• Publishers' Note Fall 2007

    Publishers' Note Fall 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!

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  • Experimenting with Diversity

    Experimenting with Diversity

    Ever since I was in grade school and heard about Gregor Mendel and his famous hybrid sweet peas, I’ve been fascinated with the notion of conducting experiments with plants in a garden. Of course Mendel really was a scientist, while I’m something between an enthusiastic gardener and a tiny-scale farmer. I don’t expect my own experiments will yield anything as ground-breaking as the laws of heredity, but I always hope they will prove valuable in guiding my work the following year. And besides, they’re really fun!

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  • Cheese Culture

    Cheese Culture

    In 1882, Emil Frey, a Swiss immigrant working at a deli-owner’s cheese factory in Monroe, N.Y., supplied his boss’s deli with a spreadable cheese called Bismarck schlossekase. Inspired by this cheese, Frey went on to create a bewitching cultural and food revolution with a processed cheese that would be called Velveeta. Along with Cheez Whiz, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and La Vache Qui Rit, Velveeta and its industrial counterparts have obscured the legacy of thousands of years of traditional cheesemaking.

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  • Local Agricultural Community Exchange

    Local Agricultural Community Exchange

    When the Farmers Diner left Barre for Quechee last fall, it left a “local food gap” downtown that is being filled by a new nonprofit initiative called LACE. The name stands for Local Agricultural Community Exchange. It’s a local-oriented grocery store, cafe, and educational center located in the former Homer Fitts Co. department store in downtown Barre. LACE’s founder, Ariel Zevon, has made it her mission to help the Barre community reconnect with local farmers and provide healthy food to the people of central Vermont. 

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  • Farmers' Kitchen—Turkey Broth

    Farmers' Kitchen—Turkey Broth

    Most people who eat the turkeys from our farm say they’re the best they’ve ever had. It must be all the sunshine and fresh air our birds get. Or perhaps it’s the buckwheat, oats, and clover we grow for them to forage in. Maybe it’s the grasshoppers they chase around. Whatever the case, something makes these turkeys really healthy and good.  Every hawk, eagle, fox, coyote, and owl in the area seems to want to jump every hurdle to get to them.

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  • Green Mountains and Amber Waves

    Green Mountains and Amber Waves

    Over the past few years, many Vermonters have embraced the local foods movement. Farmers’ markets are thriving, community supported agriculture shares are growing, and local grass-fed meat, pastured poultry, farm fresh eggs, and other products have become more widely available. But one of the challenges the local eater finds is the limited availability of some staple foods not widely grown in Vermont, such as nuts and seeds (which are pressed into cooking oil) and grains and flour. The eater may ask, ‘Why doesn’t my local bread have more local flour?’

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  • Sub Rosa

    Sub Rosa

    If you walk along the back roads and country lanes of rural Vermont this fall, you’re likely to encounter wild roses. Sometimes you’ll find them near old cellar holes and abandoned roads. You can easily distinguish the wild rose because, unlike its hybrid relative, it has only five petals.

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  • Land of Plenty

    Land of Plenty

    Rutland is important to me. After leaving Vermont for several years, trying out such places as North Carolina, southern California, and South Dakota, I chose to return here in 2000 with my own children to live where my grandparents, my parents, and my husband and I all grew up. Although many of my childhood peers had settled elsewhere, I was determined to use my education to help make Rutland a better place. I now do this in part through my work at the Community College of Vermont, where I advise students, hire instructors, and teach in various disciplines.

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Publishers' Note Fall 2007

pumpkins

Written on

September 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!

 

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A quarterly magazine devoted to covering local food, sustainable farming, and the many people building the Vermont food system.

Vermont's Local Banquet Magazine illuminates the connections between local food and Vermont communities. Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape is changing as the localvore movement shapes what is grown and raised here.

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