• 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—Jr. Iron Chef

Jr. Iron Chef Competition

Written on

June 01 , 2008

If you had walked into the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction on April 12, you would have seen dozens of teenagers from around Vermont having fun with... sprouts. And root vegetables. And wheat berries. And winter squash.

It was the first ever Jr. Iron Chef Competition, in which middle and high school students battled over their blenders and competed over their cutting boards to create the best dish using local, seasonal ingredients.

More than 30 teams of 3 to 5 kids participated. Each team had to use at least five local ingredients in their creation, and make something that could easily be prepared in a school cafeteria. The goals were to give students hands-on experience preparing local food and to support the Burlington School Food Project and VT FEED (Food Education Every Day).

Just like on the Food Network’s popular show Iron Chef, students cooked their dishes on the spot. Then all dishes were judged by a panel. One of the winners? Local Vegetable Tater Tots with Herb Dip.

Don’t you wish those were on your school menu when you were a kid?

—Caroline Abels

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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.