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June 24th, 2010
My husband courted me with freshly picked ripe strawberries. Rising before 5 a.m. to pick 20 pounds of the shiny dark red fruit in the cool of a morning, he’d drive 120 miles to walk in just in time for breakfast. Two things were almost immediately obvious: first, it was time to learn to make jam, and second, I needed to marry this guy.
This week in our gardens we're picking:
MIDDLEBURY — Last Thursday’s filing deadline for candidates vying for Vermont House and Senate seats produced some familiar local political names from the past along with the conspicuous absence of a prominent incumbent.
Information culled from the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office reveals there will be contested races in three of the county’s six House districts, including a Republican primary in Addison-4.
BRISTOL — School officials at Mount Abraham Union High School are bucking the cost-saving trend at some Vermont schools to privatize food services, instead opting for the ambitious plan to build from scratch a homegrown cooperative that could, in time, expand to serve elementary schools in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union.
VERGENNES — As Lisa Sprague enters a classroom at Vergennes Union Elementary School carrying a bundle of freshly harvested vegetables, she is confronted with a throng of students hoping to help her do whatever is necessary to make the food ready to eat.
Such a scene has become not uncommon for Sprague, the food service manager at VUES. The school recently kicked off the second year of its student garden, which not only produces food for the school lunch program but also gives students hands-on lessons in many subject areas.
SALISBURY — A relatively dry, cool spring has helped limit Addison County’s mosquito population, but those charged with battling the bugs warned that just one substantial rainstorm could unleash a massive swarm of the pesky bloodsuckers.
“Things are going pretty well,” Jon Turmel, the state’s entomologist, said last Wednesday. “I usually get calls when things get bad, and I haven’t had one call.”
CORNWALL — People have been shearing alpacas in South America for centuries — among other things, the famous ponchos of Chile are made from Alpaca fleece.
But now, the popularity of alpacas is growing in the Northern Hemisphere, and companies ranging from Armani to REI are using the hair.
On Thursday this movement north will continue, as more than 20 entrants from around the country will compete for the title of “Best Alpaca Shearer in North America” on the alpaca farm of Carol and Cass Tillman in Cornwall.
VERGENNES — Officials of the John W. Graham Emergency Shelter are working toward a major renovation of the shelter’s original building in Vergennes, which sits prominently at the intersection of Main Street and Monkton Road.
On June 8, the Vergennes City Council agreed to support the homeless shelter board’s application for a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that could pay for most, but far from all, of a project that would follow sensitive historic preservation guidelines.