June 6th, 2013
MONKTON — Marjorie Susman and Marian Pollack, owners of Orb Weaver Farm, are legends in the Vermont cheese world. Soon after buying their first Jerseys in 1981, they quickly realized they needed to do something different to survive in the dairy business. Before long, they decided to make cheese and they haven’t looked back.
Fifteen generations of cows later, their farmhouse cheeses continually win national and international awards.
Susman and Pollack recently conserved 102 acres of their Monkton farm with the Vermont Land Trust.
ADDISON COUNTY — The Vergennes and Mount Abraham union high school softball teams won first-round Division II home playoff games on Tuesday and Otter Valley won on Wednesday, but Middlebury lost on the road in its D-I match-up on Tuesday.
The No. 7 Otter Valley Union High School softball team broke an early 2-2 tie on Wednesday on the way to a 12-2 win over visiting No. 10 Lake Region in a Division II first-round game.
BRIDPORT — As dairy farms attempt to maximize their assets, one dairy in Addison County has found a way to put some new “energy” into its business.
Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, the first dairy farm in Vermont to put power from cow manure on the electric grid, is now capturing energy from the wind as well. Green Mountain Power has installed a Vermont-built Northern Power 100 kilowatt wind turbine at the Route 22A spread run by the Audet family.
Everything in the West is bigger. That was the thought going through my head as our car sped east on Route 2 through North Dakota just after sunset late last August, watching the fluorescent lights of Williston, N.D., flicker away behind us.
They weren’t the only lights. As far as the eye could see, hundreds of fires blazed from holes blasted into the prairie. The scale of industry and vastness of the Great Plains were overwhelming. We drove east pushing 75 mph for almost two hours. For almost two hours, on either side of the road, the fields were burning.
Last Saturday night, during a period of heat-induced delirium, I briefly reconsidered my longstanding opposition to air conditioning.
My inner stoic Vermonter says A/C this far north is a sign of weakness and a waste of money. True, I am not stoic by nature or a Vermonter by birth, but I still believe artificial cooling is for sissies. Just Saturday afternoon, in fact, I had been bragging to a friend that our bedroom is always cool enough for sleeping, even during heat waves.
I swear I never heard the minor piano chords threatening in the background.
I was talking on the phone with a dear friend, and boy was she mad! She was so angry that her voice had a hard edge to it, her breathing was rapid, and my chest felt tight just listening to her speak. Her emotion was so immediate, so current, so fresh. The incident at the root of the rage? It happened 24 years ago.
Here’s the thing about anger. It is like a fire that makes us hot. When we tell the story of what someone did to us that made us so angry, we are feeding the fire, adding more and more dry kindling to encourage the blaze.
This week’s writer is Beth Diamond, a regional resource specialist at Vermont 2-1-1 and a member of the Addison County Prevention Partnership.
Each year the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCADD) sponsors National Alcohol Awareness Month to encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues. This year, NCADD highlighted the important public health issue of underage drinking, a problem with devastating individual, family and community consequences.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police are investigating two recent cases of burglars entering local homes to steal copper pipes.
Authorities were first called to a Route 7 South residence on May 27, where, police said, someone had entered the basement of the home to steal some copper tubing.
Then, on May 29, police began investigating the attempted theft of some copper tubing from the basement of an Exchange Street residence. Police said someone was able to loosen the tubing, but had not had a chance to remove it.