Publishers' Note Fall 2007

| 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!

Publishers' Note Summer 2007

| June 01, 2007


Vermont’s Local Banquet, inspired by our belief that local food is a gateway to stronger communities, will strive to be a meeting place for all those who enjoy eating, growing, raising, cooking, or selling locally grown food. Within these pages, each season, we hope to deliver stories and ideas that support and energize our region. We hope to provide ‘food for thought.’

Experimenting with Diversity

Written by Tatiana Schreiber | September 01, 2007


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!

4th of July Feast

Written by Sam Comstock | June 01, 2007

Meat grilling

It’s that time of year again, when you grill your steak and hamburgers to perfection in  the backyard. I’m not sure which part I enjoy most – deciding which type of beef to eat, smelling the meat as it cooks, eating it, or realizing there’s almost nothing left to clean off the dishes!

Cheese Culture

Written by Roberto Gautier | September 01, 2007

various cheeses

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.

Set the Table with Garlic

| June 01, 2007

Bill selling garlic

Garlic has been called many things during its long history of cultivation by humans. “Stinky” may be the most common invective but perhaps a better way to describe this love-it-or-leave-it vegetable is patient. It can take nine months or more for some varieties of garlic to take root and grow, depending on climate. In the same amount of time in which a human baby forms in its mother’s womb, a single clove develops deep in the ground to become the white-sheathed bulb we pick up at grocery stores.

Local Agricultural Community Exchange

| September 01, 2007


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. 

A Water Buffalo on Every Farm?

Written by Beth Stickney | June 01, 2007

Water Buffalos

When David Muller founded the Woodstock Water Buffalo Company in 2002, he wasn’t sure  whether Riverine water buffalo, indigenous to southeast Asia and imported to Italy in the seventh century, would survive the Vermont winter.  No one in the United States – much less in chilly Vermont – had ever run a water buffalo dairy operation. But, Muller thought, if you can milk a Holstein up north, why not a water buffalo?

Farmers' Kitchen—Turkey Broth

Erin Bickford—Abenaki Springs Farm

| September 01, 2007


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.

Trumpets in the Woods?

Written by Meg Lucas | June 01, 2007

Illustration by Meg Lucas: Black Trumpet Mushrooms

I have always enjoyed a treasure hunt. The thrill of discovery is surpassed only by the joy of seeking something unknown but special. In this instance, the treasures that draw me back, year after year, are the multitudes of mushrooms we are fortunate to have in New England. As the snow starts to melt in early spring, visions of fanciful fungi start to invade my thoughts.

Green Mountains and Amber Waves

Written by Cheryl Bruce | September 01, 2007

Harvesting hard red winter wheat at Butterworks Farm in Westfield

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?’

The Chicken Event

Written by George Schenk | June 01, 2007

Chicken Illustration by George Schenk

It began simply enough:  I wanted to buy my neighbor’s chicken to serve at my Waitsfield restaurant.

“Can’t,” responded my neighbor, Hadley Gaylord.

“Why?”  I asked.

Sub Rosa

| September 01, 2007

Illustration of a rosehip

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.

Revisiting the Traditional

Written by Ginger Nickerson | June 01, 2007

photos of farmers cerca 1920

Imagine a place where 98% of households keep vegetable gardens, 97% have cows and poultry, 93% grow potatoes, 58% raise pigs and 54% have apple trees – all to provide food for the home. Imagine a place where maple syrup from the backyard provides sweetener for households, where hard cider from fresh apples provides continual refreshment, and where most local produce, berries and meat can be enjoyed year-round thanks to canning, pickling, and cellar storage.

Land of Plenty

Written by Tiffany Keune | September 01, 2007

Merchants Row, Rutland

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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What we do

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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