About Us

About Us

History

Vermont's Local Banquet began in 2007 with Meg Lucas and Barbi Schreiber. They wanted to create a publication dedicated to providing a meeting place for Vermont's farmers, producers, and food artisans. . .and those who enjoy eating and supporting locally grown food. The idea of "localvores" had become popular in Vermont, diners taking challenges to eat only food grown with in 100 miles of their homes. It was an educational tool, but it also spoke to a new wave of consumers who wanted to use their daily lives to shape a stronger local food system and connect with their community's farmers. Local Banquet could be a vehicle for exploring Vermont's vibrant food and farm world with articles that took a close look at agriculture, while speaking to a broad audience. 

For its first decade, Local Banquet was distributed quarterly to drop off points around Vermont as a print publication, complemented by an online site with local food information. Carrie Abels, a journalist (and now a sheep farmer!) served as editor through most of those years. Carrie worked with writers at all experience levels to help craft thoughtful, professional articles for the magazine. Her writer corps included both freelancers and practitioners working in different parts of the food system, farmers, chefs, specialty food makers, and people working in the nonprofit sector to support local agriculture. 

At the end of 2017, Meg and Barbi decided they wanted to move on to new projects, while Carrie had a farm to start in upstate New York. The local foods movement in Vermont had grown and changed considerably, as had the world of publishing. A print magazine no longer seemed financially feasible while the costs of digital production, including the opportunity for multimedia pieces, had come down considerably. 

Helen Labun, a longtime writer for Local Banquet, took over the magazine in 2018 to continue it as a digital publication. The site was rebuilt and relaunched in the summer of 2018. 

Local Banquet Today

The mission of Local Banquet remains much the same as when it began in 2007. 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.  

Because Local Banquet now publishes throughout the year, it can respond to more time sensitive story topics than before. Because our space is not as limited, we can also take time to explore complicated topics, return to stories from our archives to see what happened next, and offer an enhanced online subscription with "extras" for a fee to help support ongoing publication. Although some things have changed, we remain dedicated to providing a place for writers of all backgrounds to thoughtfully explore Vermont agriculture. Learn more about writing for us here.

Write For Us

Interested in writing a story for Local Banquet that explores agriculture in Vermont? Great plan. Here are some guidelines.

Please pitch a story first using the contact us form, don't send a final version for consideration. If you want to submit a story idea but not actually write the story, that's fine too - just make it clear in your message. Content falls into the following categories:

Feature Stories ~1,200 words Features should inform readers about important topics in Vermont food and agriculture. They should also be enjoyable to read, all features include a narrative element and are on topics that will still be interesting a year from now (ie not a daily news headline).

Personal Perspectives on Agriculture in Vermont ~400 words The personal perspective may be your own or a profile of somebody else’s, in either event it should offer readers a unique glimpse through another person’s eyes in a short essay style.

Profiles of Interesting Ingredients ~ 300 words plus recipes / preparation instructions. We aren’t a cooking blog, what makes an ingredient interesting for our purposes is less about culinary trends and more about agronomy, emerging businesses, interesting historical production notes. . . something tied in to its production. We ask that all recipes please be tested.

Bits and Pieces Pictures, audio clips, short video that show pieces of agriculture from every corner of Vermont. These are not compensated.

Every contribution should come with at least one photo (from your phone is perfectly fine). It will need a horizontal orientation for the front page. Ingredients profiles should come with a collection of several photos to choose from.

All of our content is either particular to Vermont or has a Vermont tie-in that is clearly expressed in the article. Being anchored in Vermont does not mean that the world of the story should end at our borders, however - features writers in particular are encouraged to explore how their topic has implications for the larger food system. Below is a more detailed description of the content we publish.

  • Articles that take a deeper look at topics outside of the news cycle. This includes analyzing agricultural issues that are not in the headlines, but that illustrate important elements of policy, economics, agronomy, business, environmental impact, and rural community development to help us understand the news more deeply.
  • Articles offering reflective commentary that gives unique perspectives on agriculture in our daily lives.
  • Articles written in an approachable narrative style, but with a professional tone.
  • Articles that can shape how readers engage with Vermont agriculture on a daily basis, but are not “lifestyle” pieces. Similarly, we are not a culinary food magazine - recipes illustrate ingredients being profiled or are an “extra” enhancing a larger feature story, not a core part of our material.
  • Articles that describe the work of advocates and organizations advancing agricultural causes, but are not themselves lobbying on behalf of a particular platform. We will ask that many sides of an issue be considered and that all authors inform us of professional / personal affiliations connected to their subject. We may publish clearly designated opinion pieces, however that form of commentary is not the primary focus.
  • Articles that are designed to inspire curiosity about and greater engagement in the Vermont food system.

Vermont agriculture is a topic covered by other publications, in print and digital formats. There are news organizations, publications designed for practitioners working in the food system, and general interest publications focused on lifestyle and the culinary side of Vermont food. However, there continues to be space for strong, thoughtful writing that uses both story and critical analysis to illuminate what is happening in Vermont agriculture outside of the headlines and beyond our own kitchens. Local Banquet provides that content.

Subscribe

Subscribe here to the free version of our monthly newsletter for a round up of articles.  

Would you like to support Vermont's Local Banquet with more than your attention? The basic newsletter is free, but we also have an enhanced version with interesting extras from Vermont food & farm news and from the stories we're writing. This helps us pay for the website and continue to compensate our writers for their excellent work. Subscriptions are $22. 

$22.00

Advertise

Website Advertising Rates

The following size ads may be placed on our website at these rates.  

Size in Pixels

30 days

60 days

90 days

180 days

360 days

Boxy
(180 x 160)

$40

$75 (-5%)

$108 (-10%)

$204 (-15%)

$360 (-25%)

Skyscraper
(160 x 600)

$75

$143 (-5%)

$203 (-10%)

$382 (-15%)

$675 (-25%)

 

Newsletter Advertising Rates

Advertise in our monthly newsletter with a banner ad (520 x 135) for $25 as part of webpage advertising package or $50 as a stand alone ad. 

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "Advertise" in the subject line.  

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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