• 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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Last Morsel—In the Garden

Garlic scapes

Written By

Theo Talcott

Written on

September 01 , 2008

Growing food in a garden gives us a close-up look at Life—like being at the New England Aquarium in Boston and pressing up against the glass to watch a giant turtle swim by.

In the garden, though, we do more than just stand at the glass. Rather, we work with the web of life, cooperate with nature, collaborate with Mother Earth. Want to know how roots work? Grow food. Want to learn how to keep somebody healthy? Grow food. Want to care if it rains? Grow food.

So many people live their lives in a media-ted world—in newspapers, political ideas, e-mail. Kids get cracked out in the sociopathic, heartless dreamtime of Grand Theft Auto 4. We can all be healed by hanging out in the sun, composting, waiting for peas to grow.

Enough domination and subjugation. More collaboration, cooperation, as in “Mother Earth, I’ll plant the peas, you bring the rain, and we’ll meet in the crunching sound in six weeks.”

I grow organic food as a job, but I would also probably pay to do it. The garden is a source of compostable material for spiritual contemplation. I like to think of God as Gardener, trying to bring humanity to fruit the way we desire success when we grow our Sun Gold cherry tomatoes. I sense that the Divine Source, that Intelligent Grower of Life who got us here, cares as much about humanity and the Earth as I do about my garden. (Probably more, as I’ve really let things slide in there lately.)

In the garden we get to be co-creative within a larger living system. In the garden we are part of something bigger, and the borders of this experience disappear into the mysterious.

About the Author

Theo Talcott

Theo Talcott

Theo Talcott writes from Manchester, Vermont.

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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.