Wednesday, July 29, 2009

UVM Crop and Soil Field Days

"Grains from the Ground Up!"

Borderview Farm, Alburgh, Vermont
Hosts: The Rainville Family
Date: Thursday, August 6, 2009
Time: 10:30 am to 3:00 pm

The program is Free of charge for farmers. All others $15 per person. (CCA credits available)

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by July 30 to

If you need additional information please contact Heather Darby at 802 524 6501.

VSJF Farm to Plate Initiative

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund officially launched its year long initiative to develop a strategic plan for agriculture in Vermont.

To learn more about this initiative and sign up for regular updates, visit the VSJF site

Building a Sustainable Agriculture Business

Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) and the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, VT announce a 4-session, 12 hour long course for new and experienced farmers and other agricultural entrepreneurs and those looking to enter this field. Topics to be covered include:

* Identifying Values - What's Important to You?

* Farm History and Current Situation - What Have You Got?

* Vision, Mission and Goals - Where Do You Want to Go?

    * Strategic Planning and Evaluation - What Routes Can You Take to Get Where You Want to Go?

    * Present, Implement and Monitor Your Business Plan - Which Route Will You Take and How Will You Check Your Progress Along the Way?

Those who take and complete this intense course will gain the practical knowledge necessary to research and produce a comprehensive business plan for their agriculture related businesses. The course is organized and presented in a straight-forward, no-nonsense approach meant to impart immediate knowledge and skills that can be put to immediate use. For those who have known that they must have a business plan to help ensure the success of their businesses but didn't know where to start and for those who may need to update existing plans, this is the place to start.

The course will be taught by Steve Paddock, VtSBDC Assistant State Director of Agribusiness and John Mandeville, the Director of the Incubator Without Walls program at Lyndon State College. IWoW is a joint initiative between the college and VtSBDC. Steve has had many years of experience in agriculture having operated a commercial and purebred beef cattle ranch, a start-up poultry business and managed a small farm for a Quaker boarding school. He has worked very closely with NOFA and in the field of sustainable agriculture for several years. John has worked as a Business Advisor for VtSBDC and has more than 30 years of management experience in several different industries.

The course will be offered on 4 consecutive Wednesday mornings starting on September 23rd and ending on October 14th. Each session will begin at 9:00 AM and end at noon. All sessions will be held at the office of the Center for an Agricultural Economy at 41 S. Main St., Hardwick, VT.

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The cost for the course including all materials is $450. For those whose family income qualifies them as low to moderate income, there is scholarship money available to bring the cost down to $25. REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE ON SEPTEMBER 11TH. SPACE IS LIMITED AND IMMEDIATE REGISTRATION IS RECOMMENDED.

For more information please contact John Mandeville at or 626-4867 or Steve Paddock at or 388-7953.

To register go to and go to the Training page. Alternatively, please e-mail Heather Gonyaw at

The Center for an Agricultural Economy, operating in Hardwick and surrounding communities, is a Vermont local food hub whose purpose is to ensure that consumers have access to healthy, secure and affordable locally-grown food, and farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs have reliable and efficient access to local and regional markets.

Vermont Small Business Development Center is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through its funding does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of any of the co-sponsors' or participants' opinions, products or services.

Vermont Cheese & Wine Event at the Highland Lodge

On Sunday, August 2nd from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, the Highland Lodge and Greensboro Historical Society invite you to sample nationally acclaimed Vermont cheeses and wines.

Boyden Valley Winery of Cambridge, Vermont, will bring their wines to sample and several local farmstead cheese-makers will be showcasing their products and answering your questions. This is a wonderful opportunity to taste some of the wide variety of cheeses you see at the local farmer's markets and beyond. Non-alcoholic Vermont beverages will also be available.

The Highland Lodge will provide homemade French bread and a variety of hors d'oeuvres. All this and more for a $20.00 suggested donation which includes a glass of wine. Please make reservations at Highland Lodge, 533-2647.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Article-Local Banquet Winter 2008/2009

I know this article is a several months old now, but I found myself reading it this morning and appreciating it all over again.

Enid Wonnacott is the executive director of NOFA Vermont, where she has been for 20 years. She has watched change in the Vermont food system over the past two decades from a unique perspective that many of us have not had. Enjoy the read!

Read it here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Across the Fence

Although the streaming video is not available quite yet, we are featured on UVM's program "Across the Fence" that began yesterday, continues today and finishes tomorrow. Catch the program on Channel 3, WCAX at 12:10pm.

Article-USA Today

Great article in USA Today about contemporary small farmers in the United States. Small acreage, partnerships, frugal living, technological advances and career choices.

A quote from the article-"For these new farmers, going back to the land isn't a rejection of conventional society, but an embrace of growing crops and raising animals for market as an honorable, important career choice — one that's been waning since 1935, when the U.S. farms peaked at 6.8 million."

Read it in it's entirety here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Discussion w/ Ron Krupp at The Galaxy, co-sponsored by The Buffalo Mt. Co-op

Ron Krupp will be at The Galaxy Bookshop to discuss his book
"Lifting The Yoke: Local Solutions to America's Farm and Food Crisis"

Join him on Tuesday, July 21st at 7pm

Call or email The Galaxy for more information


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Food Inc. is at the Savoy in July!

Beginning July 17th, the Savoy in Montpelier will be showing Food Inc. at 6:30 and 8:30 nightly. Will also show at 1:30p on the weekends.

Check out The Savoy Theatre website for more information about the theater or Food Inc.'s official website for movie information.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Evening with Marian Burros

Join Marian Burros, noted author and New York Times food columnist for a talk on

"The New White House Kitchen Garden and Michelle Obama"

When: Wed., July 22nd at 6pm
Where: The Lakeview Inn
Cost: $60

The evening will begin with a "tasting dinner".

Tickets are pre-sale only.
Please contact or

For more information, please visit

Monday, July 6, 2009

On Farm Composting 101-High Fields Institute


Date: July 8, 2009
Time: 9:00-3:30

$20 Farmers -- $15 each for additional people from one farm
$50 Non-farmers

Location: Highfields Institute’s Compost Demonstration and Research Site
Hardwick, VT (Directions available on our website)

This workshop involves classroom, hands-on and demonstration components covering recipe development, feedstock mixing, pile formation, monitoring, management, and site development.

Please register for this workshop by calling or emailing below:

802-472-5138 x 203

Article-Local Clusters of Self Reliance

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) brings together small business leaders, economic development professionals, government officials, social innovators, and community leaders to build local living economies. BALLE's Michael Shuman makes the case for local prosperity highlighting Hardwick, VT as the local food model.

BALLE Article-Local Clusters of Self Reliance: The Key to Rural Prosperity

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Article-Building a Healthy Food System in Rural America

Below, a great article by David Goodman for Eating Well Magazine, July/August 2009.

The future of food, I’ve been told, may be found in a hardscrabble town of 3,200 in northern Vermont. But as I walk down the main street of Hardwick, a former granite-quarrying town, there is nothing that would indicate this is the new food utopia heralded by The New York Times. I pass the Chinese take-out joint, catch the charred whiff of a burned-out building and finally stop catty-corner from the laundromat and police station. Then I spot it: a cheery pumpkin-colored building with floor-to-ceiling windows and etched on the glass: “Claire’s: Local ingredients. Open to the world.” I step through the restaurant door, and I am immediately transported.

...Read the rest here: