September 9th, 2010
MIDDLEBURY — In the complex world of hospital budgets, a 4.4 percent rise in revenue added to a 1 percent decline in expenses, but which yields a $90,000 loss for the year is understandable.
So is a tax increase imposed by the federal government that will add an additional $1 million in expenses in 2011, not to mention an $814,060 expense for a digital record keeping system that is mandated under state law.
CORNWALL — Gary Margolis is indeed reaching lofty heights for his poetry prowess.
It wasn’t long ago that he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his third collection of poems, “Fire in the Orchard.”
This past spring he released his fourth book, titled “Below the Falls,” inspired by the emotional search in 2008 for missing Middlebury College student Nicholas Garza.
Last week in this space my esteemed colleague Trent Campbell told a sad story about his personal alienation from one of the high art forms of 20th century suburban life: lawn mowing. He thought he fell in love with mowing while in college. Sitting in class he heard the grounds crew outside soaking up the sun and plugging away at the vast expanse of collegiate lawn with ne’er a care in the world while he slogged through a calculus lesson.
But what the love soured and Trent now despises the task.
LINCOLN — “Why pigs?” was the first question posed to Nate Gusakov, owner and operator of Full Belly Farm located off Quaker Street in Lincoln. His answer was simple and unabashed:
“Why pigs?” he responded. “Bacon, in a word.”
Before he began leasing his 17-acre farm three years ago, Gusakov had been a wandering graduate of Sterling College’s Sustainable Agriculture program and Bristol-native who dreamed of one day operating his own small farm.
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Carrots with Vinegar and Mint
Peel and trim 2 pounds of carrots and cut into quarter-inch rounds. Pat them dry.
In a large, heavy frying pan, add vegetable oil to one inch in depth, and heat the oil to 375 degrees. Place the carrots in the oil so they are not crowding each other and cook until lightly brown on the edges (three to four minutes). Remove carrots with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to blot. Repeat with all carrots.
Over the past few years, our little homestead has started to look like a real old-fashioned farm, complete with all the standard barnyard animals. But if you’re thinking things are all E-I-E-I-O around here, think again.
Nowhere in that classic children’s farm song do I recall a verse in which Old McDonald had some rats.
It started about a month ago. Early one morning while opening up the turkey house, I spied a shadow slipping away from the feeder.
“Perhaps it’s a little Beatrix Potter field mouse,” I said. “I’ll call him Cuddly Wumpkins.”
I have always been an active angler. I don’t like passive fishing. I like to move when I fish. I like walking or wading, casting and retrieving, going after the fish and not waiting for them to come after me. I like to cover lots of water. I don’t like to just stand around and watch.
That’s one reason I prefer fishing rivers and streams to fishing lakes. It’s also why I prefer fly-fishing and spin fishing to trolling or bait fishing. The first two of these require regular, at times constant, activity: frequent steady motions of the shoulders, arms, hands, legs, eyes.
WEYBRIDGE — When Weybridge photojournalist and writer George Bellerose asked Grayson Wyman to sum up his life as a dairy farmer, the answer was simple:
“It was 46 years of pretty straight going,” Wyman said.
This became the title statement of Bellerose’s recently published book, “Forty-Six Years of Pretty Straight Going: The Life of a Family Dairy Farm,” which follows brothers Larry and Grayson Wyman through the last years of work on their Weybridge farm before their retirement in 2005.