Transitioning To “Lesser” Localvore-ism
April 26, 2011, 5:57 pm
Filed under: Localvore, Newschannel 5 Reports

Today marks exactly one year since I swore off non-locally produced food and started my journey as a Localvore. It’s a bittersweet moment, both because I can’t believe how long it’s been and yet, I don’t want it to end.

So, it likely won’t. Or, not completely. I am planning to transition back to life without the 100% local mindset I’ve adopted… but I’d hardly say I’m going back to “non-Localvore.”

Some things that definitely won’t change:
— My shopping habits: co-ops and farmer’s markets will likely be solely frequented from now on
— My cooking manta: I’ve learned a lot about cooking seasonally for myself at home through this project and I will continue to do so year-round
— My stories! I’d still like to highlight the great people making local food and Localvore what it is, so don’t hesitate to continue contacting me at or on Twitter @WPTZJill

This is not the end!!! During my transition, we will soon be highlighting the “end” of this project on Newschannel Five. Stay tuned for more and happy local food-ing!


Planting, continued
April 19, 2011, 2:32 pm
Filed under: Gardening, Localvore

It’s been two weeks since I planted my first seeds and today, I added some more into the mix.

I went with some herbs — more basil, cilantro and chives. They’re planted in the same tray as the basil and tomatoes that have been growing for two weeks now.

Speaking of, I’ve made a change to the placement of the tray — I had been keeping it on top of the fridge, but realized my fridge doesn’t seem to be emitting much heat and it’s not near a window, so the seedlings have been desperately reaching for sun. I’m trying it indoors, next to the big window near the patio to see if that helps. Any suggestions for indoor seedlings?

Counting down…
April 14, 2011, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Localvore, Need Feedback, Newschannel 5 Reports

It’s fast approaching: the end (I can’t believe it!) of my Localvore year.

The official end date for this project is actually April 26, my birthday — less than two weeks from now. However, I’ll “complete” the Localvore year on Newschannel Five in May with reports on the end of my year and looking foward.

I use quotes around “complete” because truly, I don’t want this to completely end. I’d like to continue learning about local food and incorporating it into my life, as well as telling stories about the people who make Localvore what it is. I’ll work on how I’ll continue to do that in the comings week and in the meanwhile, I will of course continue to blog as the wonderful Spring season begins!

That said, I continue to welcome ideas for great Localvore stories or places to explore. Thanks for continuing to read and tune in!

Signs Of Sprouts
April 8, 2011, 5:31 pm
Filed under: Gardening, Localvore, Need Feedback

Another week has come and gone, it’s finally feeling like Spring in VT and my plants are sprouting!!

Check out these babies! These are tomato and basil seedlings, a week into their lives. I’m planning to fill the rest of my tray with other seeds this weekend, any suggestions?!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Learning How To Seed For Spring
April 1, 2011, 5:01 pm
Filed under: Gardening, Localvore, Newschannel 5 Reports

If you can’t tune in tonight, here’s a link to our great spring seeding story. It includes web extras with Samara Farm and High Mowing Seeds, plus it’s a great look at some green in the midst of this drizzly snow!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tonight at 6: Spring has sprung!
April 1, 2011, 11:54 am
Filed under: Gardening, Localvore, Newschannel 5 Reports

Okay, so there’s snow outside… that doesn’t mean Spring isn’t here!

Tonight on Newschannel Five at Six, I start my very own garden seeding with Tom Stearns of High Mowing Seeds.

We’ll also show you how the planting season has begun inside greenhouses across our region. It’s not a joke, there really is some promise of green around here!

See you at Six!

Thinking Practically

In an annual survey of Vermonters conducted by Senator Bill Doyle, this year 60% of the 15,000 people who responded said they would be willing to spend more money for locally-grown food.

I’m pointing this out here, of course, because it applies… but also because of the Facebook comments we got about this news. Here’s a snapshot:

“The other 40% live on a fixed income. I know I can’t afford the food I get now. I just barely get by. And that’s pushing it. I don’t know how he expects the low income people with children AND without to pay more. There just isn’t enough money with food going up as it is. NO…I can’t afford to by local.”

“Not a chance”

“With our fixed income and the high inflation going on now (how can the government say it’s low?) we can’t afford it. I like the idea of growing more food locally, but only the wealthy can afford it.”

While these comments did make me a little sad, I understand where the sentiment is coming from. It’s a general perception that local food is more expensive and sometimes, it is. I want to make an argument though:

Is it possible for everyone to incorporate some — even one — local item into their everyday lives?

A good example of how this might work could be from my life: I’ve always been obsessed with juice and since I didn’t use it as one of my wild cards, I’ve been drinking local apple cider pretty much non-stop. It’s a relatively minor change, but one that ensures at least one part of my eating habits are local.

I’m posing this more or less as a hypothetical and I know the reality is that the number of people on food stamps and struggling in this economy is going up. Doing this myself, I also know that some things (see: meat) are just plain more expensive when bought local. What I’m hoping is that, at least a little bit, the small local changes might happen in people’s lives where they’re possible.

Am I crazy?

Vermont’s Best New Chefs
March 26, 2011, 5:16 pm
Filed under: Localvore, Localvore Events, Recipes | Tags: , , , , ,

I had the pleasure to spend this afternoon hanging out at Vermont’s 2011 Jr. Iron Chef competition!

For those who don’t know, the competition centers around local food, challenging teams of middle and high schoolers to make a creative and delicious dish that incorporates local ingredients.

One of the coolest parts is the setup inside the Champlain Valley Expo, where teams spend 90 minutes cooking next to each other, with friends, family and the public watching as they work their magic.


Not only did I get to see the teams compete — this year, I got a backstage look at the judging action! Here’s a good shot of all the middle school dishes waiting for tasting:

And the judges, made up of some local chefs, students, food service managers and others:

All of the dishes looked amazing, including the one by Colchester Middle School, who gave me a sneak peak at their bean burger for this story we did last month.

Another note: each dish was judged on its ability to become a part of the school cafeteria menu as well. Meaning pretty soon, these kids could be sitting with their friends at lunch eating a dish they created — pretty cool. Congrats to everyone participated!

Dear Gardners….
March 24, 2011, 5:41 pm
Filed under: Gardening, Localvore, Need Feedback, Newschannel 5 Reports

I’m looking for suggestions/pieces of advice for my patio garden this year.

Last year was my first stab at a small home garden and it went so-so… my tomato plants got a very small yield and the lettuce prospered, but I got exactly one very small radish and cucumbers were a bust.

This time around, I’m soliciting help from all sides. I’ll likely feature the start of the garden on Newschannel Five soon and I’m looking for tips I might include in the story — or even someone to be part of the story, if you can offer to be a “mentor” to my garden this year!

Advice? Post it here. Mentor? Let me know!

Happy Spring everyone!

Tonight on 5:30 Now: Harvesting in the Adirondacks


Tonight on WPTZ 5:30 Now, see how Clinton County and the Adirondacks are getting in on the local food movement. A tasty local meal that drew hundreds to Plattsburgh this weekend is just one way the area is working to show farmers that there is an interest in the year-round local food movement.

I’ll show you what they cooked up and how you can learn more about the Adirondack localvore movement, tonight at 5:30!