Food & Drink

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.

New Vermont Distillery Run By Veterans For Veterans

Apr 13, 2018

It’s getting easier and easier to find top-notch, handcrafted whiskey, bourbon, vodka, and other spirits made right here in the United States. With more than 1,500 craft distillers across the country, the American spirits movement is on the rise, and in Vermont the industry is booming.

Claudia Marshall holds a bundle of 'Giving Garden' seed packets from High Mowing Organic Seeds, at the Gardener's Supply store in Burlington.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Two Vermont companies have joined forces to encourage gardeners across the country to help fill their local food shelves.

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.

Between two historic monitor barns in Richmond lies a working farm run by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. The farm is home to the Health Care Share, a CSA that's free to Vermonters experiencing food insecurity and diet-related illness.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

This time of year, many Vermonters are thinking about signing up for a CSA share at their local farm. Meanwhile, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps is getting ready to supply a different type of Community Supported Agriculture – one you pick up at a doctor's office.

Similar to these traditional raised beds, a keyhole raised bed not only gets you gardening sooner in spring, but also saves space.
mtreasure / iStock

It's time to start thinking about your vegetable garden. Many gardeners have transitioned from flat, straight rows to raised beds. Raised beds warm up faster in spring, drain water sooner and allow you to garden more intensively without as much work. But the next level of raised beds is the keyhole bed.

A chocolate pig with tiny chocolate piglets inside is just one of the many Easter novelties created by chocolatier, Pier Normandeau, at L'Oeuf in Mystic, QC.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

There's a little place north of the border that makes you feel as though you've been transported to a small, French village. A Québécois Brigadoon, if you will. It's called L'Oeuf - a French country restaurant and chocolate shop where chocolate takes center stage this time of year.  

Dirty Mayor cans on the canning belt at Citizen Cider in Burlington.
Henry Epp / VPR

Tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump on some imported steel and aluminum went into effect late last week. Several countries have received exemptions from those tariffs, but still some industries in the U.S. are wary of them — including craft beer and cider makers.

We're talking about food tourism in Vermont: how it's changing and what it means for the state.
Mark Goebel / Flickr

Vermont's farms and food-and-drink producers are pitching themselves to tourists - not just as the source of what's on the table, but as destinations in their own right. We're talking about food tourism, how it fits into the state's economy, and whom it benefits.

Cans of Heady Topper roll off the production line at The Alchemist brewery, in Waterbury. The brewery recently intentionally over-built a solar project and is sharing its extra power with the Waterbury Area Senior Center.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

"Microbrews and bluebird skies." It could almost be a Vermont tourism campaign — but in this instance, it describes an emerging trend in the region: solar-powered local beer production. And one central Vermont brewery's raising the bar even higher by throwing philanthropy into the mix.

Chicken dumplings (pictured) served at Double King, a Chinese food pop-up at Montpelier's Kismet restaurant.
Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

From traditional Chinese food restaurants to Asian fusion, from buffets to pop-ups, it all can be found scattered throughout Vermont. In this episode, Seven Days food writer Hannah Palmer Egan shares a few of her favorites.

An essential oil bottle next to lavender flowers laying down on a surface.
Amy_Lv / iStock

The name "lavender" comes from the Latin word meaning "to wash" — referring to the Mediterranean herb's use in baths, beds and clothing. Its oil is used medicinally as an antibacterial, anti-convulsive, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic. Queen Victoria even used it to soothe her nerves. This herb also adds a slightly sweet flavor to breads, soups, salads and desserts — and it can be grown here in Vermont!

Layers walk around by the "egg mobile" at the Papineau Family Farm in Highgate.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A rule designed to insure poultry and their eggs sold under the organic label are from birds raised under healthy living conditions, including access to outdoors, has been withdrawn by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Not only does flowering quince provide food for pollinating bees, but its fruit can be used to make jam for human consumption.
Marrakeshh / iStock

With spring knocking at our door, sort of, I'm always on the lookout for signs of the season. One shrub that fails to disappoint in my garden is the flowering quince or Chaenomeles.

After learning to bake bread as a child in Germany, Bread and Puppet Theater founder, Peter Schumann, is still rising sourdouogh rye today in Glover.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

Glover, Vermont, is a strange and wonderful place. There's the self-serve/self-pay Red Sky Trading Company, Currier's Market and Taxidermy, The Museum of Everyday Life and - the epicenter of strangeness - Bread and Puppet Theater.

Vermont's tea culture abounds with many tea rooms around the state including Stone Leaf Teahouse in Middlebury (owner, John Wetzel, in background).
Melissa Pasanen / Vermont Life

There's no doubt the British have a tea culture. But Vermont? Oh yeah, it's a thing!

Originating in India, the traditional cucumber has evolved over the past 3,000 years and includes an assortment of shapes and colors.
bhofack2 / iStock

The cucumber as we know it from our salad bowl is, in fact, a 3,000 year old vegetable from India. There are many variations of this melon-friendly veggie; let's look at a few. 

Syrup producer David Hall stands outside near Lac Brome, Québec.
Lorne Matalon / For VPR

While Vermont is by far the highest producing maple syrup state in the United States, 70 percent of the world's maple syrup is made in Québec.

And that's where the benchmark global price for bulk maple syrup — the price paid by processors to Vermont's maple syrup producers — is set each year by a powerful, but legal, cartel.

Bob Sabolefski, a small batch syrup producer in Stowe, pours sap from one bucket to another in the woods.
Lorne Matalon / For VPR

Demand for maple syrup and maple products is growing by about 6 to 8 percent per year globally. The prospect of that kind of return is drawing in investors to Vermont like moths to a flame.

Victoria Banerjee checks on a tank of wort, or unfermented beer, at Hermit Thrush Brewery in Brattleboro.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont's craft brewers are asking lawmakers to update the state's franchise law because they say it unfairly benefits beer and wine distributors.

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