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NCC’s New Green Counterpart: Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market

Thursday, March 31st, 2011


Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market in Winchester, VA

At The National Conference Center, sustainability across the property is a large priority. In the past, we traded in our fryer oil to support the future production of biodiesel fuel. This was a great solution to give back to the environment until recently when we made the transition to a partnership with Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market in Winchester, Virginia.

This partnership between NCC and Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market (LM) is a repeating cycle that helps us give back the most we can to Mother Nature. To explain the process, LM uses local ingredients to create canola oil. We then purchase this canola oil for the cooking needs of our Food & Beverage department. After the canola oil has been used, LM picks up the used oil to bring back to the Shenandoah Agricultural Products (SAP) who then transforms it into Bio-Diesel fuel. This fuel is then put to work at both Linda’s Mercantile (LM) and Fruit Hill Orchids – and this cycle begins again with The National Conference Center purchasing the produced canola oil.

Linda’s Mercantile & Farm Market is operated by David & Linda Lay and partners with Fruit Hill Orchards and Shenandoah Agricultural Products. According to Linda, “We have vegetables, fruits, all-natural beef and pork, jams, jellies, homemade soaps, baskets and local roasted coffee.” Together, Linda’s Mercantile (LM), Fruit Hill Orchids, and Shenandoah Agricultural Products (SAP) promote locavore eating in the Shenandoah Valley, by working closely together in distributing their products to local vendors. Aside from canola oil, The National Conference Center is currently purchasing local spinach from the farm with the hopes to obtain more local produce from Linda’s Mercantile in the future.

If you’re a green venue, what other eco-friendly efforts have you implemented on your property? If you’re an event professional or meeting planner, how deep do you divulge into a property’s green efforts? Do you investigate their cooking methods as well?