• 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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Mutton Gyros

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Mutton Gyros

Supporting mutton will expand your culinary reaches while saving you money. It will also add a revenue stream to the balance sheets of local sheep farmers, making their enterprises more competitive and sustainable. Mutton may be a vanishingly small piece of the culinary landscape of Vermont now, but a few people expressing interest in mutton by talking to a sheep farmer at the farmers’ market or calling a few nearby sheep farms could start the ball rolling.



  • 1 lb. ground mutton
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • pitas
  • lettuce
  • tzadziki (yogurt/cucumber mixture)
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • ¼ tsp. thyme
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dried mint
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup whole milk or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (more if yogurt is more creamy than sour)
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled if desired and finely chopped.


Gently simmer mutton to render fat and drain most of the fat. Add onion and gently simmer until onion is translucent. Add spice mix and simmer for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally for even cooking.

For the taddziki combine yogurt, lemon juice,cumin, oregano, salt, and cucumber and let sit 10 minutes to blend.

Serve in a warmed pita with tzadziki and lettuce. Add hummus, tahini, and/or tomatoes if desired. This quick meal is a great summertime treat!

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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.