Food & Agriculture

The home for VPR's coverage of the food and agricultural issues across the state.

VPR's John Dillon covers food and agriculture issues with special focus on the Vermont dairy industry. Follow John Dillon on Twitter for the latest and check back for in-depth reporting from across the state and our region.
 

Explore our coverage by topic or chronologically by scrolling through the list below
Dairy Industry | Water Quality & PFOA | Marijuana | Vermont Agency Of Agriculture

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Have a food or agricultural news tip that requires investigation?

Reach out to VPR's Investigations Desk.

Hungry for more?
Check out the VPR Café for more on food in Vermont, and The Vermont Garden Journal for gardening wisdom from Charlie Nardozzi.

I was chatting with a young technician at my local hospital recently, and I asked her if she gardens. “Yes,” she said. She was just getting started, loved lilies and had planted several. "Oriental, Asiatic, or Daylilies,” I asked.

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.

VPR Cafe: Morrisville/Morristown, Confusing Geography But Good Food

Jul 13, 2018
The "Country Classic" served at The Charlmont Restaurant in Morrisville.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

Not all small towns in Vermont offer enough restaurants to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner all at different places. But Morrisville sure does. Or is it Morristown?

Wayside Restaurant owners Karen and Brian Zecchinelli show off some of their 100th anniversary swag. While they're celebrating all year long, a big ice cream social with fireworks is planned for July 29.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

This month, the Wayside Restaurant in Montpelier turns 100 years old. By serving up old-fashioned comfort food with a "made-in-Vermont" flair, it's one family restaurant that's found a recipe for success.

The Cowmobile is one of the endearing images of Ben & Jerry's. We discuss how important the social mission is to the company today.
Jonathansloane / iStock

A national consumer group says Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. uses deceptive labeling and marketing to mislead the public about its commitment to a clean environment and humane farming practices.

President Trump has railed against Canada for taking advantage of the U.S. when it comes to trade. A particular point of criticism is the dairy industry. Canada slaps steep tariffs on imports of milk, cheese and butter from the U.S., something Trump has called a "disgrace."

One of the label options being considered for the federal GMO labeling law. We're talking about public sentiment towards GMOs and the latest on the national law.
USDA

New research out of UVM shows that Vermont's GMO labeling law affected consumer sentiment in an unexpected way: it actually decreased consumer opposition to GMOs in food. We're talking about these results and getting an update on the progress of the federal labeling law, including how it's being determined what the national labels will look like.

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.

Wine doesn't have to be intimidating. Listen and learn more about the various varieties and how to pair it with dishes.
Ridofranz / istock

With so many varieties and pairings, choosing a wine can be pretty intimidating. That's why Vermont Edition sat down with two wine experts to demystify the world of wine.

Small-dose pot brownies being sized and packaged in Boulder, Colorado, in 2014.
Brennan Linsley / AP

Vermont's new law allows for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana - that includes as a component in edibles. The problem is, the state doesn't have the local capability to measure how much cannabis, by weight, as an ingredient is in brownies, cookies or other edibles.

Mike Hoffman and Ryan Podd of Northern Roots Nursery, in Hyde Park, stand among a greenhouse full of the hemp plants they cultivate for CBD production at Heady Vermont's Legalization Celebration on July 1.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Temperatures in the 90s seemed to keep attendance down at Heady Vermont's July 1 Legalization Celebration in Johnson. However, those who braved the heat experienced live music, workshops and a cannabis-themed marketplace.

We're talking about issues around cannabis etiquette after legalization.
CreativeFire / iStock

If you're interested in using cannabis, when and where is it okay to do so while respecting the choices of others? With edibles in the mix, when and how should you notify others that something contains cannabis?

Marijuana is the term for the Cannabis plant primarily used in North America. Outside the region, most use the term Cannabis.
aga7ta / iStock

When it comes to cannabis, there are a ton of terms that get thrown around in laws, in conversation and on products or advertisements.

A bag of potato chips with a GMO label.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

A new study from the University of Vermont shows that opposition to foods containing genetically modified ingredients in Vermont actually decreased after the state implemented mandatory GMO labelling.

The specifics of Act 86 aren't clear to all. We answer your questions.
LPETTET / istock

On July 1, Vermont's Act 86 makes it legal for adults 21+ to possess an ounce of marijuana and cultivate a small number of marijuana plants under state law.

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.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

For those with a green thumb, growing supplies are an essential step to taking advantage of Act 86 — Vermont's new marijuana law.

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.

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