Researcher Studies the Possibility of Growing Saffron in Vermont

Saffron is a flavorful spice largely grown thousands of miles away in the Middle East.  But that isn’t stopping a UVM researcher from testing the viability of growing saffron right here in Vermont.

Dr. Margaret Skinner, a research professor at the UVM Entomology Research Lab, talked to Vermont Public Radio about whether saffron can be grown in high tunnels in Vermont.

growing-saffronPhoto: Flickr/Guillaume Paumier

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Farm to Preschool Movement Creates a Culture of Inclusion and Generosity

By Alison Bell

For close to a decade, the Burlington Children’s Space (BCS) been working to develop a culture of food security to benefit the children and families that they serve.

The preschool is located in Burlington’s Old North End and serves a racially and economically diverse community. Close to half of the school’s student base is below the poverty line, meaning children would qualify for free or reduced lunch. The school’s tuition works on a sliding scale. Families pay tuition based on their income levels, and different amounts are covered through state subsidies based upon need. Half of the students at BCS are subsidized completely.


Photo: Courtesy of Burlington Children’s Space

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The Skinny Pancake Keeps It Local and Finds Success at UVM

By Mariam Haq ‘16 and Jasper Wei ‘17

The Skinny Pancake began as a food cart vendor specializing in crêpes on Church Street. Over the years, it has grown into a restaurant group with several locations in Vermont and one in New Hampshire. The Skinny Pancake at UVM opened about a year ago and has become one of the most popular dining locations on campus. In order to find out more about how The Skinny Pancake came to UVM and what unique contributions it has made to the UVM dining scene, we sat down and talked to Keith Lada, executive chef of the restaurant.


Courtesy Photo/Smith Buckley Architects

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Exploring Food Waste and Food Insecurity at UVM

By Caylin McKee
UVM Dining Sustainability Manager

The United Nations estimates that one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year goes to waste. Per capita waste by consumers is between 95-115 kilograms a year in Europe and North America, while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, each throw away only 6-11 kilograms a year.


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How S’ra DeSantis Fell In Love with Farming

By Dorothy Neagle

Sometimes the best jobs, the most life-changing opportunities, start with an embarrassment or a mistake. The story of S’ra DeSantis, co-director of the UVM Farmer Training Program, reminds us that, no matter how much you think you have to learn, the important part is willingness to do so. In fact, her endless motivation to learn about farming is part of what makes her a better educator today. 

When did you know that you wanted to work in food? 

I am not sure this is the moment I fell in love with farming, but it was the moment that I decided that I was committed to farming. The first year that I farmed at Riverberry Farm in Fairfax, Vermont, the farmer, David Marchant, handed me a flat to be transplanted. I asked him, “You transplant grass?” He frowned and replied, “Those are onions.” From that moment on, when my face turned a crimson red, I wanted to prove to him and myself that I could learn this peculiar business of farming. It has since been a rewarding learning experience ever since.


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