Activists Likely to Save 100 Acres Near Northampton

A local land trust needs to raise just $500 more to permanently protect from development a 100 acre farm in South Hadley, near Northampton. A spokesperson for the Kestrel Trust told the Valley Post on December 28 that the fundraising effort was nearly complete.

The farm is known locally as McCray's farm. It is the last remaining dairy farm in South Hadley. From the farm, one can see Mount Tom and the Mount Holyoke Range.

More information is at

Who's Winning the Race to Build Out the Valley?

This month, the state of Vermont gave the all-volunteer run Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association $591,000 to buy land near Brattleboro. The Pinnacle is the highest and most scenic peak in Westminster, Vermont, near Brattleboro. From the Pinnacle you can see Stratton Mountain, more than 20 miles away. The Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association owns 1,662 acres in Rockingham, Athens, Brookline, and Westminster, all of which is open to the public. There is a 14 mile hiking trail and a wildlife sanctuary. Details are at

Valley Farmers Hit by Global Warming

Record heat and little rain has Valley farmers scrambling to irrigate their crops. Some wells are going dry, forcing farmers to drive their tractors with tanks on their trailers long distances to pump water out of rivers and ponds.

Vern Grubinger is Extension Professor of Agriculture at the University of Vermont. He has worked with a program of the federal agriculture department’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) project. The program looked at the effects of global warming on farmers.

Photo: Dogwood Flower in Rain

After months of virtually no rain in Brattleboro, on June 6 about an inch of rain fell. About four inches of rain per month is average in the Valley. Farmers celebrated and a dogwood tree blossomed near Brattleboro.

According to the book "Trees and Bushes in Wood and Hedgerow" by Vedel and Lange, dogwoods were first called dagwoods. Their hard wood is good for making daggers.

photo by Eesha Williams

Photo: Newborn Dairy Goats

These goats were born on May 10 at the New Leaf CSA farm near Brattleboro. They are Nigerian Dwarf goats. They produce milk that makes excellent goat cheese. More information is at photo by Elizabeth Wood

Local Organic Farmers Celebrate

On February 13, the head of the USDA, U.S. senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy, and congressman Peter Welch all praised organic farmers in speeches at the annual conference of the Vermont chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA).

Pigs in Heaven

This video shows pigs at the New Leaf CSA farm in Dummerston, Vermont, near Brattleboro. Most pigs in the U.S. – including organically grown ones -- live in barns and never get to be on grass. Pigs prefer to have access to grass. With their noses, they can turn over large areas of sod in a short amount of time. This video was filmed in the late morning on July 16, a hot and sunny day. The pigs reserve a small area of pasture as their bathroom. Pigs don't smell bad.

Photo: Keene Local Food Activist

Bonnie Hudspeth of Keene buys local organic eggs at the Hannah Grimes store on Main Street in downtown Keene after walking through a rain storm. Hudspeth works for a non-profit organization, the Keene Downtown Group. The Group's mission is to make downtown Keene better. Downtown Keene is walk-able and is full of locally owned businesses. Suburban Keene is dominated by cars, Wal-Mart, and other chain stores. For details, call Hudspeth at 603-352-0900. More info on the egg store is at

photo by Eesha Williams

Governor Loses Vermont Veto Fight

In a victory for middle class workers and farmers, the Vermont legislature on June 2 voted to override governor Jim Douglas's veto of the $4.5 billion state budget. No governor had ever vetoed the budget. In his own budget proposal, offered in January, Douglas attempted to hide a major tax increase: $63 million dollars in new property taxes. His budget would have frozen the state’s education reimbursements at last year’s levels, even though most Vermont towns have already passed school budgets for next year.

Mowing the Lawn and Making Goat Cheese at the Same Time

This article includes a short video of Elizabeth Wood of the New Leaf CSA organic farm in Dummerston, Vermont, just outside Brattleboro. It was filmed on May 30.