Agriculture

Jane Lindholm / VPR

In one photo, apples, crispy bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and a couple of sprigs of fresh sage rest on a weathered wooden cutting board, ready to be made into savory scones.

ideeone / iStock.com

An increasing demand for medicinal herbs has spurred the creation of a new growers cooperative.

Jon Kalish / VPR

Vermonters have just harvested their second crop of industrial hemp since the Legislature legalized it in 2013. But because of obstacles to cultivating hemp in the state, few farmers have grown the crop.

Last year only a half dozen people grew hemp in Vermont. This year, according to one grower, the number is up to nine.

'The farm-yard club of Jotham' (1881) / Flickr/Library of Congress

It's not about to displace the cow as the go-to image people have when they think of the most iconic Vermont animal, but the Merino sheep has a deep and rich history of its own in the Green Mountain State.

VPR/Steve Zind

The annual Tunbridge World's Fair, which runs through Sunday, is an agricultural fair.

But it’s not just for farmers and 4H-ers.  

VPR/Steve Zind

The Agency of Agriculture says plans for a large development at the Randolph exit on Interstate 89 will preserve less primary farmland than the developer claims.

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An effort to allow Vermont’s four marijuana dispensaries to grow hemp to produce a medicinal oil has raised concerns among Vermont hemp growers.

Melody Bodette / VPR

A Middlebury-based cooking oil company is back in stores with cold-pressed sunflower and canola oils.

But the company, Full Sun, is also looking to help expand opportunities for Vermont grain farmers by providing a market for oil seed.

Nina Keck / VPR

The 170th Vermont State Fair got underway Friday in Rutland. After nearly two years of internal upheaval, debt, and last minute scramble to find a midway, organizers say just being able to open the gates was a huge accomplishment.

Nina Keck / VPR

An innovative program first launched by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps in Richmond is expanding to other parts of Vermont to make it easier for needy families to get locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Vermont’s small farms have always been subject to state clean water standards, but now the state’s near 7,000 small farms are facing a new reality: farm inspections.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

About 40 percent of the nutrients that run off into Lake Champlain come from farms. But surprisingly, about half that manure produced in the state actually comes from small farms. In the case of dairies, that’s defined as operations with fewer than 200 cows.

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A group of Vermont business leaders called the Vermont Cannabis Collaborative has been inviting public comment on the best way to create a safe, sustainable marijuana industry. Medical marijuana is already being legally distributed, but using it recreationally is still against state law.

Steve Zind / VPR file

A revised plan to develop land at Exit 4 in Randolph is being panned by those who oppose the project.

Last month, the District 3 Environmental Commission told the developer to submit a more compact plan for a large mixed-use project on 172 acres that includes primary farmland. 

Steve Zind / VPR

An event that took place last week on a field in Bolton gave new meaning to the term “farm team.”

The first-ever Farmer Olympics, sponsored by NOFA-VT, attracted 14 teams of athletes who competed in a series of whimsical agriculture-related events.  

The Open Door Clinic

Changes at a clinic in Middlebury have some concerned that migrant workers could lose access to medical care. 

Steve Zind / VPR

Years ago, President Woodrow Wilson grazed sheep on the White House lawn. The wool was sold to raise money for the Red Cross during World War I.

Today there are other reasons to pasture animals on public property in towns and villages – and two Vermont towns experimenting with the practice are seeing positive results.

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In December of 2014, Vermont Edition spoke Francois Simard of Protec-Style, Inc. in Quebec about the many uses for milkweed. Native to Vermont, the milkweed plant has found use in both industrial and native settings; it can absorb oil spills, provide warm insulation for clothing and habitat for monarchs.

Robert Lehmert, the managing director of Monark Cooperative Vermont, heard this program and was inspired to start his own milkweed business, ENCORE 3 Industries, in order to partner with Protec-Style. 

John Dillon / VPR

The green expanse in front of the Statehouse in Montpelier could be considered Vermont's front yard — a gathering place for everything from political protests to ultimate Frisbee contests.

The broad lawn was transformed Tuesday into an open air market with fresh food, handmade furniture and farm products for sale.

VPR/Steve Zind

Two state environmental groups are asking a district environmental commission to dismiss the application for a large development at Exit 4 in Randolph.

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