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Apple farms branch out, build barns

Posted on September 10, 2012 |
By Xian Chiang-Waren



SHOREHAM/MIDDLEBURY — As Vermont’s local food market continues to thrive, two Addison County farms are building up — literally.

Family-owned businesses Champlain Orchards in Shoreham and Happy Valley Orchard in Middlebury are both raising new structures on their respective properties this season. The rise of niche markets, especially fermented cider products, played an important role in the expansion of both orchards.

“We’ve been seeing a new type of customer,” said Bill Suhr of Champlain Orchards.

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The Vergennes Farmers' Market blossoms

Posted on August 20, 2012 |
By Andy Kirkaldy



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VERGENNES — Vergennes Farmers’ Market board members said the combination of a recruiting effort, a switch from Mondays to Thursdays and a little bit of momentum helped triple the number of vendors at the market in the past two years.

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Gardens help farmworkers improve their own health

Posted on August 16, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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ADDISON COUNTY — Aquilino Martinez has grown his own vegetables at home in Mexico, but when he came to Addison County to work on a dairy farm, he faced some new challenges.

A new project that helps foreign-born farmworkers around the county create and maintain gardens has this summer brought some variety and a little more nutrition to Martinez’s garden.

“It helps to have a little of everything — to have variety,” the Mexican laborer said in Spanish last Thursday. “It’s something healthier.”

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Phosphorus runs through local rivers

Posted on August 9, 2012 |
By Andrew Stein



ADDISON COUNTY — Data released earlier this year showed that in 2011 the Otter Creek poured more than 206 metric tons of phosphorus into Lake Champlain — almost twice the 18-year average of 121 annual metric tons.

An increase in phosphorus, which fuels growth of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, is not viewed by staff at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) as a positive harbinger in their effort to clean up Lake Champlain.

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Oilseed crops give farmers options

Posted on August 2, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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BRANDON — What’s the big deal with sunflowers and soybeans?

Plenty, according to Jon Satz of Woods Market Garden in Brandon. Satz spoke about the cultivation of oilseed plants to a group of some 20 people last Tuesday, at an event sponsored by the University of Vermont Extension System.

Satz added sunflowers to his vegetable growing rotation in 2009, then added soybeans the following year. He was curious about the potential for growing a crop that could be turned into oil for energy.

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Vt. trio taking slow food message to world stage

Posted on August 2, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



NEW HAVEN — Imagine spending five days in Italy, talking about food and agriculture with hundreds of other people from all over the world.

In October, that’s just what Elizabeth Frank, Hugo Lara and Emilie “Savitri” McDonald will be doing.

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Area crops hold up in summer heat

Posted on July 23, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — As farmers across the nation hope for rain to end the worst drought since 1956, Addison County farmers are counting their blessings.

“So far it’s been a pretty good growing season, other than extreme heat and a little on the dry side,” said Hank Bissell of Lewis Creek Farm in Starksboro.

For Bissell, this year has prompted him to use his irrigation system more than usual due to prolonged stretches of warm weather with no rain, but he said vegetable yields have been good compared to those in last year’s wet weather.

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Local crowd-funding enterprise boosts area farmers

Posted on July 23, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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MIDDLEBURY — For Middlebury resident Kevin Lehman, it wasn’t enough to put in a few dollars at a farmers’ market in support of local food and farming projects. Two years ago, he decided there needed to be a way for local entrepreneurs to raise more toward their goals.

“I wanted to do what I could to build a more sustainable, robust food system,” he said.

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Butterwick Farm hosts visit from Brown Swiss convention

Posted on July 19, 2012 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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CORNWALL — Miles off the main road in Cornwall one morning in early July, a crowd of dairy farmers from around the country examined the Brown Swiss cows at Butterwick Farm.

All were attendees at the Brown Swiss Association National Convention, held at Shelburne Farms from July 4 to 7. John and Lisa Roberts, owners of Butterwick Farm, welcomed the visitors to their farm to get a taste of dairy farming in the Green Mountain State.

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Farmers learn about local wheat farming

Posted on July 16, 2012 |
By Kaitlyn Kirkaldy



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NEW HAVEN –– A line of farmers waded through waist-high wheat in a New Haven field last Thursday, looking closely at the plants, determining if it could be harvested soon and asking questions about everything from the effects of dry and wet weather to the types of wheat that are doing the best this year.

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