Recipe: Italian Easter Pie

Italian Easter PieItalian Easter Pie (Torta Pasqualina) is a traditional savory dish from the northern regions of Italy that incorporates eggs, cheese, and spinach in celebration of the return of spring.

In the late 1800s, Vermont’s marble and granite industries attracted Italians to the state, with many coming from the northern Italian region of Lombardy. These immigrants, who settled largely in the Barre and Rutland areas, brought along their cultural and food traditions, which wove their way into the foodways of Vermont. Continue reading

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Eating the Invaders

ETI.food_spread_1_of_1By Joe Roman

About a decade ago, I was standing on the shore of Penobscot Bay in Maine. It was a typical New England scene: lobster boats headed out to their pots, a harbor seal bobbed in the swell, a herring gull cast a shadow across a tide pool, But just below the surface, an army of European invaders was at work. As I lifted a curtain of rockweed, half a dozen green crabs brandished dark, serrated claws before beating a hasty retreat under the rocks. As the tide receded, thousands of European periwinkles, invasive snails, appeared, feasting on local algae and the eggs of other invertebrates. Above the high-tide line, alien weeds—dandelions, garlic mustard, and burdock, to name a few—lined the roads and spread out across the country. Continue reading

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Does Local Purchasing Count? The economics of food system localization

markettokensVermont is seen as a national leader in efforts to use local and regional food systems as an instrument of sustainable community and economic development. Our Farm to Plate Initiative is notable for its legislative backing, broad buy in, and ambitious goals. I have recently been asked if there is an economic justification for public interest and government involvement in food systems. Economic theory can argue it both directions:

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Meet Catamount Farm Manager Laura Williams

LauraWilliamsWhen it comes to farming, Laura Williams says the key to success is to focus on what you love.

Whether your passion is working the land, collaborating with other farmers, or interacting with customers, Williams says there isn’t just one way to prosper as a farmer. Continue reading

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The Vermont Goat Collaborative: A visit to Pine Island Farm

By Jenn Colby

2014-02-11 14.06.29croppedOnce in a while an idea comes along that’s just right.  In the world of sustainability, the ultimate goal is to do work that supports all three (or more) legs of the sustainability “triangle”— the combination of positive social, economic and environmental outcomes.  In reality, it’s great if you can find a project that combines two of those aspects.  Local food access may mean supporting social networks while reducing environmental transportation impacts.  Grass-based farming may mean improved biodiversity and soil cover while increasing the farmer’s net profits.  Finding projects that connect two sides of the triangle are great, but real strength and stability comes when the third leg is connected. Continue reading

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