Plucked from Civileats
Maritime museums are nostalgic places full of black and white photographs of old sails and rugged seafarers. Ornate boats hint at centuries of technological progress and suggest that craftsmanship has suffered as a result. But the old became new again recently at the Hudson Maritime Museum in New York, when a sailboat arrived to sell agricultural goods from upriver. Visitors caught a glimpse of a river-based local food economy—a vestige of the past and a harbinger of an alternative future.
For the last two summers, the Vermont Sail Freight Project (VSFP) has sailed a boat named Ceres down the Hudson River, carrying all manner of small-scale, artisanal farm products to eager consumers in New York City and at river towns along the way. It has carried everything from grains to maple syrup, honey, carrots, pickles, preserves, herbal teas, goat milk caramels, flour, and beans, selling roughly $50,000 worth of goods in one trip.