Investing in Local and Sustainable

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White River Investment Club

The White River Investment Club (WRIC) is a group of local residents dedicated to creating a better future through local investing. Our mission is to enable its members to make local investments which help themselves and their communities – and improve the overall quality of life in the White River watershed.

Started only last year, the Club has already made investments in EC Fiber (a community owned fiber option network for high-speed internet to every home) and Kiss the Cow Farm (for a USDA-certified mobile chicken slaughtering facility).

The Club operates democratically: Each member has one vote, and an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members is required to approve an investment. Prior to voting on investments, club members evaluate investment opportunities using a club-developed tool that screens potential investments relative to the club’s values. The screening tool uses six criteria chosen as important by our members: (1) Risk, (2) Return, (3) Environmental Effect, (4) Local Character, (5) Social Impact, and (6) Local Economic Impact. Members rank potential investments using a transparent scale from one to five for each of these criteria.

WRIC is also accepting applications for membership. Members are required to invest at least $1,000 and be willing to actively participate. Regular meetings of the members are held about once a month. If you have questions or are interested in joining the club, please contact Steve Aldrich at 802 234-5140.


BALE’s Community Gala June 17

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Great Food, Great Sounds… All Free or the Whole Community

For the past two years, BALE has produced a Summer Gala to raise much needed funds to community mealsupport our work. For our 3rd annual gala, BALE – in partnership with The Community Meal – is offering an ambitious two-part Community Gala on Friday, June 17 beginning at 5:30 pm. The first portion of the Gala will feature a free Community Meal at The White Church in Bethel, open to all free of charge! As with other recent community meals at the White Church, local foods produced at local farms will be featured, prepared and served by local volunteers. For this meal, guest chef Sarah Natvig of the Black Krim Tavern in Randolph will l prepare an amazing meal. And as with previous meals, accomplished local musicians Randy Leavitt, Justin Parks, and John McHugh will provide live music while we dine! And as always at The Community Meals, 100% of diner donations (collected in a glass jar at the door) will be donated to the Bethel Food Shelf (serving the towns of Bethel, Barnard, Pittsfield, and Stockbridge). As we adjourn the meal around 7:45 pm, the second portion of the Community Gala will commence right next door at the Bethel Bandshell – a free bow thayer and banjoconcert featuring local icon Bow Thayer and his band celebrating the work being done by locally-based community organizations like BALE, The Community Meal, and our local food shelves. Although we are making the gala free of any charge, we still need the event to attract financial sponsors whose support is critical for carrying out our work and mission. Please give as generously as you can by clicking on our crowdfund site BALE 2016 COMMUNITY GALA HERE!! Then be sure to join us on June 17 in Bethel.

2016 Locally Grown Guide Available Now

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24-Page Guide to Local Foods in the White River Valley

Want to know where the local farms are in your area? Want the full listing of farmers markets in the White River region, or of restaurants and caterers who feature local food in their menus? BALE has joined with RACDC (Randolph Area Community Development Corp.) to produce the 2016 Locally Grown Guide as a free community resource… on the streets as of Thu., May 26. This printed guide is distributed around the region throughout the summer and fall. Don’t see a copy at your local store or farmers market? Please contact Chris Wood at

Online: You can also see the Guide by clicking HERE.

Wild Foods Workshop at ValleyFest

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Join Vermont’s own Les Hook and Nova Kim for a demonstration on the gathering of wild foods, as well as a discussion on the ethics of their collection. ValleyFest: A Celebration of All Things Local hosts these two internationally recognized experts for a free workshop on the Bandstand on the South Royalton Green on Thursday, June 9 starting a 3 p.m.

A highlight of past ValleyFests, they bring over 80 years combined experience hunting the woods and fields of Vermont for wild foods and medicines. Much of their lives have been spent teaching and advocating forfest from bandstand the woods and all the other beings. They supply six high-end Vermont restaurants, a CSA for wild foods, and meet much of their own food and health needs with the fruits of their gathering.

They will be bringing many sample for tasting and will answer participant’s questions. This workshop is part of the sixth annual ValleyFest that fills the South Royalton Green from 3-9 p.m. on June 9, sponsored in 2016 by BALE (Building A Local Economy), Royalton Memorial Library, Royalton Recreation Commission, Royalton Farmers Market, Royalton Community Radio and Seven Stars Arts Center. All festival events are free and will go on rain or shine. For more information, contact Chris Wood at


ValleyFest: A Celebration of All Things Local

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Thursday, June 9 from 3-9 PM; On the Green, South Royalton, Vermont

fest cranky showHighlights include (schedule below): Cajun Double Fiddles (with Katie Trautz and Alec Ellsworth); The Arts Bus; ‘The Ethics and Tastes of the Wild’ (wild foods workshop with Nova Kim and Les Hook); the season start of the South Royalton Town Band; a community plant swap; food vendors (Howling Hog BBQ, Black Krim Tavern, Lion’s Club and strawberry shortcake from the Red Door Church); the Bike Corral (free bike repair and a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Green Mountain Bikes); and live radio thanks to WFVR-LP. And that’s not to mention the two main features of ‘ValleyFest: A Celebration of All Things Local:’ The much-expanded Royalton Farmers Market and the huge community connection tent with over 30 community groups sharing their work with the community. South Royalton Green on Thu., June 9 from 3-9 PM. You can sign up for your own booth until June 5 by contacting Greg Tisher at

Schedule for Thursday, June 9:

3:00-6:00         Vendors, community groups, face painting, plant swap

3:00-6:00         Royalton Farmers Market

3:00-4:30         Wild Foods Workshop on the Bandstand

3:30-5:30         The Arts Bus

4:30-5:30         Cajun Double Fiddles on the Bandstand

5:30-6:30         BALE Jam on the Green

7:00-9:00         South Royalton Town Band



‘New Story’ Film on May 11

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Change the Story, Change the World

The just-released film, “An Enquiry into a New Story for Humanity,” shows at the Commons @ BALE in South Royalton on Wed., May 11 at 7:30 PM. The film is inspired bynew story people.jpg the New Story Summit at Findhorn Foundation in Scotland where a sold-out, multi-cultural, multi-generational audience of change-makers and activists from over 50 countries came together to articulate, imagine, evoke and begin to create the new story of resilience and regeneration that must occur for humans to survive this current epoch. Free (‘gift economy’ donations welcome). To view the trailer, click HERE

A BALE History

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Launched in March 2011 after a year of community dialogues and engagement, BALE’s vision emerged as a community resource center for local economy initiatives in the White white river2River Valley of Vermont. While we started with projects that helped create an awareness of the importance of our goals in the community, our priorities have grown increasingly toward creating educational programming and resources that help people move beyond what has typically been a narrow (often single issue) focus to see the more fundamental influences that shape our lives. Our work has been to build both a vibrant social space and a powerful sense of hope-filled engagement through community-driven local actions. We see ourselves as part of a broader movement that is building the “commons” where people share their stories and build relationships of mutual trust and understanding in order to strengthen community resilience in response to rising social and environmental stress.