Publishers' Note Fall 2007
Written onSeptember 01 , 2007
Congratulations to all the new and seasoned “Localvores” who took part in this year’s challenge and enjoyed every bite, knowing that you were supporting your farmer neighbors in their efforts to provide the fresh, delicious, and nutritious food we’re so fortunate to have in this state! Some friends from Williston commented, “How can you go back to eating anything else that isn’t locally grown or raised after you’ve spent an entire week of tasting the difference?” We couldn’t agree more!
In this issue, we’re excited to introduce two women who are making a difference through their efforts to strengthen and promote Vermont’s local economy:
Our cover photo features Lisa Kaiman of Jersey Girls Dairy and “W.A.A.W.W.E. Farms Market” (pronounced “wow-ee,” and which stands for We Are All What We Eat) at 157 Thompson Road and Route 103, in Chester. We got to know Lisa this past July when she hosted an event called “Farm-Scale Cheesemaking with Raw Milk from Grass-Fed Cows” This event was sponsored by the Vermont Pasture Network Program at the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Vermont Grass Farmers Association, and Rural Vermont. It began with a pasture walk, during which our group of 60-plus attendees was nuzzled and nudged by Lisa’s well-mannered Jerseys while she talked about the nutritional benefits of raw milk.
As the “girls” and the visitors became more comfortable with each other, we listened as renowned cheesemaker Peter Dixon waxed poetically about the benefits of making his cheese from the milk of Lisa’s grass-fed cows. We were also given a tour of the milking area and barn. Then the event culminated with a cheese tasting, which was actually a five-course meal! Many of Vermont’s artisan cheesemakers provided examples of their craft; some local meats were prepared and contributed by area farmers; and various salads, fruits, breads, crackers, drinks, and desserts were brought out for this veritable feast.
Lisa is one of a growing number of women entering the dairy and farming sectors. Not only does she bring many years of experience to her farm, she also brings a finely honed compassion for her animals, which is evident in all levels of her operation. As Lisa sees it, “A happy cow is a healthy cow and a healthy cow is a happy cow.” Last fall, Lisa’s entrepreneurial muse moved her to open a farm store on the premise and, in just a year’s time, the lovingly-named W.A.A.W.W.E. Farms Market has become very successful. You can buy Lisa’s raw milk there and the cheeses Peter Dixon makes from it, as well as other locally produced cheeses. Additionally, there are items from other local farmers and producers including eggs, poultry, goat, pork, lamb, beef, fresh produce, ice cream, yogurt, pudding, maple syrup, jams, and sauces. Store hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Wednesday. Call (802) 875-6576 to see what’s available.
It’s inspiring to see this energetic farmer take the lead in creating a much-needed market in an area that provides additional income for other Vermont farmers.
For another example of an entrepreneur devoted to strengthening Vermont’s local economy, we turned our gaze north to Barre, the home of LACE, which stands for “Local Agricultural Community Exchange.” It’s the brainchild of Barre resident Ariel Zevon and it shines like a beacon in the center of downtown. It’s a Localvore’s dream of a market and café where, aside from the coffee, all the food sold and prepared has been sourced from Vermont producers.
We’d also like to draw your attention to our new centerfold map of regional fall offerings, which we hope will provide you with a useful resource. Additionally, we’ve added a calendar listings page. Please let us know about your local food events we’d love to include them!
Enjoy the fall harvest and we’ll see you again when the snow flies!