Vern Grubinger

Vern Grubinger

Vern Grubinger is the vegetable and berry specialist for University of Vermont Extension and the coordinator of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program of the USDA.

A Fly in the Ointment

Fruit Growers Face a New Pest

Vern Grubinger | July 03, 2013 | Garden Pathways


There’s a small insect causing big damage to soft fruits that ripen late in the season. It’s new to our area, and spreading fast. Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has been buzzing across the country for the past few years. First, it was found in California in 2008; then in 2009 it moved to Florida, Oregon, and Washington. From Florida, it moved up the East Coast to arrive in New England in 2011, and last year it was found across much of Vermont.

Farming in a Changing Climate

Vern Grubinger | June 01, 2011 | 2011


Seems like the weather’s been extreme in recent years: heat waves, ice storms, and floods. How is this related to climate change? The answer is, indirectly. Weather events are not a good tool for assessing the climate, since climate is made up of weather patterns over many decades. There are ups and downs within seasons, but the trends over time are what counts. They include both temperature and precipitation patterns, and these affect environmental conditions, which in turn affect plants, animals, and ecosystems.

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.