Thursday, February 23, 2012

Food and Farms: Stories, Essays, Poems and more

Living in Vermont, you can't help but come across a good story now and again. Or for that matter, a poem, an essay, a random blog post...

The rural and agrarian culture of our State has given up a beautifully rich harvest (pun intended) of written words that celebrates the joy, tragedy, sweat and satisfaction of agriculture. In our little area, in our little corner of this little State, we have so many good people who write and we'd like to celebrate their talents and stories.

Every Thursday, in this forum, we will post a story, blog post, poem, song or essay by a local writer, blogger, poet, songwriter, farmer, eater...Written words that make us laugh or cry, give us pause and inspire us.

They don't have to be well written, wordy tomes on farming, food and agriculture, they just have to be genuine.

If you live in Hardwick, Greensboro, Cabot, Woodbury, Walden, Craftsbury, Wolcott or Elmore (and if you don't live in these towns, we'll consider it anyway!) , send it to us, via email along with your contact information. Our staff will choose their favorites and we'll post them each week through the spring.

And here's a little something to get you tickled and ready.

It Takes a Village
Ben Hewitt

On Saturday, we kill the pigs. It goes well; one shot each followed by a quick probe of the knife to loose the blood and as always, the shock of the sheer quantity of it, spreading across the frozen ground like unfurling sheets. Ryan and Jocelyn show up, and we spend the next two hours skinning and gutting and sawing and hoisting the halves to hang overnight so they’ll stiffen for cutting the next day. We have lunch. We skin and gut and saw and hoist some more. We are tired and the job is done.

On Sunday, Michael and Kelly arrive at 9:00 and Michael and I carry the halves in one-by-one, dropping them across the big maple butcher block our friend Brian made for us back when we were building the house, ten years ago or more. They are nice pigs; the largest halves are pushing 150-pounds, and carry a good 3-inches of backfat, which we’ll render on the wood stove and use to fry doughnuts (or “dog nuts” as the boys have inevitably taken to calling them), chicken, eggs, and more. The six of us cut for three hours, reducing the halves to manageable bits – chops and roasts, sausage trim and slabs of bacon. We have lunch. We cut for two hours more. We are tired and the job is done.

Read the rest of Ben's blog, It Takes a Village, on his website.

photo courtesy of

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