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Event to explore ways of financing ag, farm and forest entrepreneurs

Posted on November 3, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



MIDDLEBURY — Growing local agricultural business is all well and good, but how do farmers pay for it?

That’s the question that a number of area groups are seeking to answer with a “Financing the Working Landscape” conference in Middlebury next Thursday, Nov. 10.

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Local food producers, buyers meet, talk shop

Posted on October 27, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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MIDDLEBURY — On Monday afternoon, the booths in a back room in Proctor Dining Hall at Middlebury College were filled with couples pairing off, chatting, and switching tables.

It looked like speed dating, but the couples included Shaw’s Supermarket managers with local pesto makers, and small food producers with area school foodservice coordinators. The nearly 30 people gathered in the small room were participating in the Addison County Relocalization Network’s second Matchmaker event.

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College eyes 'food studies'

Posted on October 27, 2011 |
By Christian Woodard



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MIDDLEBURY — When the official panel discussion on food and sustainable agriculture wrapped up on Oct. 14 at Middlebury College, the talking in the room was still in full swing.

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Doubts over dairy bill linger

Posted on October 20, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



MIDDLEBURY — A dairy reform bill in the U.S. House of Representatives is causing some local concerns among the very people it seeks to help.

When farmers gathered in Middlebury on Monday for the annual meeting of the Addison County Farm Bureau, all eyes were on a bill that seeks to stabilize the dairy industry and milk prices.

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County growers edge toward close of wet season

Posted on October 6, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — As frost rolls in over the Champlain Valley, farmers and home gardeners in the county are beginning to take stock of what has been, for many, a disappointing growing season.

“It’s been very, very, very wet,” said Bill Scott, president of the Addison County Farm Bureau.

In fact, as of Sept. 30, preliminary precipitation totals from the National Weather Service this year add up to 44.2 inches in Burlington, making 2011 already the fifth wettest year on record.

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Vt. struggles to satisfy local meat demand

Posted on September 29, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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FERRISBURGH — It’s not a glamorous industry, but these days, the services of Vermont Livestock Slaughter and Processing in Ferrisburgh are in high demand.

“Right now, we’re booking into fall of 2012,” said Carl Cushing, owner and a retired state meat inspector. “We turn away about as much as we do.”

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Dairy forum deals with infectious disease

Posted on September 22, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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VERGENNES — Nobody likes to think about the worst-case scenario, but at a forum at the Vergennes American Legion last week Julie Smith urged the 10 or so farmers in attendance to do just that.

Smith, a dairy specialist at the University of Vermont Extension,  is partway through a three-year USDA-funded project aiming to educate and combat potential hazards to Vermont’s food production systems, specifically dairy.

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Corn maze goes on, but without the corn

Posted on September 22, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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WEYBRIDGE — Deep in the field at Weybridge Gardens, the green stalks and budding tassels overhead look almost like corn. But the green abundance that forms the winding paths of the Thompson Hill Road maze isn’t corn this year — it’s Sudan grass.

Though sisters Kris Bowdish and Audra Ouellette are still calling this year’s installation a corn maze, by the time the fields dried out from this spring’s flooding it was already July.

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Bad weather of all sorts drives apple count down

Posted on September 15, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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ADDISON COUNTY — As fall rolls in, it’s looking like a mixed bag for area apple orchards. In a growing season that included a wet spring, extensive flooding, hailstorms and a tropical storm, orchards took a hit.

But those in the industry said it could have been worse.

“Despite some of the losses we’re looking at, it’s a relatively good crop,” said Steve Justis, executive director of the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association.

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State declares produce from storm-drenched fields unsafe

Posted on September 8, 2011 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — As Tropical Storm Irene dropped a deluge of water across Vermont on Aug. 28, the late-season crops on Gildrien Farm’s River Road property in New Haven surrendered to chest-high water from the New Haven River.

Days later, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture issued the death knell for those crops left standing: Due to food safety concerns, no crops touched by floodwaters from the storm may be sold for human consumption.

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