• 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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Pot Roast with Tomatoes, Cinnamon, and Allspice

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Pot Roast

Here’s a favorite grass-fed beef recipe for a busy after-school meal. I love using my crock pot for it! Adapted from Deborah Krasner’s Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010).

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. grass-fed chuck roast
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 onions, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • black pepper
  • 1 (28-oz.) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. white wine or vermouth
  • 1 tsp. molasses or maple syrup

Directions

Bring meat to room temperature and blot dry. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. You can cook the onions and spices in a braising pot and add the meat and tomatoes, assuring the liquid reaches three-quarters way up the meat. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat until meat is tender (4–5 hours) or cook in a 275 °F oven for a similar time. Remove meat with tongs and let rest for 15 minutes. Cook the sauce down to concentrate flavors. Taste for seasonings if necessary. If serving as a roast, slice across the grain over rice or pasta. If serving as a pasta sauce, shred the meat and return it to the gravy.

Serves 6 as a roast or 10 shredded for pasta sauce.

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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.