• 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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Beer-braised Potatoes with Cheddar and Horseradish

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potatoes

Over the course of a year I have many favorite days, but one of them is when we dig the potatoes in the fall. We mow the tops in late August, signaling to the plants that the time for growth is over. This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Mark Bittman in How to Cook Everything (Wiley, 2008)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of Vermont beer, any kind
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (or try other cheeses)
  • 1 tablespoon non-GMO corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish (or more, to taste)
  • handful of parsley

Directions

Peel the potatoes and cut them into medium-size chunks. Put the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Cook the potatoes until they begin to turn golden; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the beer and enough water so the potatoes are barely covered. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to medium-low. Let the mixture bubble gently for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, toss the corn starch with the cup of shredded cheese. When the potatoes are almost done, stir in the cheese mixture. Add the horseradish. Stir until the cheese melts, throw in the parsley, and serve.

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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.