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Mark Breen will explain where constellations, planets and other cosmic sights are during the Eye on the Sky Stargazing Party.
Kevin Clifford / AP

Take your radio or phone into the backyard and join VPR for our Eye on the Sky Stargazing Party on Friday, Aug. 10 at 9 p.m.

Young Writers Project: 'Flamingo'

Jul 27, 2018
Poet Greta Solsaa of Rutland, Vermont, makes a pointed study of a particular ornament we are all familiar with: the lawn flamingo.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Samantha Aikman, 14, Richmond, Vermont

Sagging,
the age-old yet new
flamingo would be half dead
if it were alive.
Dug into the half-live
ground, it stands like
a beach ball
in a deflated summer,
or maybe an inflated winter.

Calla lilies are a southern favorite but can also grow well in Vermont during hot, summer weather.
David Gomez / iStock

“The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower—suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I place them here in memory of something that has died.” Katherine Hepburn in the movie, "Stage Door," had one thing right about calla lilies - they are a versatile flower.

VPR Cafe: Farmers Market Season In Full Swing

Jul 26, 2018
Fresh produce at The Capital City Farmers Market from LaPage Farm in Barre.
Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

Making a weekly stop at your local farmers market is a common event for many, especially during summer. But consider breaking away from your go-to market to explore the farmers and vendors selling their wares in a neighboring town or another part of the state.

VPR Cafe: The Crunchy Goodness Of Cricket Protein

Jul 19, 2018
Flourish Farm in Williston is raising millions of crickets to be used as a seasoned food and protein powder.
Luke Awtry Photography / Seven Days

If fried grasshoppers and other insects are considered snacks in many parts of the world, why not crunch on crickets, too? One Vermont company is counting on the fact that you might appreciate crickets as part of your diet. 

When growing fall raspberries or blueberries, you'll need to protect them from a new pest known as the drosophila fruit fly.
ansonmiao / iStock

If you're growing fall raspberries or blueberries, chances are you're starting to see this pest. Or you're seeing the symptoms of this pest. If you've noticed your ripening blueberries or raspberries shriveling on the plant or turning into a maggot-filled mess after sitting on the counter for a few days, you probably have spotted the winged drosophila fruit fly.

A bobolink perches on strands of high grasses in South Woodstock at Top Acres Farm.
Kent McFarland

Which bird's song is a burst of tweets and twitters that sound like R2D2 from "Star Wars" movie fame? It is the bobolink and after wintering in Argentina, these small, songful birds have returned to nest in Vermont's high grasses.

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. 

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