• Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org
  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation
  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion
  • Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org

    We've changed our website. Please update your bookmarks to LocalBanquet.org LocalBanquet.org is where you will now find the latest Local Banquet stories, a new Story of the Day update feature, features from the archives, and information on how to contribute to Local Banquet if you're interested in writing about Vermont agriculture. 

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  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation

    Back in 2007, Local Baquet ran an article by Bonnie Hudspeth on maple innovation and production in Vermont. Since then, maple production in Vermont has tripled to 1.8 million gallons a year and innovation seems to have entered a new golden (or perhaps amber) age. We did a quick maple innovation news round up for 2018 / 2019 to help everyone keep up with the some of the trends. 

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  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion

    In 2015, the USDA funded a project for UVM researchers to engage in discussions with Vermont farmers about the idea of being paid for ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are things farmers do that improve the environment for everyone, a common example is grass-based farms capturing carbon in the soil as a way to combat climate change. Some services happen naturally through sustainable farming, others take more of an incentive to implement, and either way some policy makers believe that farmers shoudl be compensated for their contribution. 

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Winter 2019

Brief Update from the Legislature

Local Banquet | March 18, 2019 | Winter 2019

Brief Update from the Legislature

This past Friday, March 15th, was crossover in the state house - this is the day that bills in policy committees need to get voted out of committee if they’re going to stay on deadline for passing this year. It’s a good indicator of priorities, although some bills do get special extensions and budget items have a later deadline. Given that this is a traditional taking stock moment for legislative work, we checked in with some groups that spend a lot of time in the state house to find out their thoughts on legislation to watch.

Writers Panel at NOFA-VT Conference

Local Banquet | February 23, 2019 | Point of View

Writers Panel at NOFA-VT Conference

Julia Shipley, John Churchman, and Kate Spring all have very different ways of blending farming, homesteading, and writing - poetry, essays, articles, and picture books were all part of the discussion in our writers panel at the NOFA-VT Winter Conference. Helen Labun moderated, and the notes on what we said are now posted! 

Dairy Donations: Finding a Home for Excess Milk

Helen Labun | February 14, 2019 | Winter 2019

Dairy Donations: Finding a Home for Excess Milk

The Vermont Milk Commission recently recommended a path towards supply management in the dairy industry. Supply management is a complicated task that stems from a simple goal: stop creating too much milk. But while we have too much milk in the system overall, we have not enough milk going to some households that want it. Foodbanks on average distribute one gallon of milk per person every year - even though demand is high. How does our "extra" milk get to consumers who want it but can't afford it?  

In the News: NOFA-VT

Local Banquet | January 21, 2019 | Winter 2019

In the News: NOFA-VT

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) is one of the, if not The, powerhouse nonprofit organizations in Vermont's sustainable food movement. It is also a model for similar organizations across the country. This leadership is due in large part to an individual leader, Enid Wonacott, who passed away this weekend. 

Respecting Life, Accepting Death: Thoughts Regarding On-Farm Slaughter

Chris Sims | January 14, 2019 | Winter 2019

Respecting Life, Accepting Death: Thoughts Regarding On-Farm Slaughter

On a cold day in November, Malik’s car pulls up in our driveway. He and a companion, Papa, step out. . . We shake hands and exchange warm greetings. Malik asks after my husband and our two grown children. I ask Malik and Papa how their families are doing. We comment on the weather. Daylight is fading, however, and there’s work to do, so we head to the barn. 

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.