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Take a zuke, leave a zuke

Transition Dummerston creates vegetable exchange stands around town

For more information about Save Our Surplus, or to volunteer with stand set-up or take-down for a weekend, call Margaret Wilson at 802-254-7436.

DUMMERSTON—Residents here have another option for overflow vegetables besides the compost pile.

For the second consecutive year, “Save Our Surplus,” an initiative by Transition Towns Dummerston, is setting up self-service collection stands around town for residents to donate or take vegetables.

All are encouraged to stop by. The collected produce is free. Non-perishables are also welcome.

The stands will be set up each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through September at the KOA campground on Route 5, across from the town common in Dummerston Center, and on West Street in West Dummerston near the community center.

Items residents don’t claim will be donated to the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center the following Monday morning.

This year’s SOS stand season kicked off with an appearance at the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market on July 27.

According to Susal Stebbins, a resident and one of the founding member of Transition Towns, the group’s mission is to reduce waste, allow residents to share fresh vegetables with each other, and raise awareness of area food growers.

Home gardeners often struggle to use all the vegetables they grow in their gardens, Stebbins explained.

The group decided last summer to set up stands, and residents showed their support. The group said word of mouth has been strong, though more effort will be made to promote the stands this year.

Stebbins said the Transition Towns movement strives to “build resilience in the face of climate change and dwindling fossil fuels by strengthening local economies and encouraging creativity.”

The Save Our Surplus stands promote Transition Town’s principles: using local resources, creating positive communities, and choosing to re-purpose over buying new, she added.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #214 (Wednesday, July 31, 2013).

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