• 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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Apple Cake

5.0/5 rating 1 vote
Apple Cake


In the spring, the Robinsons cooked with dried fruit from the previous fall. This recipe of theirs has been adapted for modern dried apples, which are soft and spongy. If you are using home–dried apples that are tough and leathery, you will need to boil them in water before they can be easily cut.



  • 2 cups dried apples
  • 2 cups molasses
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • “spices of all kinds to suit your taste”:
  • 1 Tb. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup sour milk, or 1 cup milk plus 1 tsp. white vinegar


Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9” x 13” baking pan.

Cut the dried apples into raisin–size pieces. Combine the molasses, boiling water, and apples in a small saucepan and simmer until the apples are cooked through, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove the apples with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the butter to the hot molasses and stir to melt, then scrape the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs one at a time into the molasses mixture.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and spices. Add the dry ingredients in three parts to the molasses and butter mixture, alternating with the sour milk. Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated, then pour into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for an hour, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

This cake improves in flavor after a day or two, and will keep for at least a week. It is excellent served warm with fresh butter or whipped cream or, for a modern touch, some sifted powdered sugar.

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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.