Organic farmers demonstrate in Stowe

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Pete Johnson of Craftsbury stands atop a suitable platform Monday to speak in favor of requiring organic vegetables to be grown in soil, rather than hydroponically.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

Pete Johnson of Craftsbury stands atop a suitable platform Monday to speak in favor of requiring organic vegetables to be grown in soil, rather than hydroponically. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle October 28, 2015

by Joseph Gresser

STOWE — The farmers wanted there to be no doubt about what they favored, so they dumped a pile of beautiful soil in the parking lot of the Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa Monday afternoon. The mound of dirt served as both the metaphoric and literal platform for speakers at a demonstration here Monday. The group wants federal regulators to find that hydroponically grown produce does not qualify for the organic label.

“Feed the soil, not the plant,” has long been a maxim of the organic farming movement, and it was a refrain repeated by several speakers at the event.

Hydroponic vegetables are grown with their roots in nutrient solutions without soil. While all the farmers agreed there is a place for hydroponically grown produce, they insisted that labeling it as organic would make the designation meaningless.

The primary audience for the demonstration, which lured a sizeable crowd of vegetable growers away from their fields, was the… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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U.S., Quebec police practice cooperating in emergencies

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State Police Lieutenant Walter Smith, who commands the Derby barracks, offers his thoughts at the fourth annual Quebec-Vermont Cross Border Workshop at Jay Peak Tuesday.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

State Police Lieutenant Walter Smith, who commands the Derby barracks, offers his thoughts at the fourth annual Quebec-Vermont Cross Border Workshop at Jay Peak Tuesday. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle December 3, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

JAY — A bus taking U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to a meeting in Quebec is rammed by a man who committed a robbery in Vermont and escaped by speeding through Canadian customs.

Governor Shumlin is severely injured, the robber and Vermont State Police troopers, acting as security for the Governor, exchange gunfire. One trooper is wounded, and the robber is killed. The incident ends as the Governor is airlifted to the University of Vermont Medical Center.

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Farm bill passes U.S. Senate

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Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle February 5, 2014

by Bethany M. Dunbar

The federal farm bill passed the U.S. Senate Tuesday, 68 to 32.

The bill includes a key provision for dairy farmers, called a Margin Protection Plan.  Similar to crop insurance, it allows farmers to buy into a plan that will protect their prices should the federal milk price normally paid to them drop, or should their production costs rise dramatically.

A statement from U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy says the hoped-for supply management plan that was in the Senate version of the bill was stripped out.  But as a member of the conference committee, Senator Leahy was able to make a change that will help smaller dairy farmers more than large corporate farms.

Small farms will be able to enroll at lower rates and get higher protection, the statement explains.

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