• 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-Can Chicken

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Beer Can Chicken

Use your favorite homemade or store-bought spice rub for this chicken and use whatever convenient non-soda drink that comes in a can (I like juices). The important part about the beer can is the can and the liquid, not so much the beer. Original recipe by Claire Fitts.


  • 1 4–6 lb. chicken with gizzards removed
  • 2 qts. cool water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup spice rub
  • 1 can of drink


1) Place your chicken in a good-quality plastic bag with no holes and place the bag in a large bowl or pot. Mix the salt and water thoroughly and pour the brine over the chicken. Pull the bag up tight around the bird and close it with a twist tie. (If there isn’t enough brine to cover the bird, make more in the same ratio.)Place it all in the fridge and soak for 1 hour to overnight.

2) Move one oven rack to the lowest notch in your oven and remove any other racks. Preheat oven to 350°F.

3) Remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry, and coat with spice rub. Open your can and drink approximately half of the contents. With a pointy can opener (churchkey), make two more openings in the top of the can. Place your can in the center of a large baking dish or a pan with sides. Lower the rear end of the chicken over the can. The can and chicken legs will form a tripod to hold it steady.

4) Bake the chicken for 1 to 11/2 hours, depending on the size, rotating the pan gently halfway through, until a thermometer inserted between the thigh and body registers 160 °F. Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. Remove the can and enjoy!

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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.