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Food Systems

The Challenges of Sourcing Locally

Elena Gustavson | August 22, 2014 | Food Systems

The chalkboard at DownStreet Eats, Cabot

The sun is up, the kids are stirring, and as I sit at my kitchen counter in Cabot with a cup of strong black coffee in hand, I review my list: 7 a.m.,Kids to School; 8 a.m., Craftsbury; 9 a.m., Hardwick; 9:45 a.m., East Hardwick; 10:30 a.m., Kitchen.

Why Mid-Scale Farming Is Important in Vermont

Ela Chapin and Liz Gleason | May 23, 2014 | Food Systems

Bags of veggies from Pete's Greens

Vermont’s vibrant farm economy is made up of all sizes, scales, and types of farms—something that’s beneficial, because a high diversity of scale and business model is critical to improving the sustainability and resiliency of our food system. Yet within Vermont (and outside Vermont) there is a particular fondness for the smallest scale farms.

The Thorny Issue of Farmer Pay

Mari Omland | February 21, 2014 | Commentary

Cartoon by Anna Svagzdys

At a wedding last summer, I sat next to a neighbor who buys her Thanksgiving turkey from our farm. She described her daily drive-by dose of the farm, and her ritual of slowing down to see where the goats, pigs, and poultry had been moved. She said, “I’ve gotten to the point I think I should pay a toll to pass your place!” I joked, “In order for us to survive it might come to that!”  The conversation awkwardly fell off. But it has preoccupied me since.

Students Harvest the Future at Local Colleges

Kristen A. Schmitt | July 03, 2013 | Food Systems

Farming with draft horses at Sterling College

The agriculture renaissance is upon us. With the growing demand for agriculture graduates, Vermont colleges are leading the way with a variety of agriculture and food-related degrees aimed at preparing students for one of the fastest growing green job fields in the United States. Organic farming, sustainable food systems, nutrition, and animal health are taking center stage during this unique era when environmental and sustainable issues span the globe.

Humane Heft

Caroline Abels | September 01, 2011 | Food Systems

Royal Laroque outside the entrance to his slaughterhouse

Chalk up another “first” for Vermont.

The state was the first to outlaw slavery, the first to legalize civil unions, and the first to pass a single-payer health care law, among other singular achievements. It may not be as significant, but the fact that Vermont recently became the first state to require local slaughterhouses to file a written humane handling plan falls in line with the state’s tradition of leading the way on moral issues.

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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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