Posts by Rachel Carter

Rachel Carter is communications director at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, a non-profit organization created by the Vermont Legislature in 1995 to accelerate the development of Vermont’s green economy. She can be reached at

A Dark Cloud Looms Over Farmland

By Rachel Carter / July 3, 2017

Farm Succession Planning in Vermont Shines Light for a New Generation of Farmers “I want to die with my boots on,” a New England farmer stated in a focus group held by the American Farmland Trust and Land For Good, to study U.S. Census of Agriculture data on retiring farmers and future plans for the…

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Waterway Sidewalks: Native Trees and Shrubs

By Rachel Carter / October 5, 2015

Riparian buffers prevent erosion, improve water quality, and build the resiliency of native habitats. Native trees and shrubs intertwine with one another, keeping 350-acres of flood plain intact along the banks of the Winooski River, best known as the Intervale. Located within the city limits of Vermont’s urban metropolis (42,000), Burlington boasts a solid urban…

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Grocery Stores are Key to Expanding Local Food Systems

By Rachel Carter / October 6, 2014

Local food is trending, but a regional food vision is what will re-localize our food system and agricultural economy—regional food that can be purchased at the grocery store Farmers and food businesses operate at different scales and sell products to all types of markets. With more than 33 million potential customers in New England and…

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Switch the Boots, Wash the Hands, and Keep Farm Records

By Rachel Carter / July 8, 2014

Food safety planning tips from Vermont for new farmers and a refresher for all Water supply, soil quality, harvesting procedures, and adding livestock are early stage considerations in developing a small farm. Often some of the most appealing in agricultural planning due to the concrete nature of their applications can cause food contamination and other…

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Plotting an Oink between the Chicken Coop and the Hoop House

By Rachel Carter / April 7, 2014

When does it make sense to incorporate pig farming into small scale farm diversification? Meat is hot in Vermont and pig farming is one of the most popular options to diversify small scale farm operations. A component of Vermont’s Farm to Plate Initiative (statewide plan to double local food production and consumption by 2020) has…

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How to Love a Farmland Lease

By Rachel Carter / January 14, 2014

Strengthening the landowner-farmer relationship with leasing and stewardship. Sustainability, simply stated, is the capacity to endure. But the high cost of land in Vermont, combined with the financial challenges of owning land, are threatening the sustainability of local agriculture. According to Vermont’s Farm to Plate Strategic Plan to strengthen the food system, “Affordable access to…

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Sunflowers: From Field to Fuel

By Rachel Carter / October 7, 2013

Drawing the connection between diversified agriculture, renewable energy, and food production in Vermont Farmers across New England want to diversify operations, lower fuel and feed costs, and be more self-sufficient. Momentum is gaining for raising oilseed crops like sunflowers, canola, and soybeans to make biodiesel for fuel and oilseed meal for livestock feed, in addition…

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Locally Grown Beans in the College Cafeteria

By Rachel Carter / July 1, 2013

Vermont’s Farm to Plate Network offers farmer and producer examples of navigating the regional supply food chain to serve ‘local’ at institutions.   School, hospitals, colleges, government agencies, and corporations are demanding food grown and produced in New England. Farmers interested in selling to hospitals, schools, and other organizations are following the food supply chain…

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Doubling Local Food in Vermont

By Rachel Carter / January 7, 2013

Vermont Farm to Plate (F2P) Network unifies business, government & non-profits to scale up local food production & consumption by 2020 The Vermont Farm to Plate (F2P) Network is relocalizing food production and distribution in a statewide collaborative effort to rebalance the food system. A network of over 160 organizations encompassing all types and scales…

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