Jack Riffle was teaching in New York City when the reality of the climate crisis hit him. This time, he couldn't ignore it. He left his teaching position and apprenticed at a local New York farm before he decided to move to New Hampshire and work as a farm manager. He felt like he was finally able to support sustainable practices.
"The number of food miles that most of our grocery store food travels is insane. The carbon emissions compound when food is coming from all these different places," said Riffle.
Now working at a preschool in Clinton, Riffle is still firm in his beliefs that it's incredibly important to relocalize the food economy.
This has prompted him to create Local Foods Mohawk Valley, an online farmers market that connects local producers to the community and makes local food more accessible to residents.
Additionally, he has interns now working for him. Zach Weller and Maggie McDow are interning for Riffle this summer, and as interns, McDow and Weller assist at food collections and distributions.
Eleven vendors list more than 100 products on the website each week. These products include dairy, meat, produce, honey, flour, and beans — a large range with the purpose of creating a one-stop-shop for local food. On Tuesday afternoons, the farmers bring purchased products to the market's pickup location, the Clinton United Methodist Church, allowing McDow and Weller to organize them in time for customer pickup in the evenings.
"The Clinton Farmers Market runs in the morning and afternoon on Thursdays, which is during the workday. That leaves a large gap [for people] in the community who are unable to easily access local food. We're trying to fill that gap." - Jack Riffle.