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On the Farm

Diary of a Farm Apprentice—Part 1: Spring

Caitlin Gildrien | June 01, 2008 | On the Farm

Caitlin O'Brien

I want to be a farmer. It is 5:30 in the morning, and the rooster, who lives very close to my window, is crowing before dawn. I find it useful to remind myself: I want to be a farmer.

Zack Woods Herb Farm

Filling Vermonters’ Medicine Cabinets

Rhiannon Hutchinson | March 01, 2008 | On the Farm

Jeff Carpenter and Melanie Slick Carpenter

The growing demand for locally-sourced products in Vermont is leading residents to look beyond vegetables and meat to another important item for consumption: herbs. As a result, herb farms such as Zack Woods Herb Farm in Hyde Park, founded in 1999 by Jeff Carpenter and his wife, Melanie Slick Carpenter, are enjoying amazing success as Vermonters seek out local herbs not just for inclusion in homemade meals but for medicinal use as well. At Zack Woods, 35 medicinal herbs are grown for a host of ailments, and the Carpenters are working hard to keep up with demand.

Green Mountains and Amber Waves

Cheryl Bruce | September 01, 2007 | On the Farm

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?’

A Water Buffalo on Every Farm?

Beth Stickney | June 01, 2007 | On the Farm

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?

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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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