• 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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Buttercup Pasta

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BButtercup Squash

Adapted from The Minimalist Cooks at Home by Mark Bittman

Ingredients

  • 1 buttercup squash
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or other stock or water)
  • 1 pound fusilli or other pasta
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 5–6 leaves sage
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for on top

Directions

The hardest part of the recipe is preparing the squash. You need to peel it. The easiest way I think is to cut the squash in half, scrape out the seed, cut into sections, then slice off the peel with a knife. Then, using a food processor, finely grate all the squash. After this, the recipe is easy.

Melt the butter in the bottom of heavy-bottom pot. Add the squash, 1/2 cup stock, and the garlic. Stir occasionally. As it dries out and threatens to stick, add another 1/2 cup stock. Repeat as needed, but don’t thin it any more than necessary. Chop the sage and add it midway through the cooking. When the squash begins to fall apart and get soft (10–15 minutes), put the pasta in to cook. Taste the squash and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the sauce with the cheese. Mix it all up. Serve topped with more Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.

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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.