass and sorted out. I am the sorter of the local food before the customers pick it up. I am also responsible for 2 weekly newsletter reminders to the customers that the market is open and local food is available to order. This has allowed me to learn how to use the website and make new contacts of the consumers as well as the producers.
I am also going to be writing a cook book for LFF. This will include recipes from the farmers and highlight their local produce that they grow. This will allow me to make valuable contacts of the farmers and producers that will be essential for this internship.
This internship is all focused around local food and the importance of sustainability. I am working under some wonderful people who are eager to teach me how the market works and the skills I will learn are very valuable for my future. Local food is so important in our troubled times, and I’m excited I get to learn firsthand how local foods can become a more popular part of society.