Blog :: 11-2014

Celebrating Vermont's Hard Cider Producers

Vermont Hard CiderVermont’s position as one of the country’s strongest localvore/foodie states is constantly being reinforced by the accolades of international organizations. Just this week Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro won top honors for it’s Bayley Hazen Blue at the World Cheese Awards in London. And they weren’t alone, two Grafton Village Cheeses won super gold and Vermont Creamery won eight medals. Clearly the artisan cheese producers of Vermont are setting international standards of excellence.

Perhaps the fastest rising food related industries in Vermont is the hard cider industry. Ten years ago there was one producer of hard cider in Vermont, today there are fifteen. The demand for hard cider produced in Vermont is very strong and growing by the day. This week is being promoted as Cider Week Vermont. A week long celebration of cider tastings, cider mill tours and food and music at many of the stops statewide. Check out the complete calendar of events at the website vermontciderweek.com .

I have been visiting orchards and tasting hard ciders throughout my travels around the state this fall and I’m struck by the sophistication of the hard cider offerings. In addition to a selection of wine at Thanksgiving next week. I will have at least 2 or 3 hard cider choices. Something new for us but I’m sure we won’t be alone.

Posted by Wade I. Treadway

A Vermont Icon - The Barn

The Vermont Barn

The Vermont Barn is one of the most readily identified manmade objects on the Vermont landscape. It is symbolic and representative of Vermonts heritage as an agricultural based economy. For the earliest settlers in Vermont, the barn was the most important structure to be built. In most cases, the first generation barn far eclipsed the residential structure in terms of quality. Indeed, it was necessary for the storage of feed for the animals as well as their housing. 

As agricultural practices changed, so changed the needs and designs of the barns. Alternative practices led to such designs as the round barn. All the while, the Vermont barn served as the anchor for all that took place on the farm. Over the last 200 years, the uses of the barns have ranged from continuance of agricultural practices, to equestrian gentleman farm needs to a general catch all for the owner. 

The state of Vermont has fully recognized the importance of preserving the natural landscape and has also understood the necessity of preserving the barn as a symbol of our heritage. All people coming to visit as well as those of us living here have come to expect the barn as a vital element of our pristine landscape. As such, in 1992, the state of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development established the Barn Grant. This program is responsible for the preservation and maintenance of hundeds of barns throughout the state. Assuring the future of our favorite icon. 

Posted by Wade I. Treadway