5 Outstanding Local Food Experiences In Southern Vermont
Beyond The Maple Syrup
While the word locavore wasn’t coined in Vermont, it might well have been. Vermont has always been an self-sufficient state and and the independent mindset isn’t limited to politics. Vermonters were doing the ‘green’ thing long before it became trendy. After you’ve enjoyed the spectacular scenery supplied by the nearby Green Mountains and witnessed the quirky locals - how about a man walking his pet pig on a leash? - take advantage of the local bounty in Southern Vermont.
Cows and goats and sheep, oh my! With all the farmland and farm animals around, Vermont is a cheese lovers heaven. Brattleboro even hosts a weekend event in early June devoted to cows - The Strolling Of The Heifers . For the most comprehensive information about Vermont cheese visit the Vermont Cheese Council’s website Follow their map of all the visitor-friendly cheese producers in the state and gorge yourself silly on all the milky, creamy varieties. For a round-up of the best the region has to offer visit the Grafton Village Cheese Factory in Brattleboro. A local favorite farm: Peaked Mountain Farm in Townshend where you can gaze upon the sheep grazing in the field and purchase their cheese at the roadside honor system shop.
Your choices for organic and humanely treated meats are varied in this part of Vermont. At Sweet Tree Farm in Dummerston the cattle are grass fed and free of hormones and antibiotics. Mountain Meadows Farm (802-348-7344) is located on Parish Hill Road in South Newfane atop a hill with stunning views of the pastures. They are a NOFA VT certified organic farm producing organic beef. For one-stop shopping visit North End Butchers in Brattleboro. Here you’ll find a large variety of local purveyors’ goods as well as prepared foods.
Beer, Wine and Spirits
Fantastic craft beers can be found all over the state, and the southern portion isn’t falling behind in this arena. McNeill’s Brewery in Brattleboro is at the forefront with their variety of award winning brews. If wine is more to your liking, the Putney Winery offers a selection of fruit wines at many farmers markets and several other locations in the area. For a unique (and delicious!) taste try Sapling Vermont Maple Liqueur from Bellow’s Falls. Sweet but not too much so, it’s the perfect end to a meal of local edibles. The Vermont Life Wine and Harvest Festival , held in September at the Mt. Snow Ski Resort showcases some of the best the region has to offer.
Brattleboro Farmer’s Market
Farmers markets are ubiquitous in Vermont - you can find one within driving distance of wherever you are almost any day of the week . In the southern part of the state the one not to miss is the Brattleboro Farmers Market held on Saturday mornings from April through October. The governing rules concerning production are strict - local is the law. Here you’ll find a plethora of fruits and vegetables, but beyond that you can buy plants from native growers and handmade products from local artisans. Bring the family, try a taste of the ethnic food available and enjoy the show.
Brattleboro Food Co-Op
Virtually all products mentioned here and more are available at the Co-op . Bulk foods, a first-rate deli, gorgeous local produce, a plethora of artisan cheeses and more can be found here. Membership to the co-op offers extra benefits, but even for the casual shopper the experience is worth the visit. Local information and event flyers advertising everything from yoga classes to drum circles flutter from the bulletin board at the back of the store. The Co-op truly epitomizes all that is special about Vermont.
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