Solar: It’s a “Huge Dill” for Real Pickles Cooperative

Posted by Scott Soares, State Director, Southern New England, USDA Rural Development in


Oct 26, 2022

Real Pickles Co-op Members stand on top of the building

As USDA Rural Development (RD) highlights National Cooperative Month, one employee owned co-op in Massachusetts stands out as a mannequin for sustainability, collaboration, and native meals system resiliency. The saying goes “it’s not straightforward being inexperienced.” But for Real Pickles in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the co-op wouldn’t have it another means; they went inexperienced in 2011 with the addition of photo voltaic panels on its roof.

Real Pickles Cooperative of Massachusetts

RD assisted with the trouble, offering $20,000 by way of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The 18.06kWH PV Solar System on the roof of the enterprise was put in by neighboring employee owned photo voltaic co-op, PV Squared, and changed one hundred pc of the pickle co-op’s vitality wants at the moment.

So how did this inexperienced, progressive co-op come about?

Two many years in the past, Dan Rosenberg noticed a necessity. Most pickles within the space have been being produced with vinegar and preservatives. The old school pickle that Grandma used to make- naturally fermented with naturally occurring stay cultures- was lacking from native grocery retailer cabinets. Determined to deliver them again, Dan introduced some veggies house from an natural vegetable farm the place he labored and commenced making pickles the old school means.

He was quickly joined by spouse and enterprise associate, Addie Rose Holland, and Real Pickles launched in 2001. They processed their pickles at a enterprise incubator kitchen created by Franklin County Community Development Corporation, which offered a venue for making value-added meals with native farm substances. In 2009, Real Pickles moved into their very own constructing and expanded their operations.

Today, the co-op sources its produce from eight regionally owned farms and the long run appears vibrant.

Addie mentioned, “Real Pickles is rooted on this neighborhood and it has been supported by this neighborhood for the final 21 years. Becoming a employee owned cooperative helps to take care of jobs in our neighborhood and continues the cycle of native financial growth.”

When requested for her favourite pickle pun, Addie mentioned, “We’re type of an enormous “dill.” We couldn’t agree extra.

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