• 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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Roasted Pork Shoulder

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roast pork shoulder

I love cooking pork, but I’m not going to give you much of a recipe here. As a finished product, what you’ll get from this is a pile of pork that is salty and delicious. You can turn it into pulled pork, Bo Ssäm, some Italian gravy, or hundreds of other dishes. That part will be up to you.

In New England, these are often cut and called a Boston butt. Ours are bone-in with a nice fat cap on them, but this recipe can be made with a boneless piece or a picnic ham (fresh, not smoked). As long as you have a big piece of meat from the shoulder, it’ll be fine.


  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • a big piece of pork shoulder, approximately 6 pounds


Heat oven to 300 °F. If you have a fat cap, leave it on and cut a cross-hatch pattern into it. Mix salt and sugar and press all over the meat (and fat cap), but don’t bother on the bottom of the roast. Put roast in pan and set in oven. Feel free to baste with the melted fat occasionally, but there’s no real need.

It’s ready after 5 or 6 hours, when you can grab a chunk with tongs and it pulls right off. Let it cool a bit, then shred the meat into any size you like. Small shreds are good for carnitas or Bo Ssäm, but larger chunks might be better for another dish. It’s quite good by itself with a splash or two of vinegar on it.

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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.