Vermont's Floating Farm Market For Sustainability

Thames Sailing Barge "Melissa", built in 1899. These barges were studied in order to build a boat for the Hudson River farm markets project.
Thames Sailing Barge "Melissa", built in 1899. These barges were studied in order to build a boat for the Hudson River farm markets project. | Source

Floating Markets In America

During Summer 2013, the first sail powered delivery of sustainable agricultural goods in many years was conducted by farmer Erik Andrus and his partners along 330 miles of this Hudson River area.

Old Native American Routes become Shipping Lanes

Native American trails became wagon train routes, followed by stage coaches, locomotives, and finally highways full of automobiles. A similar phenomenon occurred with water ways, especially in the American Northeast.

The trade route along the Hudson River was first followed by bands of the Mohawk Nation hundreds of years ago. When fur trappers arrived from Europe, they also used the Hudson. The settlers of the New England and eastern colonies in Americas made ample use of the Hudson for transporting agricultural goods, furs, and game.

During Summer 2013, the first sail powered delivery of sustainable agricultural goods in many years was conducted by farmer Erik Andrus and his partners along 330 miles of this Hudson River area. Traveling about 10 hours per day and setting up farmer's markets in local ports, they traveled between Lake Camplain and NYC until the end of October on a boat that they built themselves.

The Route of the Floating Farm Market

show route and directions
A markerVergennes, VT -
Vergennes, VT, USA
[get directions]

B markerManhattan, New York City -
Manhattan, New York, NY, USA
[get directions]

C markerLake Champlain -
Lake Champlain
[get directions]

Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain | Source

Floating Market Technology

The Ceres uses Wi-Fi on board and an iPhone App for navigating the Hudson River.

Andrus and partners plan to add more boats and use additional rivers for sustainable shipment after the 2013 season.

Vermont Sail Freight Project

This floating market is the vision of one carpenter-farmer and his family: Erik Andrus in Vermont. He owns Boundbrook Farm and plies sustainable agriculture to produce rice and baked goods.

The wooden boat employed to transport cargo from Lake Champlain along the Lower Husdon River and establish pop up markets along the route carries 15 tons of agricultural products from 35 farmers. The vessel was built from scratch and named Ceres. Mr. Andrus researches Thames River cargo barges and other flat-bottomed vessels before his team constructed and adjusted the Ceres.

Partners in this floating market type of project include a company called Good Eggs, a farmers' association called The Greenhorns, and the Willowell Foundation, which is a nonprofit education entity that promotes sustainability. A Kickstarter program helped fund the first voyage in the summer and autumn of 2013.

Unique Service

Erik Andrus states that in America, there is likely just one other sail powered food delivery company the Salish Sea Trading Cooperative in Washington. See more about the Ceres at http://www.vermontsailfreightproject.com/about/faqs.html


Thames sailing barge "Thistle" with the Tower Bridge.
Thames sailing barge "Thistle" with the Tower Bridge. | Source

Products Available at the Pop Up Markets

Vermont Fruit

  • Apples and Asian Pears

Vegetables

  • Several varieties of potatoes, including blue fingerlings, several varieties of onions and garlicks, sqaushes, carrots, and other root vegetables.

Syrups

  • Maple and birch syrups and varieties of honey.

Grains

  • Organic flours and cornmeal.
  • Dried corn, flaxseed, cereal mixes.
  • Wheat berries and corn berries.
  • Vermont-grown Rice.

Other

  • Several types of seaweed.
  • Heirloom beans of several kinds.
  • Organic apple cider vinegar and handmade sea salt.
  • Preserves, pickles, kimchis, saurkrauts, etc.
  • Roots, teas, and medicinal plants.
  • Dark chocolates, maple sugar, and maple cream.
  • Handmade soaps and beeswax candles.

Some Cities Where the Ceres Stops and Opens a Market

show route and directions
A markerHudson NY -
Hudson, NY, USA
[get directions]

B markerKingston NY -
Kingston, NY, USA
[get directions]

C markerPoughkeepsie NY -
Poughkeepsie, NY, USA
[get directions]

D markerNewburgh NY -
Newburgh, NY, USA
[get directions]

E markerAlbany NY -
Albany, NY, USA
[get directions]

Boundbrook Farm and Friends

This farm is located outside Vergennes VT, the oldest community in the state. The land on the farm has been used for agriculture continually since before the Revolutionary War. Erik Andrus and his family produce wheat, rice, a variety of bakery goods, and grass-fed beef.

Boundbrook is joined by numerous other farms and orchards in the sustainable shipping project to send local goods down the Hudson River. One interesting farm is called The Mystic Sheaf. Their speciality is einkorn, a single-grain wheat.

Atlantic Holdfast Seaweed produces seaweed from its island base near the Gulf of Maine. All of the seaweed is hand harvested during lowtides of the full moon and new moon each month. Another company harvests sea salt. Still others produce nothing but honey.

Vergennes town dock and Otter Creek Falls.
Vergennes town dock and Otter Creek Falls. | Source
Revolution Rickshaws are larger than this, but similar in colors.
Revolution Rickshaws are larger than this, but similar in colors. | Source

Revolution Rickshaws

When the Ceres and its cargo reach Manhattan, the goods will be delivered by the fun company called Revolution Rickshaws.

Making use of the growing bike-lane system in Manhattan, the pedicab company can deliver up to 550 pounds of freight on one of its large industrial tricycles. This is called a city-freight program that is becoming popular in large urban areas where trucks have difficulty navigating.

The company's pedicabs offer transportation that is different from the bus, subway, or taxi services in NYC. Drivers are fluent in all of English, French, and Spanish. Tours and wedding rides are becoming popular as well. These rickshaws can also access areas in which cars may not go.

CONTACT: Revolution Rickshaws, 432 W 31st St New York NY 10001. PH 212.239.0200

Revolution Rickshaws

A markerRevolution Rickshaws, 432 W 31st St New York NY 10001 -
432 W 31st St, New York, NY 10001, USA
[get directions]

Source

Good Eggs In Brooklyn, New York

The Good Eggs company delivers farm fresh products in the San Francisco Bay Area and plans to expand south to Los Angeles and east to New Orleans and Brooklyn to join their Manhattan success with the Ceres.

Good Eggs deals only in local groceries in your own locale, taking orders a little like Amazon.com and shipping your order to you. You may also go to a set place to pick up your items. Drivers do not accept tips and home delivery is just $3.99 for the entire order at this writing.

Along the Hudson River route, the Ceres project takes order through Good Eggs. See http://www.vermontsailfreightproject.com/about/ordering.html

Good Eggs In Brooklyn

A markerGood Eggs, 365 Ten Eyck St, Brooklyn, NY 11206 -
365 Ten Eyck St, Brooklyn, NY 11206, USA
[get directions]

© 2013 Patty Inglish

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Comments 10 comments

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Very interesting and thank you for sharing.

Eddy.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Fascinating! I had no idea that this existed. Thanks for the detailed information.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

An interesting read on a market concept from the past. Thanks for highlighting this revamped way of marketing goods and how all these businesses are working together.


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

Some times the new thing is to rediscover the old thing. This sounds like a great business venture that is sure to be a success. Enjoyed!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

I wish I had known sooner as I am 10 miles from Kingston!

Voted up useful, and interesting.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

I appreciate the useful and friendly comments from everyone.

It's impressive that Andrus was able to build his own boat with his team. There is a lot of talent in this country and a lot of ability to produce local goods. It will be awesome if the other shipping routes do really open up with more of his boats.


dappledesigns profile image

dappledesigns 2 years ago from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest

Amazing! Being a VT native, I must admit I'm proud :)


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

Good for you, dappledesigns! You should be very proud of VT, because it's a remarkable, useful thing to do in a community. I hope others do it.


Unlimited11-11 profile image

Unlimited11-11 21 months ago from Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA

Great article! Thanks for sharing an interesting piece about Vermont that many Vermonters aren't aware of.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 21 months ago from North America Author

It is wonderful to see these floating markets. I hope more people can take advantage of their business this year. Thanks for commenting!

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