• 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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In the News: NOFA-VT

Written By

Local Banquet

Written on

January 21 , 2019

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) is one of the, if not The, powerhouse nonprofit organizations in Vermont's sustainable food movement. It is also a model for similar organizations across the country. This leadership is due in large part to an individual leader, Enid Wonacott, who passed away this weekend. 

 

Enid built NOFA-VT over decades of work as the Executive Director. She served as the introduction to Vermont agriculture for many of the people engaged with this field today, whether as farmers, service providers, nonprofit leaders, educators, or thoughtful consumers. Melissa Pasanen wrote this piece about Enid's career for Seven Days when she first announced her retirement plans in October "Long Time Organic Ag Leader Enid Wonnacott Steps Down".

 

In 2008, Enid wrote a commentary for Local Banquet reflecting on changes over the previous two decades, as NOFA-VT celebrated its 25th anniversary: "Consumers as Coproducers". This commentary shows Enid's vision for engaging everyone in building a strong local food system, and her work exemplified that welcoming perspective.

 

The Board of NOFA-VT, in announcing this news, notes that there will be a celebration of Enid's life in the spring or summer, and details will be posted on their website

 

There are other, much happier, reasons why NOFA-VT is in the news right now - their upcoming Winter Conference is happening Feb 16-18 in Burlington. This conference is a highlight of the sustainable agriculture calendar. It has tracks for everyone from professional growers to homesteaders. Local Banquet is hosting a panel discussion on the Sunday of the conference, with farmers who are also writers (you'll be hearing more about that). 

 

Saturday's keynote speaker is Leah Penniman, co-founder of Soul Fire Farm and author of Farming While BlackHer farm works to end racism in the food system and reclaim an ancestral connection to the land. You can read about her work:

 

Sunday's keynote will be by Melody Walker Brook, an educator, activist, and member of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association. She will be discussing Vermont's agricultural heritage beginning with Abenaki traditions and highlighting the richness of Abenaki traditions as a way to understand concepts of personhood, connection to place, sustainability, and innovation. 

 

Anyone interested in attending can register online.

 

It is a testament to Enid's life's work that so many projects, ideas, and educational opportunities are flourishing for everyone who cares about a diverse and sustainable food system. It may be the depths of winter, but there's still plenty of activity to be part of every day of the year - life's a garden, dig it. 

 

enid lifesagardenImage from NOFA-VT tribute to Enid at www.nofavt.org

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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.