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Dubois farm running on cow power

Posted on November 18, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



 
ADDISON — The Dubois Farm in Addison this week flipped a switch and brought its methane digester on line.
The $2.6 million digester is expected to generate enough power to run 400 homes, and it will take its place as the 10th working digester in Vermont — including the one at Foster Brothers Farm in Middlebury, which has been in operation since the 1980s.

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County farms yield abundant harvest

Posted on November 15, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — Crop yields were looking good this year for Addison County farmers — by some accounts, better than they have been in many years.

Craig Miner, county Farm Service Agency executive, said that from what he saw, nearly the entire growing season spelled good luck for local farmers.

“It was an excellent season — probably one of the best in recent years,” he said.

Ben Gleason, of Gleason’s Grains in Bridport, agreed. He said the combination of just enough rain and more warmth than last summer meant that his crops did well.

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Gardens blooming in local schools

Posted on October 21, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — The Mount Abraham Union High School garden began its first year at about 600 square feet. Now, as it wraps up its second year, the garden has doubled in size.

Mount Abe is just one of many schools in the county that have been taking the first steps toward incorporating more local food and nutrition education into their curriculums, in some cases bringing academic studies a little closer to technical agricultural programs.

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Film features local beekeper

Posted on October 4, 2010 |
By Tamara Hilmes



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MIDDLEBURY — The independent documentary film that earlier this year created quite a buzz — literally — at film festivals from Rhode Island to Seattle to Maui will make an appearance in Middlebury this week.

“Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?” briefly features Bridport bee expert Kirk Webster and his mite-free colonies in an effort to share an alternative look at what people are calling a “global bee crisis” currently in effect.

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Two decades on, farmers weigh organic standards

Posted on September 16, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — Since the passage 20 years ago this week of the 1990 Farm Bill, which established a National Organic Program (NOP), the demand for healthy, sustainably produced food has skyrocketed — and with it, the demand for organically certified products.

Consumers nowadays — especially those in cities — don’t always know how or where their food was produced, so organic certifications give them more information to use when making purchasing decisions, said Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy while marking the anniversary this week.

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For him, bacon is already home

Posted on September 9, 2010 |
By Tamara Hilmes



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LINCOLN — “Why pigs?” was the first question posed to Nate Gusakov, owner and operator of Full Belly Farm located off Quaker Street in Lincoln. His answer was simple and unabashed:

“Why pigs?” he responded. “Bacon, in a word.”

Before he began leasing his 17-acre farm three years ago, Gusakov had been a wandering graduate of Sterling College’s Sustainable Agriculture program and Bristol-native who dreamed of one day operating his own small farm.

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Weybridge author documents dairy farm life

Posted on September 9, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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WEYBRIDGE — When Weybridge photojournalist and writer George Bellerose asked Grayson Wyman to sum up his life as a dairy farmer, the answer was simple:

“It was 46 years of pretty straight going,” Wyman said.

This became the title statement of Bellerose’s recently published book, “Forty-Six Years of Pretty Straight Going: The Life of a Family Dairy Farm,” which follows brothers Larry and Grayson Wyman through the last years of work on their Weybridge farm before their retirement in 2005.

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Maple Meadow sees increased demand for locally raised eggs

Posted on September 2, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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ADDISON COUNTY— Throughout the country, consumers have become more cautious in the wake of a salmonella outbreak that sickened some 1,000 people and affected upwards of half a billion eggs from two Iowa producers.

The larger chicken farms in the United States can expect lasting repercussions and tightened safety standards, but the recall may have unexpected benefits for local egg producers. Jackie Devoid, who with her husband, George, owns Maple Meadow Farm in Salisbury, said that there’s been an increased interest in her family’s eggs since the recall.

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Late blight threat at bay, for now

Posted on August 26, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — As late summer draws on, farmers and home gardeners alike are checking their tomatoes and potatoes for signs of late blight.

So far, though, they’ve mostly been able to breathe a collective sigh of relief, since the fungus that was widespread by the middle of last summer has only reared its head in a handful of isolated cases this year.

“I’m hyper vigilant about noticing anything,” said Karen LeRoy, whose tomatoes at Popoma Farm in Whiting were hard hit by the late blight last summer. “I think I’m finding more (this year) because I’m looking for it.”

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Area orchards begin apple harvest early

Posted on August 19, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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ADDISON COUNTY — Fall apple picking season is coming a little early this year.

In fact, many area orchards have already begun to offer pick-your-own apples, because their earliest apples are already ripening.

“Our apples are about 10 days early, which is significant,” said Bill Suhr, who owns Champlain Orchards. “It's probably the earliest crop we’ve ever seen.”

He added that his fall raspberries are already ripe, also more than a week ahead of expectations.

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