• 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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Ceres, Goddess of Agriculture, Returns to State House

Ceres, Goddess of Agriculture, Returns to State House

Written By

Local Banquet

Written on

November 30 , 2018

Today the third Ceres statue to adorn the Vermont state house was installed on top of the golden dome (now golden, the first Ceres oversaw a red dome).


The event included state officials, many groups of school children - at least one group sporting their homemade Ceres star headbands (adorably), the now-ubiquitous-in-Montpelier Ceres on a stick paper cut outs, a bucket of wood chips from carving the mahogany sculpture, coffee (rumored, not verified), a colorfully dressed chocolate Ceres lollipop vendor, random music making instruments (there was also a rendition of the state song), the head of 1938's Ceres II for comparison purposes, and the Agency of Agriculture drone.


Two questions that everyone seemed to be asking:

How much does the statue weigh? According to a Times Argus report early in the project, the wood began at 4,000 pounds, but was 2,000 at the end of scultping when it was hollowed out. It is 14 feet, 7 inches tall. A stone statue, by comparison, would weigh 20,000 pounds (too heavy for the dome to support). 


How much gold is on the dome? Not much. If all that gold leaf were a block of gold, it would be smaller than a deck of cards


Some recommended earlier coverage:

The history of the statue, with photographs from the Vermont Historical Society

The drone recording of the statue’s ascent (unedited)

A video from the Agency of Agriculture

Short VPR piece describes the statue making process  


Photos from the day

Line for Ceres with Puppet

Ceres Full Length

Ceres Heads

General Pics

Statehouse from Front



And when the festivities were done, presumably all that was left was the wood chips. . . 

Ceres Wood Chips


. . . . plus a beautiful new statue for Vermont.

Statehouse with Statue

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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.