Agriculture

Celebrating Local Food & Farms at Summervale

Here at City Market, we work closely with the Intervale Center as one of our Community Outreach Partners. Each summer, we sponsor their weekly celebration of food, farms, and community: Summervale.

A New Direction for Vermont Agriculture

This is a guest post by Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm. All views expressed in this article are personal to Jack.

Just about every dairy farmer in Vermont will tell you that their industry is in a grave crisis situation.  The experts tell us that our present system of pricing commodity milk from the farm is broken and pretty much unrepairable. There is simply too much milk being produced.  According to the agricultural economists, we are now in a global marketplace and milk prices show no sign of improvement in the near future.  Several well-respected commentators have recently made some pretty radical suggestions they feel will help the situation.  For some time now, James Maroney of Leicester has been pushing for a statewide transition to organic dairy practices as a way to improve water quality in Lake Champlain.  More recently, Roger Allbee, a very well respected former Secretary of the Vermont Department of Agriculture, has suggested that the only cure for the present milk pricing malaise is to move the Vermont dairy industry en masse into the organic sector.  Reactions to these proposals have been rather predictable.  The conventional co-ops that handle the lion’s share of Vermont produced milk are incredulous and dead set against any such change while folks in the organic camp are elated that a former agriculture secretary would recognize the viability and economic advantages of organic farming systems. 

Confessions of a Grainiac

This is a guest post by Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm. All views expressed in this article are personal to Jack.

I grew my first grain crops during the 1977 season one year after buying our farm.  Total acreage was six—four of wheat, one of barley and one of flint corn. The cereals were planted with a wooden wheeled antique grain drill and harvested with a PTO driven John Deere grain binder and a large tin Dion threshing machine.  We ended up with some very nice looking hard red spring wheat that seemed to glow at us.  Beginner’s luck was upon us.  This initial success bolstered our confidence and nurtured a passion for grain growing that has continued until very recently.

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