Education and Outreach to the Community

BFC Kids Recipes, DIY Activities, and Classes!
Enjoy our new DIY and Recipe archive online…
Click here now!

Our Education and Outreach program is inspired by the the Cooperative Principles of “Education, Training, and Information,” as well as a “Concern for Community.”

The Co-op’s goal for the Education and Outreach program, is to host classes for the community (for both adults and children), build partnerships with schools and organizations, and support collaborative educational programs in and around Brattleboro, Vermont.

Through our Education and Outreach Coordinator (meet Ragan below) we seek to create a network of strong, vibrant, and dynamic relationships with schools, school groups, artists, vendors, local producers, and farmers, and business communities in Brattleboro and the surrounding area.

Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids: A fun and creative learning experience for everyone!

We are working on an in-store recipe station! Stay tuned and we will let you know when that will happen, and where the recipe station(s) are. Meanwhile, enjoy these links to the best kid-friendly recipes and articles about enjoying kids in the kitchen!

Pumpkin Bird Feeder Kids DIY Project

Fall Fun!  DIY Project for Kids:
Pumpkins are for the BIRDS!

Re-purpose your holiday pumpkins into attractive bird feeders!

You can easily make your Halloween jack-o-lantern into a bird feeder provided the pumpkin is not rotted or decorated with unsafe accents. If you used a real candle to illuminate your jack-o-lantern, be sure to scrape away any wax or blackened areas on the flesh before you begin this project.

  1. Cut around the pumpkin’s carvings to create a large enough opening for the birds to perch on. Or, simply cut it in half so it resembles a bowl. You can also cut around the decorative carvings making a few holes large enough for a bird to accommodate. The birds will want to feel comfortable and secure while eating and not feel trapped.
  2. After carving the pumpkin, submerge it for an hour in a very weak bleach solution:
    3 tablespoons bleach in 3 gallons of water—note: this is a very mild solution. You can also put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray the pumpkin. This will hydrate the pumpkin and minimize mold, keeping the carved pumpkin fresh for a longer period. Do not apply petroleum jelly or any other oily products to the cut edges, as these products can easily smear on birds’ feathers, causing problems similar to oil spill contamination.
  3. Allow your pumpkin to dry thoroughly and naturally outside.
  4. Fill it with birdseed and set your feeder outside… wherever the birds can enjoy the seeds you fill it with. Great places include a deck or porch, a flowerbed or a garden, or beside a walkway. You may sprinkle some seed just outside the pumpkin to get the birds’ initial attention.

Be sure you place a pan or a planter saucer under the pumpkin if you are putting it on the deck, porch, or somewhere it may cause a stain.

And, consider wild animals such as raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels, or other hungry critters (even bears) also love this kind of treat, so it is a good idea to bring your feeder inside at night.

Co-op Welcome to the Table logo

Lots more recipes and educational opportunities are available through “Welcome to the Table.”


Many of our traditional classes and program projects were placed on hold in 2020 because of social distancing. As we adapt to our climate we are creating new programs for 2021. Education and Outreach has the following projects, classes, and activities planned:

  • Virtual Learning and Videos for use in schools and at home. Watch this one Ragan created with Tara Gordon to introduce our new online platform of learning. Anyone can watch this at any time and make these delicious brownies with Ragan (transcripts are available on Youtube with the video):

Valentine’s Beet Chocolate Mint Brownies with Ragan at the Co-op

Maple Recipes with Ragan at the Co-op

Maple Balsamic Vinegrette

  • Classes: Zoom Classes, Programs, and Discussionszoom virtual meeting

Health related Zoom classes led by professors and local food producers. We held the annual “Food Choices” Class Series via Zoom successfully. If you need to download and learn how to use this simple and effective app, follow the link we provided.

  • Kids Recipe and DIY projects via YouTube.


What are we doing for the community during the pandemic? We have been packing activity bags for food banks and local youth based organizations. Our winter activity bag included easy recipes and ingredients, 32 bean soup mix, healthy snacks, and activity and coloring sheets. A Spring bag had seeds (and how to grow them) with recipes corresponding to the seeds, along with coloring pages and healthy snacks.

Ragan Anderson, Co-op's Education Outreach Coordinator

Ragan Anderson, Co-op’s Education Outreach Coordinator

Ragan Anderson, Education Outreach Coordinator

Ragan Anderson, Education Outreach Coordinator

Ragan is the Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Brattleboro Food Co-op.

She is a teacher by trade, and has been a distance-learning teacher for both Oak Meadow and Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual.

When she came on board at the Co-op, she was particularly excited to start her adventure as Education and Outreach Coordinator because cooking together with the community is “just what I believe we need right now.”

She is a big Co-op shopper as she can find such a variety of healthy, affordable ingredients for creating delicious and nourishing snacks, meals, and desserts for her family. 

Hi there!

My name is Ragan Anderson and I am the Education
Coordinator at the Brattleboro Food Co-op.

This year, we did things a little differently at the Co-op to celebrate Winter Carnival.

We put together Kids Winter Activity bags filled with lots of fun things to keep them busy during those long winter days! We provided cocoa, soup mix, coloring sheets, recipes, and much more.

Follow our Education and Outreach program on Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to sign up for the Brattleboro Food Co-op’s twice monthly newsletter, too. This way you will be alerted about more classes and learning opportunities coming along the pipeline soon!

I look forward to meeting you all in person one day!


PS: Do you have any questions or inquiries about education and outreach programs? Feel free to email me any time at