• Letter to Readers
  • Letter to Readers

    It was a day like today in June of 2007 that we published the first print issue of Vermont’s Local Banquet magazine. The word localvore had newly been coined and folks were engaged in localvore challenges in an effort to reduce the distance food travelled, thus the carbon footprint, and to support a growing farming economy.

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2015

What Is Fresh?

Helen Labun | August 25, 2015 | Food Systems

vine ripe tomatoes

Ask Vermont food enthusiasts what they love about local food and most of us say, “It’s fresh.” The link between fresh flavor and local food is so strong that the terms often appear as one: “Fresh local food!”

Farmers' Kitchen—Indian Summer

| August 25, 2015 | Last Morsel

Lini Mazumdar and Emmett Dunbar, photo by Celia Kelly

We chose “Anjali”—a Sanskrit word meaning “offerings to the deities”—as the name of our farm to honor Lini’s Indian heritage. And since moving to our South Londonderry farm on the winter solstice of 2000, we have grown mixed vegetables, medicinal herbs, blueberries, raspberries, and hops in harmony with our ecosystem and the cosmos.

Market Trends

How are Vermont’s farmers’ markets doing?

Caroline Abels | August 25, 2015 | Fall '15 | Issue thirty-four

Bellows Falls Farmers' Market

Over the past 10 years farmers’ markets in Vermont have burst forth like a backyard garden in July. Currently there are 63 markets in the Vermont Farmers’ Market Association, and a dozen or so that aren’t members. But every now and then you hear people wonder whether farmers’ markets have peaked in popularity, or strayed from their original purpose by offering more crafts and prepared foods.

Sheep Dairies

Why aren’t there more in Vermont?

Katie Sullivan | August 25, 2015 | Fall '15 | Issue thirty-four

David Major’s flock at Vermont Shepherd

Vermont is famous for cow dairies, but as the market for artisanal cheese has boomed, goat and sheep milk cheeses have entered the mix. Over the past 20 years, a number of farmers have launched goat dairies for farmstead cheese and for fluid milk sales. Some are former cow operations that switched business models when cow milk prices plummeted. Others began with dairy goats from the start.

Royally Local

The Chelsea Royal serves Vermont food worthy of a diner

Alex Brown | August 25, 2015 | Fall '15 | Issue thirty-four

Chelsea Royal Diner

The Chelsea Royal Diner’s 1939 dining car has been in its present location on Route 9 just outside Brattleboro since 1987, but today it’s home to a successful demonstration of the modern resurgence in serving locally grown food. Todd Darrah, enjoying his 25th year owning and operating the diner, has found a way to combine low diner prices with the high principles of the local food movement.

Frankly Speaking

How to make a local hot dog at home…or maybe not

Claire Fitts Georges | August 24, 2015 | Fall '15 | Issue thirty-four

hotdog links

Hot dogs are the epitome of mass-produced, questionably sourced food product. They are the emulsified bits and scraps of mechanically separated cartilage, tendons, and other meat undesirables that don’t belong anywhere else.

An Early Abenaki Harvest: The Green Corn Celebration

Fred Wiseman | August 24, 2015 | Fall '15 | Issue thirty-four

Corn dancers

Traditionally, summer was a time of constant and existential worry for Abenaki farmers. Vermont’s notoriously fickle weather inundates the fields in June and parches them in July.

Set the Table with Garlic

Laura Sorkin | August 24, 2015 | Fall '15 | Issue thirty-four

Basket of Garlic

If you search the word garlic online, you may end up believing it is the panacea for all that ails us. Garlic was given to soldiers and athletes in ancient Greece to promote vigor.

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What we do

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 ties into larger questions of sustainability and the future of our food supply. 

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