• 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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Elderberry Mead

1.4/5 rating (5 votes)

This recipe is by Sam Comfort (former Honey Gardens’ employee).


  • 25 lbs. elderberries
  • 5 lbs. Apitherapy Raw Honey from Honey Gardens
  • 1 cup concentrated lemon juice
  • 1 packet of brewer’s or baker’s yeast
  • optional: ground cloves, ginger, other spices to taste.


Bring all of the elderberries to a boil, then strain in a colander and squeeze to get the most juice possible into a five gallon bucket. (You can find elderberries in the wild in early September, or you may be able to purchase them from Honey Gardens. You can use another berry in place of elderberries if desired.) Add honey and lemon juice. Let juice reach room temperature. Dissolve yeast into a cup of warm water and add to juice. Stir with a wooden spoon or your hand. Do not let the fermenting juice touch metal. Leave the mixture in the bucket to condition. Cover and taste in 6 weeks—time depends on temperature. Can be put into glass jars at this time without tightening lids.

Makes about 2.5 gallons.

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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.