• 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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Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

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  • Ready in: 20 minutes prep; bake 20-25 minutes
  • Serves: 8
  • Complexity: medium
Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

It is said that Pineapple Upside-Down Cake was devised to promote the use of canned pineapple! Why not use a local fruit and sweetener instead? This vegan version of the old classic relies on a baking soda and vinegar rise, so don’t combine wet and dry until you are ready to pour it into the pan and bake. The maple/apple combination creates a gooey decadence. Original recipe by Raechel Barone, On The Rise Bakery in Richmond, VT.


  • 3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced in rings
  • 1 tbs. cinnamon
  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1 ½ tbs. baking soda
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 ½ cups maple syrup
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbs. vanilla
  • 2 tbs. white or cider vinegar


Toss prepared apples in a bowl with syrup and cinnamon. Set aside. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk all wet together in a pitcher. Arrange apple slices in the bottom of an oiled 9”x 13” pan. Add wet to dry and mix well. Pour over apples and bake at 350 degrees for 20–25 minutes. (A toothpick stuck in the cake should come out clean, and the cake may start to form tiny cracks.)

After removing the cake from the oven, wait five minutes before freeing all the edges from the side of the pan with a knife. Place a serving plate on top of the cake and quickly invert the baking pan so the bottom is now up. Carefully release the pan and replace any apple rings that did not release.

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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.