• 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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Publishers' Note Fall 2017

Boys raking up leaves on front lawn, Bradford, Vermont, 1939; photo by Russell Lee, 1903–1986, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC.
Boys raking up leaves on front lawn, Bradford, Vermont, 1939

Written on

August 16 , 2017

As the days shorten and the temperatures begin their march south, here in Vermont we are so fortunate to experience Mother Nature’s annual display. It’s always been our favorite time of year; full of abundance from the summer and with a hint of the bittersweet knowledge that winter is next up on the docket. The brilliant days and crisp nights bring the moment into sharp focus and remind us that change is welcome and ever present.

In this issue we give a nod to this intersection of the seasons and the concept of change.
Our editor, Bonnie North, dives into the nuts and bolts of food preservation using two canning methods. She explores the topic from a basic understanding of the process, equipment needed, and procedures to be followed to ensure a safe experience and a safe end product. It’s a timely article full of essential information that will have you savoring summer’s goodness well into the winter months.

Also in the spirit of bridging the seasons, Jesse Natha writes to let us know that cucumbers are far from the only garden offering that should be pickled. We find out that there are a myriad of candidates destined for the pickle jar, which we will be popping open in February.
Sometimes change moves us to rediscover and embrace an old tradition or practice. This is the case with the folks at Elmore Mountain Bread. Looking for a challenge, the bakery ventured into creating their own flourmill using time-honored ideas and designs that they then married with current technologies. As you will discover, the resulting mill is an elegant work of art that produces top-quality flour.

In southern Vermont—working out of a centuries-old stone building—one fiber artist combines wools, the color of a muted landscape, to create sensuous knit hats. This attention to place and materials is reflected in the name of the enterprise: Sky Like Snow. Reminding us of the beautiful, ephemeral, and ever-changing temperament of our natural surroundings.

We also explore change and adaptation in the continuing challenges facing farmers on an ongoing basis. Working to connect young farmers through out the state, the Vermont Young Farmers Coalition helps facilitate networking and addresses many of these challenges by building community.

While summer winds down and autumn begins to construct its wondrous riot of color, let’s remember to pause, breathing in and embracing the changes that are sure to come.

Meg Lucas
Barbi Schreiber

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What we do

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.