Vermont to Expand Farm to School Program

Apr 24, 2012

Vermont is planning to expand a program that connects schools to local farms.  WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

Since 2006, the Vermont Farm to School program has provided nearly 50 Vermont schools with funding to get more nutritious food into cafeterias and nutrition and agriculture education into classrooms.

David Frazier is walking through the Robbins Garden, part  of the Westside Community Garden Initiative in Pittsfield. The garden which hasn’t been planted for the season yet, is sprouting a few perennials like onions and carrots.

Frazier is chairman of the Westside Garden Community subcommittee. This garden, which was opened in 2007 on a city-owned lot, provides underserved Pittsfield residents with fresh produce in the summer months.

With high temperatures around 80 last week, and lows below freezing the next, the abrupt changes in weather could have lead to irreversible changes in the area’s agriculture.

 The warm weather and little snowfall has shortened the maple sugaring season and set conditions right for brushfires. Frost has damaged fruit trees in this week’s return of overnight temperatures below freezing.

 John Vittori, owner of Hilltop Orchards in Lenox, Massachusetts, has said that because of the mild spring his apple trees budded about 5 weeks ahead of schedule.