From the early 1950’s until the late 1980’s, the United States government placed a high priority on subsidizing wool because of its importance as a material for military uniforms. During this time, David Major’s family was able to raise many sheep and earn up to three dollars a pound for their wool. The industry thrived, and allowed thousands of Americans make a decent living. When the subsidies ended in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the entire wool market in the United States collapsed. Once-vibrant woolen mills in Vermont and Rhode Island became obsolete, as the business of raising sheep quickly travelled overseas due to American farmers no longer being able to survive.
The story of Lyman’s Specialties starts in 1998, when Peg Moulton and Lyman Powers met. The first batch of pickles arose from a conversation about Christmas presents back in the early 2000’s. They decided on gift baskets that would be filled with Peg’s grandmother’s fudge and cinnamon rolls, as well as Lyman’s great-grandmother’s bread & butter pickles and garden relish. As they distributed the gifts, the feedback on the pickles was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, Rhonda, Peg’s daughter, said they were the
Maple syrup, the Vermont delicacy dates back hundreds of years when Native Americans first discovered the sap flowing from Sugar Maple trees and boiled it into the sweet caramel syrup we know and love today. Vermont is the top producer of maple syrup in the United States with a share of 40%, or over 3.5 million gallons. While many other states produce maple syrup no
In 1989, a young Pierre Capy stopped in for a cup of coffee at a café called the Coffee Connection in Cambridge, MA.. He had never had anything like it before in his life, and two weeks later he was working for that café’s legendary owner, George Howell. Pierre’s life was on a completely new course.
The story of Nutty Steph’s starts at a Vermont gas station in 2003, when Stephanie Jaquelyn Rieke and her mother bought some granola as a snack. Her mom was unimpressed with what they tasted, and immediately knew that the granola Jaquelyn had been baking for many years in her home kitchen was far superior. Since Jaquelyn had just quit her job as a teacher and was seeking a lifestyle change,
Chris Chaisson has had a passion for farming and food since an early age. It all started at the age of 3 when he lived in Western MA and helped his family raise bees and grow vegetables, which they sold at a tiny farm stand. His first job was with his father’s catering company at age 12, and he worked as a cook all through high school. During his formative years his grandmother helped to start Smartfood popcorn, which instilled an interest in the farm-to-manufacturing process. After high school he apprenticed with herbalists
Green River Aprons— For six years now Green River Aprons has been stitching up the finest aprons around. Edith and Kathy’s approach is one of precision made possible by their talented eyes and hands as well as their impressive Swiss-made Bernina sewing machines. The finished products are made of beautiful 100% cotton cloth that features splendid artwork. Edith’s passion for sewing dates back many years. She fell in love with being a seamstress
A Whole Lot Of Sweet Potatoes— The biggest sweet potato producer in Vermont, Laughing Child Farm, is tucked away in the Butternut Bend neighborhood of Pawlet, VT. Brooke and Tim Hughes-Muse have raised their family and a whole lot of sweet potatoes over the past five years on 39 acres. In fact, they will grow 180,000 pounds of sweet potatoes on their land this year, all certified organic and mostly planted and harvested by hand. It is a
The Dream— Six years ago, Peter Dixon and his wife Rachel Fritz Schaal unrolled a giant piece of paper on the big farmhouse table in their kitchen in Westminster West. They started writing out their dreams for the future, and Rachel said, “Okay, this is it, your last best cheese business. What is your heart’s desire?”
On a recent hot July day I traveled with a group of Co-op staff to Winchester, NH to get to know Jenny and Bruce Wooster and the rest of the Picadilly Farm family — one of the amazing local farms that grow delicious fruits and veggies for your Co-op. In their organic practices, their care for their land and their team, and their love of growing great food, Picadilly is an exemplary operation, and visiting them reminded us why we are committed to supporting our local
Tucked away on Route 5 in Brattleboro, Vermont Commonwealth Dairy produces Green Mountain Creamery Greek yogurt and has many connections to the local, national and global dairy industry. These connections were very clear when I met with Plant Manager Mike Hassay and Green Mountain Creamery Brand Manager Ann Pratt. From the local Vermont milk they process to their international global partnership with a German company Ehrmann, it is quite a
Ice cream is an age-old treat that dates back to the second century, when snow was flavored with sweeteners such as honey. In the United States this delicious treat first hit the market in the late 1700’s and was mostly enjoyed by the elite class until the 1800’s. In the 1800’s ice cream became more prevalent, however there were no freezers so it had to be enjoyed quite fast. Tough life, eh? In present day, ice cream is made all around the world, but few ice cream makers