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Area orchards begin apple harvest early

Posted on August 19, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



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ADDISON COUNTY — Fall apple picking season is coming a little early this year.

In fact, many area orchards have already begun to offer pick-your-own apples, because their earliest apples are already ripening.

“Our apples are about 10 days early, which is significant,” said Bill Suhr, who owns Champlain Orchards. “It's probably the earliest crop we’ve ever seen.”

He added that his fall raspberries are already ripe, also more than a week ahead of expectations.

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Guide helps migrants communicate in Vt.

Posted on June 3, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



ADDISON COUNTY — When Kathryn Kramer began teaching English to migrant farm laborers in Vermont, she quickly realized that everything she’d learned about English as a second language (ESL) needed to be revamped for working with Vermont’s population of Spanish-speaking farmworkers, most of whom work in the dairy industry.

Generic lessons about recent trips to the movie theater and going out to eat just didn’t make sense, Kramer realized.

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Gleason Grains set to expand

Posted on May 24, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



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BRIDPORT — Citing a mounting interest in locally grown organic grains, Ben and Theresa Gleason are expanding their Bridport milling operation that has been the forefront of Vermont’s reemerging grains industry.

Gleason Grains is already the largest operation of its kind in the state, but armed with a grant from the Farm Viability Program, the farm is doubling production this year with the help of three other Addison County farmers.

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Four Hills Farm plans cowpower

Posted on May 20, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



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BRISTOL — One of Addison County’s largest farms has secured a $250,000 grant to put toward the construction of an on-farm methane digester to convert manure into electricity.

Bristol’s Four Hills Farm was received the grant from the Clean Energy Development Fund, which last week announced more than $3 million in grants and low-interest loans for 15 Vermont renewable energy projects.  

Brian Hill, who co-owns the farm with Kevin, Ronald and Joanne Hill, said the farmers have been considering installing a methane digester for about eight years.

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Legislature focuses on farms

Posted on May 17, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



ADDISON COUNTY — Lawmakers and farmers’ advocates are saying that compromise and the importance of economic development programs rose to the forefront this year in the discussion about farm policy in Montpelier.

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County fruit growers still evaluating frost damage

Posted on May 17, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County orchardists and fruit growers are assessing the damage to their crops after a cold snap swept through the region last week, but most are saying its too early to know how temperatures that dipped well into the 20s early on May 11 could affect the region’s harvest.

The cold weather was worrisome to fruit growers because frostbitten blossoms could kill the chance of fruit developing later in the season. By and large, though, orchardists in the region were optimistic after last week’s frost.

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County farmers' markets expand for selling season

Posted on May 10, 2010 |
By Andrea Suozzo



ADDISON COUNTY — The days are getting warmer, and soon farmers markets will be springing up again all around the county.

All five area markets will sport changes in operations that each hopes will better serve those who want to buy locally produced vegetables, fruits, other food products and crafts.

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Orwell family keeps farm alive, fields open

Posted on May 10, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



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ORWELL — The decision to go to auction didn’t come easily to the Barnes family, longtime dairy farmers at Red Sky Farm in Orwell. But a silver lining to the family’s choice to leave the dairy industry in 2004 is a budding farm stand that has ensured the exodus of cows hasn’t given way to fallow agricultural land.

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Dairy giants accused of monopoly

Posted on May 6, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



ADDISON COUNTY — Dairy farmers in the Northeast are training their sights on the massive Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) co-op and processing giant Dean Foods in an effort to prove that price fixing and illegal monopolization of the dairy industry has kept milk prices artificially low for struggling producers.

These farmers’ action represents the latest in a series of lawsuits around the country alleging that a lack of competition in the dairy processing industry has resulted in record profits for milk processors at the cost of lower prices for farmers.

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Farmers focus on migrant issues

Posted on April 29, 2010 |
By Kathryn Flagg



MIDDLEBURY — Ask Cheryl Connor and her husband, Jerry, about their decision to hire farmworkers from Mexico, and the Connors will tell you a story that begins 20 years ago — with a dream.

It was an unexpected dream for Jerry, a Bridport dairyman and third-generation farmer. Though he had no ties at the time to Mexico, he’d dreamt clearly of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the celebrated Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary held dear by Mexican Catholics.

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