The Farmplate Blog

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke on the continuing need for an economic rehabilitation of the nation's rural communities at last week's National Summit of Rural America held in Hillsboro, Missouri. At the summit, Vilsack announced $22.5 million in USDA funding for small farmers through the Value-Added Agricultural Producer Grant program, which was added in the 2008 Farm Bill. Said Vilsack, "This new program will help provide access to capital, business-based training and technical assistance to the smallest of small businesses. We need to embrace new strategies to help create a thriving rural economy.” The grants can be used for enhancing business plans, executing feasibility...
When pizza is on the menu at the Burr and Burton Academy, the lunch cooks don't just reach for a couple of #10 cans of prepared pizza sauce. No way. The red sauce at B and B is house-made with slow-cooked onions and plenty of fresh herbs and garlic. Even though this is a high-volume high school cafeteria, chef/manager Charlie Robbins and his student assistants would never think of cutting corners. For 17 years, Chef Robbins has been making sure that students and staff at this Manchester, Vermont, school can enjoy real food at lunchtime. "We keep processed foods to a minimum here," says Robbins. "The soups are made from scratch: carrot/ginger bisque and Southwest chicken tortilla are two...
The shutters are off the camp windows, the lightning bugs will soon be out in full force and the lake temperature is already 58 degrees. The long days of summer are here. This is no time to be fussing with tricky or sticky pie dough. Yet there's a whole progression of summer fruits and berries to be picked, each one begging to be baked into pie. Right now there's rhubarb in the garden, and once that gets too woody the strawberries and cherries will be ripe and ready. Then raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and gooseberries come into play before the plums show up. A free-form tart, sometimes called crostata or galette, is the perfect way to show off summer's best, and it's quick to mix...
From all of us at FarmPlate.
Combine exercise with healthy, locally grown food and you have a good start on a healthy lifestyle. Everyone can join in learning what this means in practice by visiting Woodstock, Vermont, on Saturday, June 5, for "Trek to Taste," an event that combines outdoor exercise with enjoying a variety of seasonal, local foods. According to Peter Allison, Trek to Taste's coordinator, the event has grown from its origins several years ago as a series of walks designed to showcase the network of 30-some miles of hiking trails around Woodstock to one that showcases a host of local farmers, food producers and food products. Last year, some 400 people participated in various treks and tastes. This year...