Wood River Sustainability Center
Housed in an old Forest Service building in Hailey, the Wood River Sustainability Center aspires to become the epicenter of the best quality food and food events in the region. Currently, this year-round farmer’s market is the place owner Al McCord hopes every local will shop before going to the grocery store. “This is a work in progress,” explains McCord from the spacious kitchen in the center of the barn. McCord does pretty much everything himself, from picking up produce from most of the micro-farms he supports (all within a 200-mile radius of Hailey), to redesigning and remodeling the space, to selling products wholesale to Wood River Valley restaurants, to updating the website, Facebook page and newsletter. He also organizes cooking classes and farm to table dinners.
In addition to farm-fresh, seasonal provisions, WRSC offers an assortment of high-quality meats, including grass-fed and open-range beef, sausages, pork, chicken and wild Alaskan salmon (the token non-local). One hot item is the raw cow’s milk, which sells out every week.
But foodstuffs are just one part of the picture. McCord also sells nonperishables, such as salve, soap and handmade wine bags. The resource library is transforming into the “Seed & Feed” room, featuring a century-old seed storage unit with heirloom seeds, as well as dog food and biscuits, chicken feed and other urban farm necessities. The back room—currently home to seed starts, compost, empty jars—will become a billiards room where people can come hang out while enjoying local beer, wine and lunch. The garden is larger than the building itself, and soon will host community workshops to teach people how to build and maintain raised and traditional beds, a greenhouse and a vertical garden.
308 South River Street, Hailey, ID • 208.721.3114