Sunday, November 25, 2012

A trip to the farmers market

The winter farmers markets have begun! They are every other Saturday at the memorial auditorium on main st. I missed one a few weeks ago and finally made it to one on the 17th. Walking in there was a face painting table and a Mediterranean foods stand, both I had never seen before at the summer markets. There were tables of local maple syrup, cranberries (for thanksgiving!), cider and of course lots of root veggies! I didn't need to do a big shopping trip but ended up getting a bundle of kale from Full Moon Farm for only $2.50! Lots of kale around these days! I also sampled some local cheeses; Shelburne Farms was of course representing as well as a small family run goat farm that had several kinds of chèvre and soaps for sale. There was even a Vermont vodka company table! The farmers market is a fun and easy way to eat local an the winter market is still pretty lively and definitely hosts a variety of vendors. Next one is November 1st, check it out!

Friday, November 16, 2012

So local I got it from my friend's porch!

Knowing people in high places is the way to life! Last night, a friend presented me with boxes and boxes of gleaned produce from Pete's Green's in Craftsbury, VT. Gleaning is when anyone can come and take the extra produce that the farmer is not going to sell. Otherwise, the food would be composted and unused! So in the morning I walked over with my backpack for some pre-danksgiving foraging!
There was kale, more kale, carrots, golden carrots, cabbage, loads and loads of potatoes, and this cool looking romanesco cauliflower!

You gotta love Vermont for moments like these.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Local lasagna

You must be thinking to yourself... An Italian delicacy made all local in Vermont? Well you best believe it! Who else could pull it off but the local grazers.
The contents all easily traceable back to their birthplace in Vermont.
The garlic, the most imperative in culinary taste, came from Bella Farm in Monkton, VT.
Spinach from Pomykala Farm in Grand Isle, VT... Try and say that three times fast!
Tomatoes from Savage Gardens Farm in North Hero, VT.
Mushrooms foraged from Colchester, VT.
Red Hen Bakery "locavore loaf" of bread, from Middlesex, VT.
The pasta sheets from Vermont Fresh, with all contents made of certified organic, and grown by Vermont organic farmers, as it is conspicuously labeled on the package.
Lastly, the hardest part was the cheese, holding the lasagna together.
We made a specially homemade creamy cheese with Cabot Cheddar, and Strafford Organic Creamery milk in Stafford, VT!

Now, time to enjoy it! Not only for the taste, but also from the pleasure of knowing where our food came from, and supporting our hard working local farmers.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Got a Few Minutes? How to Make Local Butter!

Step 1: Get creative at work (thanks Edmund!)

Step 2: Shake 1/2 gallon of local heavy cream. 
Step 3: Add salt (careful!)
Step 4: Cut container in half and there awaits you the most fresh, creamy, local butter! Enjoy!

The Many Tastes of Local

Yesterday I went to Shelburne Vineyard Autumn Wine and Food Festival. There were over ten different vendors there, sampling their locally made products. There were several meat options, like quail, charcuterie meats, and smoked sausages that my friends said were delicious, but I bypassed those options for the wine, mead, cider, chocolate, cheeses and bread. There could not have been a better way to accomplish afternoon local snacking. 
We started with the wine, which I learned while tasting, is not local according to our rules. Shelburne Vineyard receives grapes from many vineyards up to a 300 mile radius. The woman who gave us our tasting explained to me that some grapes just do not grow as well in the Vermont climate and therefore they must venture further into New York to find the appropriate grapes they need for certain wines. The same was true for the East Shore Vineyard from Grand Isle, VT. Most of their grapes are produced at their Vineyard (they also have a tasting spot on Church St!), but they are not able to grow all that they need there, so they pick up from Vineyards in the Finger Lakes region of New York, again up to 300 miles away. They did however have one all local wine for tasting that day, the St. Croix. 

The Star All Local Wine!

 Red Hen Bakery, from Middlesex, VT, was also there sampling a variety of their breads.  I found out from them that they do indeed have a few all local options. The Cyprus Pringle (light wheat bread) and the Vermont Miche (rye and wheat) use all local grains, and were a perfect match for the Smoked Cheddar from Shelburne Farms and the Coupole goat cheese from VT Butter and Creamery from Websterville, VT. I learned from them something new as well. To wash down this delicious bread and cheese feast, I finished my tastings with local and traditional Artesano mead from Groton, Vermont. The mead is made from Vermont wildflower honey and sweet as can be! We also tried Eden Ice Cider from West Charleston, Vermont made from a variety of Vermont apples. I think I could drink that all day it was so appley good. Overall this tasting event was a blast and even introduced me to a new restaurant that uses "locally-sourced seasonal Vermont products whenever possible" says chef and owner, Michael Orfan of the Lemon Peel Cafe in Shelburne. He hosted the charcuterie meats along with several condiment options. My favorites were the garlic pickles and homemade mustard! 

Dining Halls

Today is my third day of being a locavore. It is proving to be quit challenging on the school meal
plan, especially snack wise. I find that I get really hungry during the day, and it’s hard to find local snacks other than apples. I am enjoying the purple hash that I made. If anyone is planning on being local, being off the meal plan will give you quit an advantage. Despite the challenges of being on campus going local has forced me to make healthy food choices. I have not been using oil in my cooking, even with our oil rule. It actually does not make a huge difference in the taste of things if I cook it in water, especially if one uses a lot of garlic, which makes it rather yummy.

Keepin’ it Local

For two of my local meals so far, I have gone to Cook dining facility on campus. For one of these
meals, I spoke with Jim Kingzett, the chef at the Cook dining hall, about the local food options on
campus. He said that Sodexo has been working with local farmers and Black River distributing company to get more local food options on campus. The problem, he says is that local farmers cannot produce the vast quantity of produce that the school cafeterias need to feed the 8,000 students that eat at the dining halls in one day. Cook alone feeds 1,500 students in one day.

Local Food Stand at Cook Dining Hall
Another problem, Jim explained was that students usually go for staples such as burgers, fries,
and pizza. The healthier foods, where local foods are mostly put to use, do not sell as well as the staples. Cook has recently added a vegetarian station which contains healthy foods, but Jim said that the
vegetarian station only accounts for 5% of all the food taken and consumed at Cook dining hall. It seems to me that the main problem lies in encouraging students to eat unprocessed foods and vegetables. If students demand healthy foods, then it will be easier to incorporate local food produce into the meals at Cook and other dining facilities. Even if local foods cannot be the main component of University lunches, it would be nice to see them be a larger percentage of meals on campus.

Currently most local foods make their way into UVM meals during the spring and end of
summer when local produce is at its peak of production. During the winter, there are relatively few
fruits and vegetables that can be sold for mass consumption. The foods that Cook carries that are local
are often in the form of salad dressings, mustards, jams, crackers, bread, apples, green beans, corn, and
squash. The chefs who work at Cook usually do not know what local foods they have used in crafting
dishes for students. However, the local foods that are served-as-is for the students do receive a label
indicating that it is a local food. The label is black, yellow, and green and depicts a sun rising behind a
landscape of mountains. It was designed by Jim.

Label on the apples at Cook dining facilities

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Most delicious, fast & simple...

Butterworks Farm Jersey Whole Milk Yogurt drizzled in VT maple syrup!

This morning this is my breakfast, yesterday it was snack... and desert...

I also need some warm snacks on these cold days! I made cayenne pepper kale chips and salty toasted pumpkin seeds from a pumpkin I got from Shelburne Orchards, and carved last week for halloween.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 1: Breakfast

Our enthusiasm was its highest this morning for our local week to officially begin! Maya and I planned to make our first local breakfast together, and how delicious and easy it was! I started with some potatoes and an onion from Rockville Market Farm in Starksboro, VT. I chopped them all up, tossed them in olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme & oregano, and VOILA! Popped those in the oven and half hour Maya arrived. The heat from the oven warmed the kitchen to make it a cozy cooking nook, on this freezing November morning (27 degrees!).

Next I cracked a couple eggs from Savage Gardens of North Hero, VT, then toasted a few slices of honey oat bread from Red Door Bakery from Marshfield, VT. Maya sliced up the sharp Cabot, and our egg sammies were ready to eat! The finished meal included those toasty home fries and Cold Hollow Cider from Waterbury.
Stuffed full and ready to start the day! Off to find some locally roasted coffee...

Introduction and Day 1 of Going Local on Campus

The purpose of this assignment is to explore a food movement which has the goal of increasing social and environmental justice. For our project, we decided to explore the local movement by going local for one week. Each of us has different eating habits, Molly is vegetarian, Maya is an omnivore, and I am vegan.  One of the restrictions put on me is that I live on campus and eat on a meal plan. However, I think this restriction will add an interesting dimension to the project. We can compare what our experiences are on and off campus.  This knowledge may be useful for other college-aged students thinking about going local.

In preparation for my first day as a locavore, I went to the Farmers’ market, which is inside Burlington’s Memorial Auditorium. I had the opportunity to speak with Corie Pierce, One of the Bread and Butter Farm’s full time employees and founders. I asked her about growing kale in the winter. She said that she was one of the few local farmers to grow Kale all winter. Corie uses a greenhouse to protect the plants from the wind and snow, but actually use no electricity for heating. According to Peirce, Kale can grow in temperatures as low as 15ͦF. The ground is naturally warm in the greenhouse and rarely freezes over.
I was impressed by the limited amount of energy used by Corie’s greenhouse and by the fact that Kale could grow in such cold temperatures.  I had been worried that all that I would have to eat only  root vegetables such as potatoes and squash, but Corie’s kale was putting that worry at ease. I also got to speak with a woman who made Red Maple Granola in Hardwick, Vermont.  I told her about my project and she seemed to think that I could most definitely live on Local foods while being a student at the University of Vermont. I was reassured by the farmers in my decision to go local for a week. I had the vegetables, now I just had to start cooking.
                  My first local meal of my first day as a locavore was Red Maple granola with Vermont Soy milk and an empire apple from Shelburne Farms. I realized that the granola was not entirely organic because it contained dried coconut and I’m fairly certain that coconuts do not grow in Vermont. But, I figured it was alright since the majority of the ingredients were mostly made in Vermont and it had been assembled in Vermont. That seemed alright as my first meal and it was fairly similar to the oatmeal and apple that I usually have as a non-locavore.
My next meal took place at Cook dining hall, which nicely and surprisingly has a local fruit stand right next to the entrance way. There was also some pleasant looking and tasting slices of locally made breads located on a table next to the fruit stand. On the wall behind the bread, there is a map of Vermont which shows were produce and food products were grown and made. I also found a locally mad mustard and blueberry jam that I could put on the bread at the vegan station. Lastly I helped myself to some cooked squash at the vegan station that was grown locally.
The hardest part during the day was finding snacks that filled me up until dinner. Locally grown apples are readily available within all of the eating facilities on the UVM campus, but they are low in calories. In order to fill myself up, I invested in a jar of Vermont peanut butter. Vermont peanut butter comes from locally grown peanuts in Morrisville, Vermont. The only ingredients are peanuts and salt. The company itself was created in Vermont by the Kaiser family, who wanted to offer an alternative to hydrogenated oil filled peanut butter.

And finally for dinner I made a purple hash with purple potatoes, garlic, and red onions that I had gotten from the Bread and Butter Farm at the farmer’s market.  I also had a side of raw kale, which was also from the Bread and Butter Farm. The dinner was good, although I did use salt which was not collected locally.
The hardest part was definitely the availability of filling local foods on campus. There are lots of local fruits, but there are so many apples that one person can eat.  I should have gotten more simple foods to make such as yellow potatoes or sweet potatoes so that I could have an easy baked potato. I am hoping to make a trip to healthy living to find some more local foods for the rest of the project. Thus far I think the most rewarding part of a locavore diet is going to be getting to know the farmers and learning about how foods are grown.

From the White House to Pop Culture

This is kind of how our shopping trip went yesterday. 

Is this local? I'm going to ask you just one more time, and it's local? 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


In honor of our president for the next four years, and the first lady... Congratulations, and keep setting a good example for food activists everywhere!  Here's a video about the white house garden and more :)

Let's Get Grazin'...

It's election day! People have been posting their opinions all over facebook, but we are taking action. Today we begin our localvore journey, and today we vote with our dollars!

You may be thinking, what the heck is a localvore? Well, it's pretty self explanatory if you take the two derivatives of the word: local and vore. Eating local has become a growing diet trend in the last few years, as well as a social movement with political implications. Not only does this word represent the tree hugging radicals, but even the Oxford Dictionary claimed it the word of the year in 2007. It is defined as,
 a person who makes an effort to eat food that is grown, raised,or produced locally, usually within 100 miles of home.

So that's what we decided to do this week! We are going local! Based on this definition we are pledging to only buy and consume products grown or produced within 100 miles of Burlington, VT. As with vegetarianism and other diets, there can be varying levels of intensity and dedication, from extremists to the casual localvore. We're trying to find a happy medium, while still staying sane as finals are coming up in a few weeks. Here is our realistic interpretation of going local this week:

Local Foods Rules 

1. All consumed products must be from a 100 miles radius from Burlington, VT.
2. Let's be real we're college students; we need coffee. So, we're limiting our choices to local roasters like Speeder and Earls.
3. We also thrive on flavor in our lives.  Spices, herbs, and oil will be acceptable as non-local products.
4. We know that not everything we eat can be produced in the winter in Vermont, but we still want those darn awesome cookies and goodies. We will continue to support Vermont businesses even though not all the ingredients may have been originally produced in Vermont. 
5. We will (do our best to) record all of the foods that we eat during this week as well as where it came from. 

So, why are we doing this? We feel strongly about eating good quality, ethical food, and we want to support our local producers. The goals of our actions are to change the food system we currently live with. We also want to combat the critiques of the localvore movement as being elitist and expensive. Everyone should be able to access and afford local food, even broke college students like us. We are so excited and optimistic about this challenge!

We decided to start small and convenient by going to City Market. Check our pics to reveal our shopping experience tonight (took us a little longer than normal)...
Nothing but apples for us in Vermont! So much for seasonal fruit.

A whopping $38.27 supporting local food, and a total of $33.62 thanks to our City Market membership.  

Root vegetables, cider, cheese galore! Yogurt, arugula, soft wheat berries and MORE! 

Root veggies are ready to ROAST.