Featured Programs

Young Writers Project: 'Not A Teenager, Nor A Child'

22 hours ago
Woodstock’s Nicole Jasmin offers up a healthy dose of exasperated humor this week as she acknowledges that it’s not easy growing up.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano, Burlington

I want to be the person I want to be, silly and happy like a child.
But at the same time, I want to act grown-up.

Some teens that I'm around just seem to be a little… grown-up for me?
I wonder if other people feel that way.
I don't want to be identified as "Nicole the Child."
I don't want to be identified as "Nicole the Teen."
All I want to be called is Nicole.
(Or Tater, the nickname my parents call me.)

Composer Keane Southard hiked the New England portion of the Appalachian Trail during the summer of 2016. Here, he is pictured in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
Keane Southard, courtesy

Keane Southard spent many of his childhood weekends hiking and camping with his family in New Hampshire and Vermont. From that early age, he imagined one day he would hike the legendary Appalachian Trail.

Southard went on to study composition and theory, and all the while, the idea of hiking the trail and composing a piece about the experience percolated in his mind.

Many bean poles are built with branches but you can also grow beans on wire fence, corn stalks or sunflowers.
David Gomez / iStock

Beans date back thousands of years to South America. While most gardeners grow the low, bush version, this plant was originally a sprawling climber. While bush beans - and stringless bush beans in particular -  are a modern vegetable, pole or runner beans are more versatile.

Lumpaing Shanghai, finger-sized spring rolls, are one of the small plates served at Pica-Pica - a new Filipino restaurant in St. Johnsbury.
Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

Central Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom have recently welcomed new food establishments offering tastes of Asia and the western Pacific. Seven Days food writer, Hannah Palmer Egan, shares all the delicious deets in this VPR Cafe podcast!  

Young Writers Project: Feet Out Of The Clouds

May 11, 2018
Faith Holzhammer sings about the feeling of losing control as she watches the world around her spin, and the need to stabilize herself amidst the chaos.
YWP Photo Library, Erik Nyhagen, Essex Junction

I'm running over,
and falling ‘round and ‘round.
I'm falling to the sky,
and jumping to the ground.
So get your feet out of the clouds.

Samples of Vermont beer featured at the national Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference held in Burlington in March.
Bear Cieri / Seven Days

Vermont beer is not only wildly popular here at home, but also across the country and around the world. In fact, visit Spain and you might just find a "Vermont-style IPA."  That's what one attendee of the Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference recently shared when it was held in Burlington in March.

These days, broccoli comes in unusual sizes, colors and textures which makes planting and eating this staple vegetable lots of fun!
fcafotodigital / iStock

Broccoli has become a popular vegetable in many gardens and on many plates. But not all broccoli is created equal. There are some unusual heirlooms and hybrids on the market that can make growing  broccoli downright fun!

Young Writers Project: 'Very Far Away'

May 7, 2018
YWP Photo Library, photo by Emma Brott, Essex Junction

Once upon a time, in a land very far away, a perfect world was lived. In this world was a single country. There, everyone had a say, and everyone had a choice. In this perfect world, everyone accepted and loved each other. Everyone was family, and everyone agreed. Agreed on what, you might ask? Well, let's just say that there were no disputes on whether or not the country should launch a missile on other living people. For some absurd reason, they always agreed against it.

Traditional CSA items are still popular, like those from 1000 Stone Farm in Brookfield (pictured), but many producers are now offering niche products like cheese, meat and more.
Courtesy, 1000 Stone Farm / Seven Days

Paying a seasonal fee for a weekly cache of greens and root veggies from a local farm remains popular in Vermont; however, the model of community supported agriculture (CSA) is evolving. In order to offer convenience to customers, many CSA programs are now offering flexible purchase plans and more product options. These approaches also allow more farmers to get in the game.

The snapdragon is a resilient flower that can be grown in beds or containers, withstands frost and heat, and blooms in an array of colors.
baone / iStock

The snapdragon is a common, annual flower that originated in Southern Europe. Its name is appropriate since the botanical term means “snout-like” and the flowers look like jaws and a snout. In fact, you can squeeze the side of the flowers and make the petals move. Whatever variety you prefer, now's the time to plant them.

Elementary school students in Starksboro listen as Eugenie Doyle of Last Resort Farm reads from her book, "Sleep Tight Farm."
Matthew Thorsen / Seven Days

Writing a letter? Having a pen pal? These may seem a little old-fashioned but both are alive and well thanks to NOFA-VT (The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont). They've come up with a program that connects young students with local farmers through correspondence and field trips.

Young Writers Project: 'Charging My Heart'

Apr 27, 2018
 she recognizes and embraces a beautiful connection – one that exists between her own expression and release through writing, and the love interest both inspiring and distracting her.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness, 16, Shelburne, Vermont

Something is clogging up
the writing part of my brain,

the part with twists and grooves,
like my willowy, grainy cursive,

Heirloom tomatoes offer interesting shapes, flavors and colors while hybrid varieties give you disease-resistant and uniform produce. Is one better than another?
tvirbickis/iStock

For many years I've debated about growing hybrid or heirloom tomatoes in our garden. Heirlooms, such as Speckled Roman, Cherokee Purple and Green Zebra, offer interesting plant shapes and colorful fruits with enticing flavors. Hybrids, like Celebrity and Big Beef offer uniformity, disease resistance and productivity. Usually I grow a few of each. Now there are new hybrids available that combine the taste and look of heirlooms with the consistency of a hybrid.

Young Writers Project: 'Nightmare'

Apr 20, 2018
Burlington writer Rae Earley reflects on a false vision from a nightmare and the emotions she cycles through upon wakening.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Alyson Katon, Essex Junction, Vermont

I always thought that a nightmare had to be a dream provoking fear in someone. But I now know that that is not true. A nightmare can be any unpleasant or distressing dream that causes anger, grief or fear. That night when I woke up with my pillow wet, my cheeks dampened with salty tears and my eyes red not only from sleep, I knew I had had a nightmare. And not just any nightmare – a deep, powerful one that stirred up a whole storm of emotions.

A student at the Thetford Outdoor Program chops wood to fuel an evaporator for maple sugaring.
Sarah Preistap / Seven Days

When it comes to producing maple syrup in Vermont, the younger generation is not only embracing the tradition, but also trying to make it better. In this podcast, we'll hear about high schoolers just learning the classic art of sugaring as well as a couple of college students who are innovating the process. 

Foxgloves look best when planted in groups in a flower garden and can grow in full sun or partial shade.
ca2hill / iStock

There's a story about a fox trying to steal chickens from a farmer. Every time the fox got close to the coop, the chickens heard him coming, started squawking, and the farmer came out to chase him away. One day, a woodland fairy came to the fox and suggested he take the open blooms from a nearby flower and place one on each foot and try again. He did and was successful, stealing a chicken for dinner. The plant he used was the foxglove. You may not believe the story but you can't deny foxgloves are beautiful flowers.

Bald eagle nests can be six to ten feet across and weight several hundred pounds.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

We are awed by the size, beauty and power of the bald eagle but Ben Franklin described it as a bird of "bad moral character. He doesn't get his living honestly and besides, he is a rank coward."

Young Writers Project: 'Fairytales'

Apr 13, 2018
Student-writer Rebecca Orten of Middlebury gives a nod to the outdated archetype of the damsel in distress and flips the point of view. She shows us her interpretation of the hardships faced by these spirited women of our favorite childhood stories.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Hazel Civalier, 15, Burlington, VT

They called her rose, briar rose.
But when she bloomed, they cowered.
She raised her voice, her petals to the sun,
and stained scarlet much more than her lips.
So they put her to sleep.

They called her sunshine,
and swathed her in golden curls.
But when she shone, their eyes blistered,
and when she burned, they couldn't see through the smoke.
So they locked her in a tower.

Before producing fruit, the Corneilian cherry tree comes alive in spring with brilliant yellow blooms that birds and bees are fond of.
Clement Peiffer / iStock

I just finished pruning my cherry trees. While I love the taste of the sweet and tart cherries, there are a few other cherries to consider for your yard.

Young Writers Project: 'Stories From Israel'

Apr 6, 2018
Young Writers Project Photo Library, photo by Sophie Dauerman

Big plane, big wings,
and small seats,
jammed together
like packing peanuts in a moving box.
Sweaty thighs sticking,
and long nights of flight-map watching.

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