By: Leah Hollenberger
Copley’s Food Services Team serves nearly 112,000 meals annually. We have an extraordinarily busy kitchen, preparing tasty, visually pleasing meals for delivery to hospitalized patients, along with managing a more mainstream café serving visitors and staff.
In 2015, we began to tweak our menus to incorporate more locally-sourced, sustainable fresh fruits and vegetables from Vermont farms. Locally-sourced is defined by the state as “Vermont plus 30 mile radius.”
Working closely with Green Mountain Farm Direct, we have been able to bring many local farmers’ products to our kitchen. It is a balancing act because we buy in great volume and must stay within our budget. Food Services Director David Vinick estimates about 5% of the food served is locally-sourced and that figure continues to grow. David shares that year-round, Copley is able to serve locally grown root vegetables including carrots, potatoes and beets. He also strives to serve more locally grown fruits and vegetables seasonally. Right now, Copley is serving local greens, zucchinis, squash and cucumbers; in the fall, all of our apples will be from Vermont.
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) is also a valuable partner. With their help, we expanded what we are able to purchase right from Lamoille County and are purchasing produce directly from West Farm in Jeffersonville. Farmer Angus Baldwin is able to both grow the volume of produce we need and deliver it to us twice a week to supplement what we are buying from Green Mountain Farm Direct.
We also pay attention to the other end of the food system. Once we’re finished preparing the meals, the kitchen and cafe composts food scraps and any recyclable material. In FY16, we composted more than 81,000 pounds of food scraps thanks to a program with Black Dirt Farm in Greensboro Bend. Our team is proud that we helped fertilize six acres of mixed vegetable crops at the farm!
Copley’s Food Services Team enjoys showcasing fresh Vermont grown food and our patients, visitors, and staff enjoy knowing we contribute to the local food system.
Here’s a recipe we’ve used this month to showcase cucumbers sourced from West Hill Farm in Jeffersonville. It’s a fresh and easy cucumber salad recipe with a sweet and tangy dressing. It makes a great side dish, or enjoy it as a snack.
Tangy Cucumber Salad
From Copley’s Nutritional Services Team
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to flavor
- 2 pounds cucumbers (about 4 medium size cucumbers)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- Place the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Slice the cucumbers into 1/8” rounds.
- Place them in the bowl, add the chives and toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight to allow the flavors to marry.
- Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed before serving.
Nutritional Value (based on 4-6 servings in this recipe):
- Calories, 105 per serving
- Fat, 7 grams
- Saturated Fat, 1 gram
- Carbohydrate, 10.5 grams
- Fiber, 1.2 grams
- Sugar, 6 grams
- Protein, 1.5 grams
- Sodium, 482.6 mg
Leah Hollenberger is the Vice President of Marketing, Development, and Community Relations for Copley Hospital. A former award-winning TV and Radio producer, she is the mother of two and lives in Morrisville. Her free time is spent volunteering, cooking, playing outdoors, and producing textile arts. Leah writes about community events, preventive care, and assorted ideas to help one make healthy choices.