• 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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Baklava

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Baklava

Here is a recipe for baklava, a very sweet Middle Eastern treat that has the sweetness of honey, the tang of citrus, the taste and texture of walnuts, and the crunch of filo pastry. The combination is irresistible.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. filo pastry
  • 1 lb. butter
  • FILLING
  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • ½ to ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • grated orange peel from one orange
  • SYRUP
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup water 1 ½ cups vermont honey

Directions

Thaw filo pastry in refrigerator (if frozen). Preheat oven to 325 °F. Mix walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and orange peel.
Prepare syrup by simmering honey, sugar and water for 10 minutes. Cool.
Layer filo: paint the bottom of a pan with butter, and layer four filo sheets, buttering each sheet as you lay it in the pan. After the four sheets, spread ¼ of the filling over the top sheet. Repeat so that there are five layers of filo (of four sheets per layer) and four layers of filling. Cut into diamonds and bake at
325 °F for 1 hour or until golden. Pour syrup over pastry. Let sit 1 hour, then refrigerate.

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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.