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Summer '13 | Issue twenty-five

In the Tank

Brown trout thrive on a Wheelock farm

Cheryl Herrick | July 03, 2013 | Issues Archive

Curtis Sjolander

On a sunny spring day earlier this year, steam was pouring out of sugarhouses, calves and lambs and kids were being born, and greenhouses were teeming with plant starts. And on Curtis Sjolander’s Mountain Foot Farm in Wheelock, in the barn just behind his house, hundreds of brown trout were swimming in their large tanks, slowly growing in cold waters.

How to Love a Lease—Young farmers

Two farms, two relationships: advice from farmers in the fields

Andrew Stowe | July 03, 2013 | On the Farm

Nicole Duch and Ben Uris of Seedfolks Farm

At the end of a mostly impassable class 4 road in Calais lies the brick farmhouse of Fair Food Farm. In some ways it seems remote, but as Emily Curtis-Murphy sees it, “It’s a great place to farm.” Before she delves into her experience of farming on leased land, Emily takes me on a brief tour. She and her family rent their house from one landlord and, two miles away, rent land owned by a different landlord for the rest of Fair Food’s operation.

How to Love a Lease—Vermont landowners

Organizations help strengthen the landowner-farmer relationship

Rachel Carter | July 03, 2013 | On the Farm

Landowner Mary Ashcroft and  farmer Carol Tashie in Rutland.

Sustainability, simply stated, is the capacity to endure. But the high cost of land in Vermont, combined with the financial challenges of owning land, are threatening the sustainability of local agriculture. According to Vermont’s Farm to Plate report, “Affordable access to farmland was described [by stakeholders] as a serious barrier for new farmers or those seeking to grow and expand.”

A Fly in the Ointment

Fruit Growers Face a New Pest

Vern Grubinger | July 03, 2013 | Garden Pathways

Spotted wing drosophila

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.

Set the Table with Garlic Scapes

Claire Fitts Georges | July 03, 2013 | Set the Table

Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are one of those totally edible and delicious things that most people don’t even know exist. Every spring, hardneck varieties of garlic (having overwintered but not ready to harvest until July) send up a curlycue stem with a bulbil up top. The bulbil is sort of a mini bulb that can grow new garlic in a couple years or just be eaten like garlic right now.

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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.