EAT MORE SYRUP

David: Bo Muller-Moore (one guy making t-shirts above his garage)

Goliath: Chick-fil-A (sold $3.5 BILLION worth of product in 2010)

The Beef: Chick-fil-A claims that a t-shirt maker using the slogan “Eat More Kale” is infringing upon their chicken selling restaurant chain. There are many reasons such shirts, bumperstickers, etc. pose no threat to the Chick-fil-A business.

Read the Burlington Free Press story

My friend Jeff Weinstein set up a petition for Bo here They are only a couple thousand signatures away from the goal of 25,000.

Incidentally, Jeff is also the producer of Two Guys in VT soup. His soup is excellent, with a wonderful dedication to sourcing local ingredients. You can find it at The Greene Grape and The Garden.

GMO’s cause hairy babies!? Take action here.

Okay, well probably not. There’s certainly a lot of concern about GE foods (GMOs – Genetically Modified Organisms). There has been a big push by food advocates of all kinds to support GE food labeling.

According to a 2010 Thomson Reuters poll, 93 percent of Americans support labeling of foods containing GMOs. Big business, thus government, doesn’t.

LET THE FDA KNOW WHERE YOU STAND WITH two clicks

An additional listing of GE resources can be found here

Hurricane Irene visits VT, doesn’t bring her tourist pocketbook

It’s been a wild time for some communities in Vermont since Hurricane Irene spun up off the coast and got stuck over VT and parts of upstate NY. Incomprehensible damage to many communities along waterways small and large both.

We were lucky at Green Wind Farm. We live on a rocky hillside with ledge not to far under the soil in some places so water is accustomed leaving our land to the little brook at the bottom of the hill finding its way quickly into Black Creek then the Mississquoi River which both flood multiple times a year. Our area of the state saw little damage beyond limited access to fields and woods due to wet ground and a little wind damage to trees in the woodlots.

Of all the producers I work with to get quality foods to NYC, it appears that only Catherine of Nitty Gritty had significant adversity to deal with. Closer to home, Catherine was stranded at her daughter’s house in Waitsfield, wisely turning back after attempting to drive south on Rte. 100 to her own home in Rochester. They watched the water in a creek nearby rise to unbelievable heights not knowing what to do if the water kept rising. Luckily it was all okay and 5 days later, emergency crews had worked to restore power and rudimentary road access to Rochester. Additional Nitty Gritty news is according to nephew, David, high winds blew down about 1/2 the corn on their finest cornfield.

The work repairing roads and infrastructure is just progressing well for most towns. Conversations about prudent locations of roads, and repairs are happening all across the state. Some waterways have changed and are likely to stay changed for a long time. Awareness of the tenability of locating infrastructure in many locations is prompting long-range planning. Our governor is talking about preparing for weather changes already upon us from global climate change. We’ll all recover with some hard work and community efforts. Life continues to keep us on our toes.

See some flood pictures

Pumpkin Village Product Demo Events!

Okay, Okay, due to low interest, due to poor marketing, and also a general lack of time this fall, see posts to follow on sugarhouse remodeling, life with a 5 month old, etc. There will be no demos this fall. Next fall.

I left the picture up there because well, what’s cuter than that. What you don’t like the cluttered desk?? Please feel free to come take some fancy pictures and post them for me… Ha.

I’ll admit this also… I’m a father – as of 6/26/11!

That’s right! Martha successfully and amazingly produced a baby boy, Jasper, weighing 7 lbs. 12 oz. June 26th.

We are enamoured, excited, and entrenched. Back when we were young, playing the board game Life, it never seemed that difficult to simply put another peg in the back of the family car and keep on driving. Let’s see how it works out this time!

More Photos

Thanks to all our friends and family for the wonderful support we’ve had so far.

American Jars for American Jobs (I’ll admit it, I’m a secessionist.)

In so many ways the fourth of July reminds me of the challenges of existing in a world so aggressively influenced by United States big business (er, government).

The persistent meddling of the US government into sovereign nations’ private affairs is storied and troubling. The constant war-mongering and resulting profiteering; disgusting. Deciphering the contrast between words and actions of US lawmakers and business leaders with regard to the health and welfare of the working person can be disheartening at best. Even the stickers displayed on the packaging of these jars is misleading. America actually signifies all of North or South America, not simply the United States… but I digress.

The point is, I’m proud to support an American (sic) company. Local should trump all. The jars I fill with pure Vermont maple syrup are made in Muncie, Indiana. Cool.

Do you want to find out more facts about the history of Ball Mason jars and perhaps identify when the special blue tinted jar you’ve got was made? Visit the fresh preserving website and download the pdf titled “Jars of the Past”. They’ve got the entire history of when each design change was made through out the 125 year history of these quality canning jars that are useful for preserving virtually anything!

But back to the point of succession. My sister-in-law was surprised to learn of my leanings. I was surprised to have a “sister-in-law”. But more so, I was surprised she was surprised.

She said, “You could kiss your health care good-bye”. I took this to be a conversational non-starter.

I’m a slow thinker, so I thought. “Well, sure. You can kiss almost everything good-bye as we know it now. Don’t you think the result at the end of all the work to take care of each other would look better than it does now?”

Really, couldn’t we, in Vermont (~675,00 people), do almost everything better than the bloated, misguided national bureaucracy we’ve got now? I won’t bore you with specific examples of bloated or misguided (hint: see warmongering).

For some interesting writings on succession, see Vermont Commons. For some reason, my favorite contributor to their newspaper, the Greenneck, doesn’t put his stuff on the website… but thought provoking site none-the-less.

Hay, that’s what we make (in the summer anyways)

It’s funny how maturity (a kind word for getting old, encroaching responsibilities, and all sorts of other changes shunned during the vigor of post college hedonism) changes what you get excited about. It wasn’t long ago that my bros and I cranked up the 50 Cent to race out the door every day searching Wyoming white smoke to leave contrails 20 plus feet long as it splashed over our shoulders. Will gravity ever cease to amaze and please?

At Green Wind Farm we milk about 25 Jerseys and maintain a youngstock herd of about 25 animals as well. Not to mention the two belgian draft horses that each eat about 40 pounds of hay per day in the winter. This adds up to a lot of dry hay which we put up ourselves.

Just last week I cranked up some Craig Morgan “International Harvester” as my wife and I got ready to leave our house in Burlington. A quality tune that brings to mind quality concepts like “Right to Farm Law”, “Have You Thanked Your
Farmer Today?”, “Don’t Complain About Farmers With Your Mouth Full of Food”, and “No Farms, No Food”.

We were hoping the weather would cooperate and we could assist (truth be told; Martha over 8 months pregnant picked strawberries for the freezer) my parents in baling the hay from an entire 12 acre field in a single day. We did it! Just under 1000 bales put into the barn. Almost 1/3 of our necessary hay for the winter.

The last 75 bales or so were baled in a light rain that had been looming to the west for hours. To avoid the possibility of starting a fire in the hayloft these bales were stacked on their sides with some space between them to be fed out prior to second cut hay which will probably go in the barn in late July.

The day was so successful I didn’t even have the energy to drink a second beer prior to bed. Almost like the good old days in the Tetons except meritorious efforts instead of hedonism gone up in smoke…

VT Makes 41% of 2011 US syrup production

In 2011 VT made 1.1 million gallons of pure Vermont maple syrup. This is the most made in the state since 1944. It’s incredible that we made that much syrup way back then! Imagine the amount of labor and fuel involved in 1944. I doubt even the most boastful sugarmakers (of which there are few) would deny the labor is as hard as it was. The equipment is certainly much more efficient. Expect more in the future on how sugaring technology has dramatically changed production over the last few decades.

Wall Street Journal chooses our syrup!

That’s right!  This spring we were contacted by Kristen at the one and only Wall Street Journal.  She first came across our pure Vermont maple syrup at Commodities Natural Market at 1st Ave and 11th in the East Village. He stocks only two brands of pure maple syrup with Green Wind being the domestic variety. The result of our discussions was an insightful blurb on the production of maple and some applications chefs in the Northeast have found for this local sweetener.

An article produced by the WSJ towards the tail end of the sugaring season was equally insightful indicating they find out what they are talking about before reporting on it!

Check out the article (and if you dare, visit a store near you to get “slinged with clean maple sweetness” all for yourself!)

Kristen says, “out of the 8 or 9 brands I tasted [Green Wind Farm and Tree Brand] ended up being my two favorites!”