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Dairy cliff averted, farm bill back to square one

Posted on January 7, 2013 |
By Xian Chiang-Waren



VERMONT — Under the shadow of fiscal cliff negotiations, Congress last week also passed measures to avert an anticipated spike in milk prices, which in the absence of a new Farm Bill was set to occur on the first of the year.

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National dairy trends taking toll on local farmers

Posted on October 1, 2012 |
By Xian Chiang-Waren



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ADDISON COUNTY — With grain prices sky-high and milk prices dropping, a few family-owned Addison County dairy farms are closing their doors this fall.

Paul Audy of New Haven and John Roberts of Cornwall, both in their early sixties, cited a confluence of forces that prompted each of them to get out of the business they had been in for decades: the increasing financial challenges of running a medium-sized herd, the tumultuous market exacerbated by the dairy pricing regulations and the toll of working long hours for years on end.

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Salisbury looks into farm worker housing

Posted on October 1, 2012 |
By Lee Kahrs



SALISBURY — The Salisbury Development Review Board is trying to solve an issue with a local dairy farmer and the housing he provides for his farm workers.

Randy Quesnel owns a dairy farm on Creek Road in West Salisbury and employs a number of farm workers who live on the property. The problem is, Salisbury Zoning Administrator Jon Filion has issued at least two notices of violation to Quesnel for housing the farm workers in inadequate quarters that violate local and state statute.

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Unusual weather affects apple crop

Posted on September 13, 2012 |
By Xian Chiang-Waren



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ADDISON COUNTY — Every orchard agrees: The story of this year’s harvest started in the spring.

“It got too hot too soon,” said Bob Douglas, the co-owner of Douglas Orchards in Shoreham, of the unusual warm spell that hit around St. Patrick’s Day. “Everything blossomed early. But the frost still came along when it always does, and killed those blossoms.”

And while Douglas’s crop is going to come in below average, other Addison County orchards are expecting a decent year.

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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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