• 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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Cornbread Casserole

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Cornbread Casserole

Sausage is a tasty step up from hamburger. It is plenty versatile and usually reasonably priced. Recently I was standing in a local food co-op eyeing some particularly tasty-looking local cornmeal and trying to figure out how to work it into me and my man’s dinner plans; we also needed a dish that would make some leftover lunches. Original recipe by Claire Fitts.


  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup cabbage or bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced into coins
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, butter, or bacon fat
  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausage
  • 1 16 oz. can cooked black beans
  • 12 oz. frozen or fresh corn
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbs. maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, parmesan, or feta
  • 1/4 cup chopped chipotles (optional)


1) Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish.

2) In a large pan, sauté together the garlic, onion, cabbage, carrot, salt and olive oil until the vegetables have started to soften. Remove and discard the sausage casing and crumble sausage into the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the sausage is cooked through. Mix in the beans and corn and add mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

3) In a medium bowl, mix together the cornmeal, spelt flour, salt, and baking soda. Make a well in the center and add the butter, eggs, maple syrup, buttermilk, cheddar, and chipotles. Mix thoroughly and pour cornbread batter over the sausage mixture. Bake casserole at 350 °F for 30 minutes or until the cornbread is cooked through and turning golden.

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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.