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This time of year, it’s inspiring to see the crowds at Brattleboro’s winter Farmer’s Market, and to talk to library patrons who are already making plans for their spring gardens.  Here are some excellent web sources for producers and consumers who want to grow, make, and buy local food, even when the weather outside is frightful:

Buy Local, Buy Vermont, from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.  Includes lists of Vermont Winter Farmers’ Markets, plus suppliers of Vermont delights for the season, including turkeys, Christmas Trees, and eggs & maple syrup for cookie baking!

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has lots of information on local food systems and organic agriculture.  Includes a local food directory for the U.S., searchable by region, plus substantial technical databases on ecological pest management, organic livestock feed suppliers, organic seed companies, and more.

Happy local holidays!

JMW

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The 9th annual Brattleboro Strolling of the Heifers will take place on Saturday, June 5th at 10am.  The event started as a way to highlight Vermont  dairies and local agriculture. The weekend events are  a great opportunity to get to know some of the local farmers, through the Friday night discussions, the Saturday marketplace,  and the Sunday Farm, Food, and Fiber tours.

Spring and the Strolling of the Heifers are  great times to get reacquainted with local food sources and there are a number of great resources to help you do just that! We can start with the list of farms participating in the Strolling of the Heifers tours. These farms are located mostly  to the West and North of Brattleboro and range in products from vegetables to cheese to wool to wine.

Our own Brattleboro Farmer’s Market website offers information about their vendors. The Saturday outdoor market on Western Avenue opened on May 1st and the Wednesday downtown market opens June 2nd.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture provides farm contact information searchable by Vermont county, types of products, CSA farms,  and pick your own farms.

The Vermont Farms! website, run by a nonprofit group, is a fun resource for locating farms in your area and posts a calendar of agricultural events around the state. This group also produces a Vermont farms pamphlet that is available for free at rest stops and information kiosks.

Another free Vermont agriculture publication that can sometimes be found in the front doorway of the Brooks Memorial Library is EdibleGreenMountains. This quarterly magazine is beautifully produced by a publishing organization called Edible Communities and contains extensive articles highlighting Vermont producers. The paper issues can be hard to find but you can view issues online or subscribe to the publication.

If you are interested in becoming a homesteader or small scale farmer yourself, there are a few indispensable area resources.

Post Oil Solutions is a local volunteer organization that provides workshops on gardening and animal husbandry.

NOFA-VT is the Vermont branch of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. In addition to providing information on Vermont organic farms, NOFAVT also offers workshops across the state on various organic practices and dispenses information on organics to media and political outlets.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture publishes a bi-weekly newsletter called Agriview, which has articles on Vermont agricultural issues and an extensive classified section for livestock and farm equipment.  Newsletter contents can be viewed online, or you can stop by the library’s newspaper shelves to look at a print copy. — Jess

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Brooks Memorial Library Reference Department:

Jeanne Walsh, Therese Marcy, Sharon Reidt, Jess Weitz, and sometimes Jerry
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