Courtesy of groSolar

Applications for solar projects are coming to more towns around Vermont.

The small Addison County farm town of Panton has heard three proposals for solar projects recently. Another is planned for nearby West Ferrisburgh.

VPR Cafe: Homesteading In Vermont

Nov 15, 2015
Kevin Hurley / Burlington Free Press

From the Nearings in the 1930's, to the back-to-the-land movement in the 1960's, Vermont has a rich history of homesteading. And today there is a new wave of homesteaders. 

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Vermont is known for its iconic dairy cows, which regularly dot its lush green hillsides in summer. But in a pasture in Reading, the cattle look a bit different. 

jtyler /

With the passing of Vermont’s Clean Water Act last year, the state has made a serious commitment to tackle the pollution problems plaguing Lake Champlain.

But less well known are recent major updates to the pollution data that’s the guiding force dictating just how much runoff the state needs to cut back.    

Melody Bodette / VPR

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has leased its mobile flash freezer unit to Middlebury’s Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center.

The school plans to use the unit to process local produce for the Addison County Food Shelf. But first, students at the career center plan to design a mobile processing unit to pair with the freezer.

Melody Bodette / VPR

As solar arrays become more prevalent around Vermont, concerns have been raised about whether or not the renewable energy projects are displacing farmland. But some, like Open View Farm in New Haven, are embracing solar.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Windham Farm and Food was started in 2009 to make it easier for schools to order more food directly from farms.

The program has been growing steadily, and a USDA grant is now going to allow the staff to purchase a refrigerated truck, which could help the group reach even more consumers and farms.

Steve Zind / VPR

The District 3 Environmental Commission held a final hearing this week as it considers a large-scale development proposal for Exit 4 in Randolph.

During a visit to the site Monday, commission members tried to imagine where the lines on a map of the development might cross the field of winter rye.  

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 /

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.

marekuliasz / iStock

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.