• 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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Campfire Ratatouille with Farmers’ Market Veggies

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  • Ready in: 10 minutes prep; 30 minutes over fire
  • Serves: 4
  • Complexity: easy
Campfire corn on the cob

In every recipe, there are ingredients included that prevent the food from sticking to the foil. This can be butter, as in the recipe for roasted potatoes, or the juices from vegetables, as in the garlic and tomato chicken or campfire ratatouille. Substitutions can be made in these recipes, but be sure to include something (butter, oil, or juicy vegetables) to prevent your food from sticking to the foil packets.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 summer squashes, sliced thick
  • 1 eggplant, cut into one-inch cubes
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels shaved from ears
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Directions

Divide all vegetables evenly into two piles, one on each of two squares of tin foil. Top with fresh herbs, divided evenly between the piles of vegetables. Wrap the foil tightly into packets around the vegetables and cook over low to medium heat at the outer edge of the fire, roughly 30 minutes. Rotate once or twice. Vegetables should be very tender. Feeds four people.

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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.