• 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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Celebrate with “Vermatzah”

Matzah making at Naga Bakehouse

Written on

March 01 , 2010

Matzah has been used for centuries to celebrate Passover and the start of spring. Now it can be used to celebrate local wheat and heritage grains, too.

Naga Bakehouse’s “Vermatzah” is made with a blend of organic Vermont wheat and organic emmer from western New York. Emmer is an ancient grain; in fact, the original matzah was made with it. “It has a distinct, rich, nutty flavor,” says Doug Freilich, who helps run the family owned Naga Bakehouse in Middletown Springs with Julie Sperling. “It’s also a great way to showcase some of our heirloom grains.”

Freilich and Sperling grow their own grains on two of their eight acres. They also work closely with the Heritage Wheat Conservancy to trial heirloom varieties and bake with them.

Vermatzah will be available from early March through the first week of April at co-ops and natural food stores statewide. It can also be ordered at www.vermatzah.com.

Photo courtesy of Naga Bakehouse.

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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.