Monday, October 26, 2009

Upcoming Events

Remember, you can find local events at the following calendars:

Hardwick Community Calendar

Craftsbury Community Calendar

Greensboro Association Community Calendar

Virtual Vermont, NEK

Virtual Vermont, Central


Plus many others...

Save the Dates!

Farm to Plate Regional Food Summits

The Sustainable Agriculture Council and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund are coordinating with local groups to hold a series of regional meetings to gather input for the Farm to Plate Initiative's 10-year strategic plan to strengthen Vermont's food system.

Learn more about regional efforts related to farms, food production, and food security. Participants will reflect upon their region's strengths and weaknesses and have focused small group conversations about how to build a more robust local food system by 2020.

We hope you will attend a regional food summit
in your area & pass the information on to others!

Tuesday, November 10th from 6:00-8:30PM
American Legion Hall, 129 S Main St., White River Junction. Refreshments served.
Local organizing partner: Valley Food & Farm / Vital Communities.
For more info: Melissa Zoerheide,

Saturday, November 14th from 5:30-8:30PM
St. Peters Episcopal Church, 200 Pleasant St., Bennington.
Local organizing partners: Manchester/Dorset Transition Town and Walloomsac Transition Forum.
For more info: Susan Beal, or Bill Laberge,

Wednesday, November 18th from 11:30AM-4:00PM
(Location to be determined)
Potluck lunch served, meeting starts at 12PM.
Local organizing partners: Shelburne Farms, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, UVM Extension.
For more info: Rachel Schattman,

Tuesday, December 1st from 5:30-8:30PM
(Location to be determined)
Local organizing partner: NOFA Farm to Community, UVM Extension.
For more info: Lisa Holderness,

Thursday, December 3rd from 3:00-7:00PM
Lake Union High School, 317 Lake Region Rd., Orleans.
Refreshments served.
Local organizing partners: Northeastern Vermont Development Association and Center for an Agricultural Economy.
For more info: Elena Gustavson,

Tuesday, December 8th
Location and time TBD, Middlebury.
Local organizing partner: ACORN Local Food Collaborative and Addison County Economic Development Corporation.
For more info: Bay Hammond,

Thursday, December 10th from 5:30-8:30PM
Montpelier High School Cafeteria, 5 High School Dr., Montpelier.
Potluck dinner served, meeting starts at 6PM.
Local organizing partner: Central Vermont Food Systems Council.
For more info: Kristin Feierabend,

Farm to Plate staff will also be attending the 5th Annual Farmers' Gathering on Thursday, November 12th at 6PM at Green Mountain College, Withey Student Center, Poultney with RAFFL (Rutland Area Farm and Food Link) & Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District.
For more info: Tara Kelly,

Empowering Beginning Women Farmers through Whole Farm Planning
January 2010

Holistic Management International has been funded through the USDA's Beginning Farmer Grant to teach beginning women farmers the tools of whole farm planning. Groups are forming in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.

Classes will begin in January 2010. Participants must agree to attend the 6 sessions that will take place over the winter of 2010 and 4 farm tours that will take place during the spring and fall of 2010. Sessions will be scheduled when the participants are selected but will likely be held on Saturday. There will be farm mentors also available.

If you are a woman farmer who has been farming less than 10 years, contact the coordinator for your state for an application. If you would like to participate as a farmer mentor, please also contact your state coordinator.

Applications must be submitted by November 25, 2009. Class is limited to 15 participants.

Mary Peabody, UVM Extension Specialist
Community Resources & Economic Development &
Director, Women's Agricultural Network

617 Comstock Road, Suite 5
Berlin, VT 05602-9194

Phone: 802-223-2389 extension 13
or tollfree: 866-860-1382 extension 13
Fax: 802-223-6500


Check out the Women's Ag Network blog

Digging Deep: An Advanced Soils Course for Vegetable Growers
Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT
January 2010

Three All-day Sessions:
January 5th, Soil Testing Tools and Their Use
January 19th, Using Soil Fertility Practices to Solve Problems on Your Farm
February 9th, Putting a System Together on Your Farm
Sessions will focus on tools and practices available to help farmers solve soil and soil fertility problems on their farms. Farmers will develop a soil fertility management plan that addresses nutrient needs, compaction, rotations and tillage.
Brochures to be mailed in November.

Contact NOFA Vermont at 802-434-4122 or to be added to our mailing list.

Watch the website for more information:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pies for People and Soup for Supper, 2009

Last year, Pies for People was a great success. Donations of pie to the Hardwick Food Shelf, the Hardwick Community dinner, Greensboro Early Learning Center and other local organizations were well received and most welcome during a difficult time of year when donations are often in decline.

For 2009, the Center for an Agricultural Economy continues to work with local farmers, producers and educational institutions to expand this project. This year, we have expanded our list of recipient organizations and have added soup to the donations.

On October 13th, 11 students from Sterling College helped harvest thousands of butternut squash from fields at High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott. The squash has gone to Pete's Greens in Craftsbury where the seeds will be extracted and sent back to High Mowing Seeds, the pulp will be cooked and processed and we will turn it into pies and soup in mid November with the help of volunteers from University of Vermont and Sterling College. The ingredients for the pies and soup are donated by local farmers and producers.

If you are a local farmer or producer who would like to donate ingredients for this project or if you are an interested community member who would like to know more about this Pies for People and Soup for Supper, please contact our Outreach and Education Coordinator, Elena Gustavson at the CAE or call # 472-5840.

Practical Farmers Farminar Begins November 3rd

An interactive seminar broadcast that is streamed over the web. We came across this recently and thought it might be of use to some of our members and local farmers/would-be farmers.

Practical Farmers Home Page

Practical Farmers Farminar
-Whole Farm Planning, Legal Issues, Estate Planning, Enterprise Budgets and more. Click on the link to go to the information page

AmeriCorps Member Opening at the CAE

AmeriCorps Member - Community Outreach & Administration:

Want to help build a 21st century food system?

Wonderful service opportunity available at the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick. Position includes co-coordinating general volunteer program and co-organizing participation in community-related events. General administrative duties, including web site maintenance and data management, are a part of this half-time position. Ideal candidate is a positive problem-solver and independent with a passion for furthering the development of a local food system. Excellent communication skills are essential. Benefits include living allowance, education award, health insurance, federal school loan forbearance and trainings. Position ends in June 2010. Send resume to Box 451, Hardwick, VT 05843. EOE.

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

The Center for an Agricultural Economy

Got Late Blight?

Guidance for Gardeners Report Released by NOFA Vermont
Richmond –
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA Vermont) released a report today to help gardeners clean up plants infected with the late blight disease that struck many of Vermont’s gardens and farms this year. The report, entitled Got Late Blight? Guidance for Gardeners also includes suggestions for avoiding late blight next year.
Late Blight, the disease that led to the Irish potato famine in the 1840’s, decimated tomato and potato crops across the state this year. Farmers throughout Vermont took estimated financial losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from crop losses due to the blight.

“As gardeners we need to do all we can to help keep late blight from being a problem next year; Vermont’s farmers were hit hard by this disease,” said Wendy Sue Harper, Ph.D. who authored the report. “There are several preventative measures gardeners can take this fall and next spring to help reduce the likelihood of the disease recurring next year.”

Late blight does not overwinter in Vermont’s freezing temperatures but could overwinter on potato tubers insulated in the warmth of a compost pile or buried in soil. The report details measures gardeners can take to destroy infected tubers and compost diseased foliage. The report also includes several recommendations to prevent late blight in the future including checking seed potatoes for blight before planting, choosing resistant varieties, and rotating crops.

The full report, along with a list of resistant tomato and potato varieties, can be found online at