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From the Editor / Publisher

Publishers' Note Spring 2010

| March 01, 2010

Draft horses

In May 2009, the Vermont Legislature took a bold step toward strengthening sustainable agriculture in the state. Our lawmakers passed a bill called The Farm to Plate Investment Program, which seeks to increase economic development in Vermont’s food and farm sector by creating food- and farm-related jobs, improving access to healthy local foods for Vermonters, and expanding local and regional markets for Vermont products. Since the bill’s passage, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund has taken the lead in working with a variety of ag-related groups to develop the 10-year strategic plan mandated by the bill.

Editor's Note Winter 2010

Written by Caroline Abels | December 01, 2009

Snowscape

Vermont is facing many challenges when it comes to local meat production: Grazing land is expensive, there aren’t enough facilities in which to process animals, and many residents refrain from buying local meat because they don’t know how to cook the unusual cuts sold by small farms. What exactly do you do with a pork loin or lamb shoulder?

Publishers' Note Fall 2008

| September 01, 2008

Goards

It’s hard not to notice the growth of Vermont farmers’ markets. Seems you turn around and there’s another one starting up. Or how about winter farmers’ markets? They number 14 to date, up from just a handful a year ago. And then there are CSAs of every sort, in which people pay in advance for shares of vegetables, fruit, and meat. Some shares even include canned and baked goods.

Editor's Note Spring 2008

Written by Caroline Abels | March 01, 2008

bird house

The word ‘chores’ is spoken often in New England’s farming community, but people who work outside the agricultural sector don’t use it much. Last time many of us heard the word was when our mother told us to go do our chores–or no allowance! Nowadays, we ‘run errands’ and ‘go to work,’ reflecting our estrangement from manual labor. We certainly have as much to do as farmers, especially if we’re parents or are working two jobs to make ends meet; all of us are busy in our own way. It’s just that farmers rarely get a day off.

Editor’s Note Winter 2008

| December 01, 2007

Horses in the snow

Although this magazine is young, we who put it together each season are beginning to notice a thread running through it: that of the old. In many of the stories that have appeared in our first three issues, there are references to our Vermont farmer ancestors and to the various agricultural pursuits and culinary experiments they engaged in. To be honest, this wasn’t planned.

Publishers' Note Spring 2009

| March 01, 2009

shovel

Let’s look at what we Vermonters might eat on a typical day in, say, March. Hot steaming oatmeal with dried apples and maple syrup starts the day. For lunch, we make a soup with root vegetables and barley—and of course we’ll add a slice of multigrain bread. Finally, dinner consists of baked beans, sausage, and sauerkraut. And during the cooking process for all these meals, we would inevitably use salt and oil.

Editor's Note Fall 2013

Written by Caroline Abels | August 19, 2013

Apple press, Weathersfield; photo by Meg Lucas.

It’s a fulsome time to be an eater of local meat in Vermont—or simply a booster of its production. Compared with three years ago, when our last special issue on meat came out, you can now access more products from more farmers growing a wider variety of animals in more varying ways.

Publishers' Note Winter 2014

| November 24, 2013

Ice harvesting circa 1903; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Coming in from a cold, bleak winter day into the warmth and bustle of a winter farmers’ market brings a certain elation and reminds us of the spirit of community and the life force still in all things at this darkest time of year. 

Editor's Note Spring 2014

| February 19, 2014

Sugaring 1974 Barre, VT

Every now and then, I wonder what life would be like without any small farms. If Vermont’s diversified farmers were to pack up and sell out. If there were no longer a neighborhood farmers’ market to wander through on a Saturday morning. If those of us who regularly buy local food had to go back to fondling Chilean apples and freakishly large carrots at the grocery store.

Publishers' Note Summer 2014

| May 23, 2014

Rice plants

We’re turning 7 this summer! It’s amazing to think that Local Banquet has had the privilege of chronicling the local and sustainable food movement here in the state as it has grown up. Of course we owe a tremendous amount to the folks who, in the 1970s, came to Vermont to start the work and give us a solid foundation: knowledge passed from one generation to the next.

Editor's Note Fall 2014

Written by Caroline Abels | August 21, 2014

Mrs. Alice White at the Victory Store vegetable counter in Hardwick, 1942

Recently I was at a potluck put on by Slow Food Vermont, chatting with a local homesteader about food and ag, and I ended up telling her:
“I’m not a foodie—I’m a farmie.”

Publishers' Note Winter 2015

| November 16, 2014

Mr. G.W. Clarke coming to town to sell butter on a Saturday in the winter of 1939, Woodstock, Vermont.

They’ve already started to arrive in the mailbox: seed catalogs, with their glorious photos and wonderful illustrations, calling to us, announcing the promise of a future garden—and of spring. We’re in!

Editor's Note Spring 2015

| February 11, 2015

Tapping maple trees

When Paul McCartney popped up on my computer screen recently, I wanted to believe him. Who wouldn’t be prepared to trust a man who wrote and sang “Blackbird” and “Good Day Sunshine” and “Penny Lane”?

Editor's Note Fall 2015

Written by Caroline Abels | August 19, 2015

Dairy farmer picking up potatoes on his farm near Fairfield, Vermont, September 1941.

I’m writing this in early August, on the heels of Vermont Open Farm Week—seven days during which 75 farms, orchards, vineyards, distilleries, and nurseries opened their doors to the public for a concentrated week of public outreach.

Publishers' Note—Winter 2016

| November 24, 2015

Work That Educates, 1914; photo by Lewis Wickes Hine, 1874–1940, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC.

We think a lot about food here at Local Banquet. How it’s grown and who’s growing it and the practices that enhance and sustain our planet.

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What we do

A quarterly magazine devoted to covering local food, sustainable farming, and the many people building the Vermont food system.

Vermont's Local Banquet Magazine illuminates the connections between local food and Vermont communities. 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 is changing as the localvore movement shapes what is grown and raised here.

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