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Spring '09 | Issue eight

Farming & Feasting with the Robinsons: Spring

Jesse Natha | March 01, 2009 | Community & History

Robinson Family Tree

In honor of the sugaring season, we're returning to some of our favorite articles on this topic from years past. Here is the Spring installment in a series that ran on the Robinson Family, who farmed for four generations on the Ferrisburgh property that is now the Rokeby Museum. The museum’s collection includes correspondence and household records detailing the family’s ways of farming, preserving, and eating.

The Return of the Root Cellar

Chris Chaisson | June 26, 2013 | Community & History

Storage barrels

The globalized food chain that Americans have increasingly relied on for over 50 years has begun to show its weaknesses—and inevitable failure. There are many weak links in the chain, but the weakest are storage and distribution. These aspects of modern food production contribute significantly to energy consumption: fossil fuel is required to ship food from far away, to keep food fresh during long–distance transport, and to store food over a long period of time. How can we opt out of this destructive system?

Last Morsel—Robert King

Ron Krupp | March 01, 2009 | Commentary

pitchforks

Robert King is renowned in southeast Vermont for his vast knowledge of gardening and the many workshops he leads to teach people how to grow their own food. His longtime friend Ron Krupp recently interviewed him about his life. This is a portion of that interview.

Farmers' Kitchen—Spilling the Beans

by Jennifer and Spencer Blackwell — Elmer Farm

| March 01, 2009 | Farmers' Kitchen

Jennifer and Spencer Blackwellshovel

A rustic wooden bin filled with black beans sits on our table at the Middlebury Farmers’ Market. Some delighted customers march right up and serve themselves heaping bags full. Others slowly approach our stand to see what’s in the bin. These folks are either disappointed that we’re not selling what appeared to be roasted coffee beans or, more often, they just stand and contemplate the implications of a purchase. Cooking beans is a new and time–consuming activity for most. But people are often excited to learn that dry beans are being grown in Vermont, and many are surprised to know that it’s even possible in our climate.

The Winooski Bean Thresher Co–op

Janice Walrafen | March 01, 2009 | On the Farm

Bicycle powered bean thresher

I moved to Vermont in 1989 with a desire to garden and build a self–sufficient life—values I inherited from my mother. As I began growing food for myself and friends, I naturally started out with the basics, also known as “the three sisters” native to the Americas: corn, beans, and squash. I grew winter squashes, Maine black turtle beans, and sweet corn—or at least tried to. The crows plucked up nearly every corn seed that sprouted from the earth, and the cucumber beetles attacked my squash plants.

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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. 

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