Digging In: New book from UVM faculty takes a critical look at food systems

FoodFarmsandCommunityUVM Extension faculty members Lisa Chase and Vern Grubinger recently co-authored Food, Farms, and Community: Exploring Food Systems. In this post, we ask them about the writing experience and what they hope readers will glean from the book.

Lisa Chase will be at Phoenix Books in Burlington this Thursday, February 12, at 6:30 p.m. for a book discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

Food Feed: Why did you feel called to write this book?

Lisa: Vern and I started talking about the idea of this book several years ago. Because our work requires us to travel all over the state, we end up driving a lot, and it was during those drives that we began talking about the importance of sharing the stories behind Vermont’s working landscape. As we got into the writing, we realized the need for a book that looks critically at food systems nationwide.

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Transplants: The value of a garden in an uprooted life (Transplantes: El valor de un jardín en una vida desarraigada)

By the Huertas team

Huerta: a kitchen garden where one can cultivate and harvest produce, herbs, and flowers

Huertas is a community-based project that works with Latino(a) farm workers to plant gardens on the dairy farms where they live and work. In 2014, Huertas supported the planting of 31 household gardens. In this blog post, a participant of three years shares her experience with the project. This post is published in Spanish and English.

Huertas es un programa, apoyado por la comunidad, que trabaja con migrantes latino/a y sus familias a sembrar un jardín en los ranchos (lecherías) donde trabajan y viven. En 2014, Huertas apoyó en  la siembra del 31 jardines de casa. En este blog, una participante de 3 años comparte su experiencia con el proyecto. Este blog se publica en Español y en Inglés.


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Cuisine in Transition

An Interview with Julieta Salazar Robert at Villada in Oaxaca, Mexico

It’s that time of year again when UVM’s Oaxaca Study Abroad program starts and a curious bunch of undergraduates, from many different majors, come together to learn about Mexico’s past and present history, politics, language, culture, art, and best of all for me, its incredible food.

This year, the students’ first four days are in an acclimatization retreat at La Villada Inn about 20 minutes up a steep hill outside of the City of Oaxaca.  A picturesque location with views down the valley and up into the majestic and very high, Sierra Norte Mountains.

Oaxaca is a state in Mexico and its capitol is formally called Oaxaca de Juarez, which is where UVM’s program is based. The city has approximately 100,000 inhabitants and is known for its fine and artisanal art as well as for its beauty, a mile high up in the Sierras.  Far from the troubled border, Oaxaca is a haven of artists and interested foreigners curious about this special place. Continue reading

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UVM Students Find Local Food Hub Inspiration in Vermont

The temperature was 12 below when a busload of UVM students arrived at a nondescript business park off Route 100 in Waitsfield.

From the outside, the green, industrial building didn’t look like a thriving food enterprise. But on the inside – with 4,000 square-feet of freezers, storage, a loading dock, and processing space – it became immediately clear to students that local food was the mission.

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Breaking Free of our (Food) Chain$

FoodChain$-Poster-SmallBy Jane Kolodinsky

I consider myself lucky to have seen an advance screening of FoodChain$, a documentary from the producers of Fast Food Nation and Food, Inc., while I was at the American Public Health Meetings in New Orleans this past November. There is something energetic, even radical or revolutionary, about being at an artsy venue in an industrial district of a city with like-minded people who want to see and make a difference in the food system, whether from a public health, labor, food security, or other approach.

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