Franny Bastian

Franny was VPR's Director of Programming & Production.


Kent McFarland

On an early spring day, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra stand in front of a vernal pool in Strafford. It’s noisy.

“The wood frogs are going berserk behind us,” says McFarland. “The sunlight has come down out of the clouds and warmed them up – they are ready to go.”

Brent Hofacker / Flickr

Now that it’s well into spring, Vermont gardeners are itching to dig in and plant vegetable gardens. This season, along with the most delicious vegetable varieties, many Vermont gardeners are looking add color to their food gardens as well.

Against The Grain

Eating gluten-free has quickly become a part of mainstream society. Many with Celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disorder, can’t process gluten, and others have started to eliminate gluten in their diet for various health and lifestyle reasons.

Ryan Mercer / Burlington Free Press

Vermont is known for its maple: maple syrup, maple candy, maple sugar. And in recent years, there has been a growing number of Vermonters using maple sap and syrup to make spirits.

Sally Pollak a food writer for the Burlington Free Press, explains there are two ways Vermont distillers are using maple syrup to make syrup: distilling and rectifying. Distilling maple syrup is essentially turning it into spirits, while rectifying is adding the syrup to already-distilled liquors to flavor or sweeten them.

mbachrach / iStock

Whether it’s a heaping bowl of your mom’s mac and cheese, or a hearty soup from food grown in your garden, comfort food means something different to everyone.

Candace Page, food writer for the Burlington Free Press, was interested in exploring different people’s definition of comfort food and joined VPR Café to talk about her findings.

Sally Pollack / Burlington Free Press

The Cabot coop is made up of about 1,200 farmers throughout the northeast and an extensive database of recipes from bloggers, chefs and farm families. Recently, they compiled the best recipes into a new cookbook titled Cabot Creamery Cookbook.

Kent McFarland

On a balmy, 25-degree afternoon in winter, three Vermonters go to the tiny town of Victory in the Northeast Kingdom in search of the fearless Gray Jay.

vinstock / iStock

Whether you’re going out to a nice dinner or grabbing a quick sandwich for lunch, the same question inevitably comes up: What to tip?

Candace Page

Maple has been a staple in Vermont for a long time, but who really knows how it was being used in recipes a century or so ago?

Candace Page, food writer for the Burlington Free Press, was curious about the subject and decided to dig into the history. She joined VPR Café to talk about her findings.

Ask Me Another

Mar 6, 2015

VPR is piloting a new show beginning this Saturday. NPR's Ask Me Another is a lively hour of puzzles, word games, and trivia played in front of (and with) a live audience. Ask Me Another host, noted comedian and storyteller Ophira Eisenberg, guides listeners with her witty banter aided by the comedic riffs and songs of house musician Jonathan Coulton.

Alden Pellett / Burlington Free Press

About five years ago, if you mentioned hard cider in the U.S., you were pretty much talking about Woodchuck. Now the industry has exploded, and there’s a lot more going on in the state. Melissa Pasanen, who writes for the Savorvore section of the Burlington Free Press, has been watching the cider world grow and evolve.

Burlington Free Press

With the cold, bitter weather not letting up, it seems fitting to explore a variety of hearty meals to help keep warm in the winter months.

Sally Pollack, food writer for the Burlington Free Press, reached out to several local chefs for their favorite winter meals.

Glenn Russell / Burlington Free Press

Soup can seem like a basic dish, until you tuck into a beautiful, complex bowl of soup that warms you to the core.

Kent McFarland

Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra glide out on to the ice covering Lake Morey in Fairlee.

“It’s February in Vermont and it’s pond hockey time,” says McFarland.

Burlington Free Press

Not long ago, farmers market fanatics had to wait patiently for the market to start in late April or early May, and rued the moth of October, when the markets finished for the year.

Glenn Russell / Burlington Free Press

Vermont is home to the highest-ranked brewery in the world and a wealth of pubs, restaurants and microbreweries that crank out delicious beer all year long. But lately, breweries in the state have been focusing their efforts on offerings to complement their drinks – food.

If you haven't already, please check out Invisibilia, a pilot program from NPR. Invisibilia, Latin for "all the invisible things," explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.

Burlington Free Press/file

Some might be hesitant to eat fish caught in Lake Champlain, but Candace Page, food writer for the Burlington Free Press, says there are a variety of fabulous eating fish in the lake.

Glenn Russell / Burlington Free Press

A group of teens is learning about nutrition, science and art through a high school cooking program in Plainfield. Students at The Central Vermont High School Initiative prepare a community lunch once a week. The techniques learned range from preparing fresh vegetables to churning and sculpting butter. The students also enjoy the experience of sharing their creations with the local community.

Kent McFarland

When you're on the ski lift or hiking up Vermont's mountains, take a look around to see the life zones of the trees on the mountainside. Biologists Sara Zahendra and Kent McFarland of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, rode the gondola at Stowe Mountain Resort for the view from Vermont's highest peak, Mount Mansfield.