Featured Programs

Young Writers Project: 'No Poet'

Jul 13, 2018
Isadora Bailly-Hall is this week's writer. And while some authors and poets may find that their words flow from them like water, Isadora finds that most must endlessly pry and knead and shape and mold.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Emma Brott, Essex Junction

I write poems but I’m no poet.
I’m a teenager,
wandering through an age
where nothing makes sense.
I’m lost in a forest
and hoping beyond hope
that my keyboard
will open up one day –
split right between
the “g” and the “h,”
the “t” and the “y” –
pry itself open like a ribcage
to show me a map.

The canna lily is perfect for adding late-summer color to a garden that gets full sun and has moist soil.
Nova Art / iStock

We can thank the Victorians of the late 1800's for many things, including the canna lily. This tropical American native, wasn't grown in gardens until Victorian-era gardeners came upon them. Now canna lilies are a standard, grouped in clumps in gardens or planted in decorative containers.

Young Writers Project: 'A Stormy Night'

Jul 6, 2018
South Burlington poet Gracie Clark, 15, writes about a rainless summer storm that she views from her window and uses sensory-driven language to illustrate a small, personal moment.
YWP Photo Archive, photo by Siena Teare

The humid air drags in my throat
as I scribble on a notepad,
not wanting to forget.
Heat lightning dances
in thundering radiance
along ridges of shadow.
A bloodied moon rises
as a dead husk of bone
instead of a bright pool of energy.

The chore of thinning apple, pear, plum and peach trees is crucial for producing good quality fruit.
nerudol / iStock

There are a few gardening chores that break your heart. I hate removing self-sown annual flowers and snipping off pepper flowers from young plants. But I mostly cringe at thinning my fruit trees. I work hard to grow a fruit tree to the mature fruiting stage, so removing any fruit seems like a crime. But thinning fruit trees is essential and you should do it now.

VPR Cafe: Delivering The Flavors Of Vermont To New York And Boston

Jul 6, 2018
Since 2013, Myers Produce has been supplying restaurants in New York City and Boston with fresh fruit and veggies from Vermont.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

Farming is grueling enough, let alone figuring out how to distribute your product to a wide market. That's where Myers Produce comes in; a Northeast Kingdom-based company that gets Vermont produce to high-end eateries and restaurant chains in New York City and Boston.

VPR Cafe: A Taste Of Summer By The Water

Jun 29, 2018
From lobster dinners to summer buffets, Basin Harbor Club's North Dock is just one of many spots in Vermont to enjoy a meal by the water.
Basin Harbor Club & Resort, courtesy / Seven Days

When the weather turns warm, many of us enjoy taking our meals outdoors to patios, picnic tables and parks. But there's often something more wonderful, perhaps even calming, about dining on or near the water. In Vermont, many of these destinations can be found along the banks of the Connecticut River and on the shores of Lake Champlain.

Euphorbia is one of many flowering plants that grow well in shady areas.
wichatsurin / iStock

It seems every perennial flower garden I visit, or grow, has some area that's challenging. Often, the solution is simply growing the right plant in the right place. So let me run through a few perennial flowers for problem places in your yard.

Young Writers Project: 'We Must Not Give Up'

Jun 25, 2018
Winooski writer Hussein Amuri, 14, shouts from the rooftops this week, as he chooses not to address any one difficult situation and encourages the reader to "not stop moving" through tough times.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Hanna Gustafson, South Burlington, Vermont

We must not give up,
‘cause the world is not our home bus
and will lap us anytime.
It will not stop moving,
no matter who you are.

Timeline: Elements

Jun 23, 2018
Emily Alfin Johnson/James Stewart / VPR

From VPR Classical comes a four-part educational series of podcasts based on the elements of antiquity: FIRE, WATER, EARTH and AIR.

Netting is the simplest solution to keep birds off of fruit trees, but you can also try hanging pie-tins, old CDs or reflective tape.
Eplisterra / iStock

As a gardener living near a mix of fields, forest, wetlands and a pond, I have a love/hate relationship with birds. Although I understand that everyone needs to eat, it's difficult to nurse along a strawberry, blueberry, grape or cherry crop, only to have the harvest stolen by birds.

VPR Cafe: Summer Suds And One-Off Brews

Jun 22, 2018
River Roost Brewery in White River Junction recently doubled their space to expand operations and, possibly, add a tap room.
River Roost Brewery, courtesy / Seven Days

Shopping for Vermont beer has become an almost dizzying experience. With every visit to a beverage outlet, the selection seems to multiply right before your eyes. Now, with summer rolling around, get ready for even more!

this week’s featured writer from Essex Junction, bravely looks ahead at the person and future she envisions a decade down the road.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano, Burlington, Vermont

What is it like to live by yourself? (At least, I assume you do.)
​Is it like the freedom you craved when you were 14?
​Did you ever find that perfect escape? Were you finally able to run away for good?
Where do you live?
​When you were 14, you wanted to move away to Europe – preferably the Netherlands or the U.K.
You wanted to live in one of those hipster-y towns with coffee shops and fancy apartment buildings.
When you were 14, you wanted to travel the world.
​If you're reading this, I assume you're 24.
​You probably haven't gotten that far, but have you seen more than Canada?
If you have, is it as beautiful as we thought it would be?

Harvest basil as soon as enough leaves have formed to encourage further growth.
Kirin Photo / iStock

When I was in the Peace Corps in Thailand, I remember a green leaf used as a spice in one of my first meals. It had an anise flavor but looked familiar. It was my first experience with Thai basil. Many years later, I was drinking a flavorful tea in India and again noticed a familiar leaf with a distinct clove-like flavor. It was Tulsi tea made from holy basil. My point is, there are a lot of unique flavored basils from around the world. 

VPR Cafe: Chef Dads Cook For Their Kids

Jun 14, 2018
Chef Aaron Josinsky of Misery Loves Company (with daugher, Eda) suggests being flexible when cooking for kids but to keep offering good choices.
Aaron Josinsky, courtesy / Kids Vermont

It's great having a parent who can cook really well, but imagine having one who's a chef! With Father's Day upon us, The VPR Cafe caught up with food writer, Melissa Pasanen, to find out what the area's chef dads are cooking at home. Five-star meals? Mac 'n cheese? And what tasty tricks do these culinary pros use to get the little ones to eat their veggies?    

ilbusca / istock

Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra head out to West Haven, Vermont at dusk to brave a cloud of mosquitoes in search of the song of the threatened whip-poor-will.

Young Writers Project: 'Social Ladder'

Jun 8, 2018
Ainsleigh Johnson, 13, from Middlebury, paints the relatable picture of a girl struggling to make herself stand out from the pack
YWP Photo Library, Delaney Harrison, Essex Junction, Vermont

She clings,
to her rung –
never looking at
those below her,
always gazing up
to where they all want to be:
the rungs that hold
the rich,
thin things.
The popular ones.

Tiger lilies spread easily, grow in a wide range of soils and return each year with little care.
Ken Wiedemann / iStock

The Korean folk story tells of a hermit who saw a tiger that was wounded by an arrow. The hermit helped the tiger by removing the arrow and they became friends. When the tiger died, the hermit used his magical powers to turn him into a lily. When the hermit died, the tiger lily started spreading, looking for his friend. Tiger lilies are still searching and spreading around the globe ever since.

Lonna Neidig of St. Albans wrote this week's selection. The St. Albans poet describes the three methods of communication she uses in her life and the mental processes that accompany them.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Kassidy Mannings, Essex Junction, Vermont

There are three routes from my brain
to get words from myself to someone else.
I can use my voice,
write my thoughts by hand,
or type with the tapping of fingers.

Amaranth is grown commercially as a grain crop but can also be planted in your garden as a leafy green for salads.
SVIP_CRO / iStock

Amaranth has been called the food of the gods, superfood of the Aztecs and the next “quinoa.” But we know amaranth as mostly an ornamental plant with colorful, weeping flower heads. While farmers continue to experiment with growing amaranth commercially as a grain crop, another way to enjoy this American vegetable is as a leafy green that you can grow in your garden.

VPR Cafe: Crafting Cuisine With Cannabis

May 25, 2018
In order to cook with cannabis, it must first undergo decarboxylation. One method of doing this is by infusing with olive oil.
egal / iStock

On July 1, Vermont's new marijuana law will go into effect. Residents of the state will be able to grow plants and possess some of their harvest. But not all users enjoy smoking pot; for them, there is cooking with cannabis.