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ADDISON COUNTY – From a hot dry June to a shockingly damp July, the summer’s growing season has so far been a rollercoaster. But not necessarily in a bad way, farmers are saying. “Two inches of rain every week is double what we’d like, but it’s not bad,” said Eugenie Doyle of Last Resort Farm in Monkton. Last Resort Farm grows 27 different crops, including certified organic vegetables, berries and hay. The variety is a blessing in a season like this, Doyle said. “In super dry and then wet seasons like this, it helps to have different crops,” she said. While berries flourish with abundant rain...

ANTHONY AND MAGGIE Gerakos will soon open Little Seed Coffee Roasters in the 24 Merchants Row space that once housed Carol’s Hungry Mind Café. The Battell Block is also welcoming Juice Amour and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Vermont Realty. Independent photo/John Flowers
MIDDLEBURY — Downtown Middlebury’s Battell Block will boast three new businesses along Merchants Row that will offer premium coffee, healthy juices, and real estate services. The new businesses, according to Battell Block Partners LLC Director of Operations Grace Amao Ciffo, include Juice Amour, Little Seed Coffee Roasters and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Vermont Realty, which will lay down roots at 16, 24 and 32 Merchants Row, respectively. All three enterprises were among the approximately 40 businesses that sought start-up grants through the Middlebury Kick Start program. While neither...
MIDDLEBURY — The state of Vermont is extending the “Everyone Eats” free food program through September, a decision that will allow food-insecure folks in the Middlebury area to continue receiving a much-needed meal each Friday as they continue to wrestle with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the program — originally due to sunset on June 30 — will continue in Middlebury, the same can’t be said for Vergennes and Bristol. The local restaurants that prepared the charitable meals for those two communities, along with Starksboro and Monkton, are getting busier and thus don’t...

TEN STONE EMPORIUM owners Charlene and Kim Goodell look forward to building relationships with customers in the store’s opening months. “They feel the happiness, the love, the giving back,” Charlene said about the store, which promotes smaller artisans’ work from all over the world. Independent photo/William Haig.
VERGENNES — “The store is a cultural emporium, with handcrafted goods around the world and the United States: fair trade, give back to the communities around the world,” said Charlene Goodell when describing the mission of Ten Stones Emporium. She and her husband, Kim, opened the Main Street store in Vergennes in July. The store is meant to give artisans around the world the chance to profit from their work “by supplying income to people for sustainability (who are making) handmade products,” Charlene explained. With products including dappled spinning tops, jars made out of gourds, herbs,...
BURLINGTON — The Office of Health Care Advocate (HCA), a project of Vermont Legal Aid, recently launched a storytelling project focused on medical debt and its impact on Vermonters. Because the HCA assists thousands of Vermonters every year with a broad range of questions and problems related to insurance and access to health care services, it has identified medical debt as a major challenge facing many Vermonters. “The HCA works with individual Vermonters and acts as a voice for all Vermonters in health care policy matters,” said chief Health Care Advocate Mike Fisher. “This project aims...
HANCOCK — The Hancock Selectboard met this past week, during which Richard Andrews reported that he will not be bidding on the mowing contract in the fall. He also said that a sign noting weight restrictions still remains at the end of Tunnel Brick Road. But the big discussion of the meeting was the excessive speeding rates of large trucks on Route 125. According to minutes of the meeting, no resolution was reached. The board also discussed which grant funds were available to the Town of Hancock through the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funding (CLFRF), which are necessary for the board...
ROCHESTER­­––The trail network organization that has been called RASTA since its founding in 2013 is changing its name to The Ridgeline Outdoor Collective (ROC), or Ridgeline, for short. The organization has been instrumental in developing mountain biking and backcountry ski trails in the Rochester area and inside the Green Mountain National Forest Service at Brandon Gap. To celebrate the name change, and the launch of the Velomont Trail, the group is hosting outdoor adventurers together to a party on Saturday July 24, starting with a bike ride at 1 p.m., family biking at 2 p.m., then pizza...
HANCOCK — The Hancock Town Pride Committee is producing a free community concert this Thursday, July 22 at the Hancock Town Green. The headlining band will be the Bluegrass Pioneers, who will be playing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. All are welcome. The venue will be moved to the Hancock Town Hall in case of rain. The band members are Danny Coane, Banjo Dan Linder and his brother Willy Linder and Sam Blagden (bass). The Pioneers play Bluegrass tunes with a “vintage” sound from the ’50s and ’60s. Brothers and band members Willy and Ban Dan Linder have been playing together since 1972 after they moved...

VOLUNTEERS DIG UP and hand-pull yellow iris plants from Little Otter Wildlife Management Area in May. Photo by Robert Hyams, HRS/Riverscape Ecology
FERRIBURGH — Yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus), with its striking yellow flowers, is a beautiful plant, but also a threat to our priority natural communities and native plants. In recent years, it has gained a foothold in many Lake Champlain wetlands and floodplain forests. Lewis Creek Association (LCA), in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, and HRS/Riverscape Ecology. began studying this problem in 2015. This year LCA wrapped up a three-year study of yellow iris in Ferrisburgh in the 12-acre Little Otter Wildlife Management Area, located...

DYLAN BELL
MIDDLEBURY — Mary Johnson Children’s Center has found the right candidate to join their administrative team as Operations Manager. Dylan Bell will oversee the 51-year-old non-profit’s financial and human resource systems. Bell was born and raised in Ocean City, Md. Following his graduation from Stevenson University with a degree in Business Administration, he has worked with youth at the Mayhew Program in New Hampshire. Bell’s interest and experience in the human services sector, along with his degree in business administration, aligns well with the MJCC mission. He also looks forward using...

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Addison County Independent