The Cornucopia Project, along with our partner, Co-Creation Ventures, is embarking on a feasibility study to explore the next steps in our edible education programming. The concept under consideration is called a S.K.I.T.T.L. and we think it’s pretty exciting!
What’s a S.K.I.T.T.L.?
S.K.I.T.T.L. stands for: Shared Kitchen Incubator Teaching Technology Lab, and is an innovative and exciting prospective project for the Cornucopia Project, in partnership with Co-Creation Ventures, a company that owns and operates the very successful Stock Pot Malden incubator kitchen in Malden MA.
What’s the Opportunity?
The most exciting part of this project is that it has the potential to serve not only the mission of the Cornucopia Project. . . grow healthy kids, good food, strong community, but also to address overarching economic and food-system related needs and concerns in our community. Here are just a few of the potential opportunities:
For Food Entrepreneurs:
- A fully equipped commercial kitchen available to local entrepreneurs who need space to prepare and develop products, following the model at Stockpot Malden.
For Local Farmers:
- Supporting local farming by providing a demand for local produce well beyond the growing season.
- An opportunity to develop and process farm related products to add to existing farm stores.
For Monadnock Area Businesses:
- Develop a technology center of excellence for food transparency and food logistics, including the use of sensors and Internet of Things technologies, and the design of infrastructure (warehouses, trucks, supply chains) to maximize food sustainability.
- Attract and develop food logistics talent that can be hired by businesses in the region.
For our Community:
- Workforce development and training around the food economy in support of farms and local food industry businesses.
- An innovative model that would demonstrate how small communities can create regional economic growth with local food as the driving force.
- Create a strong local-food economy that supports the future health of our children and families.
For the Cornucopia Project:
- Provide for the next step in the process of “edible education”, moving from growing to food preparation of healthy foods.
- A fully functioning and accessible kitchen space for teaching and growing our Cool Chefs classes.
- Continuation of our partnerships with ag-tech companies and use of the facility as a lab space for addressing important agriculture research questions.
- Potential development of a line of processed foods (soups, sauces, frozen veggies) to sell to local institutional buyers, that can provide an income stream to Cornucopia in support of our mission.
What has happened?
Cornucopia Project and Co-Creation Ventures have embarked on a feasibility study to determine whether and how a S.K.I.T.T.L. could be built in Peterborough. Initial discussions have been met with enthusiastic interest:
- A 5,000 square foot space in the Vose Farm Business Park has been identified for the kitchen with adjacent warehouse space for deliveries, refrigeration and freezer.
- Preliminary conversations with Franklin Pierce University has demonstrated interest in working with their institutional food service program to purchase more locally sourced foods.
- A variety of potential funding sources have been identified.
What comes next?
The next step in our feasibility study is to engage the greater community in a S.K.I.T.T.L. Stakeholder Brainstorming sessions to explore key questions that will help us define the project to the greatest benefit of our community and related stakeholders. This first session was held on January 31, 2018 with over 40 people in attendance.
Key Questions addressed during our first public brainstorming session on January 31:
- How can this S.K.I.T.T.L. become an economic driver for the region?
- How can this S.K.I.T.T.L. engage more production of local food and extend the growing season?
- How can this S.K.I.T.T.L. be a center for workforce development?
- How can this S.K.I.T.T.L. positively impact the health of our community?
- How can this S.K.I.T.T.L. become an educational/research/technology laboratory?
Do you want to get involved?
If this idea excites you and you care about or have expertise in any of the following areas: local food production and access, edible education, healthy eating, supporting local food enterprises, culinary arts, workforce development, organic agriculture or ag technology, please contact us. We’ll keep you posted as to when the next meetings are scheduled.
Have questions or want to be informed of future meetings?
Call Karen Hatcher, Executive Director, at 603-784-5069 or karen(at)cornucopiaproject.org.