Sometimes the Problem is Us

Sometimes the Problem is Us

When I rowed in college, a bajillion eons ago, I held one oar on the port side of a nine-person boat. When we fell out of balance, my first assumption was that the problem came from starboard— I blamed the four rowers holding oars on the other side of the boat.

These days, I row alone in the early morning on Lake Champlain, before the wind kicks up. I row with an oar in each hand – I’m holding both starboard and port oars. So, now if something’s causing the boat to drift off course, I have to figure out how to come back into balance. It’s one of my lessons of getting old— I’m starboard. The problem is likely coming from me. 

Read More

We Have Something To Tell You!

Last year, High Meadows became curious about where our colleagues around the state see opportunities for High Meadows to make a greater impact. We hired Miriam Shark to interview around thirty grantees, funders, and other partners on our behalf. You can read about some of what we learned from these conversations here. One suggestion, from both funders and grantees, was that High Meadows share more proactively what we observe and learn from the work we support. While we have occasionally posted stories and blog posts a couple of times a year, we are now planning to do this more regularly.

Read More

Listening to Irma, Reflecting on Irene

Listening to Irma, Reflecting on Irene

Yesterday, driving home from Massachusetts, I listened to two hours of radio reports tracking the destructive path of Hurricane Irma from the Florida Keys up the state’s west coast. I remembered the many lives upended six years ago in Vermont by Tropical Storm Irene, and I reflected on the many lessons Vermonters have learned about the relationship between development and waterways since Irene.

Read More

The Role of Soil: Carbon Sink, Water Sponge

The Role of Soil: Carbon Sink, Water Sponge

We may see the soil under our feet as simply dirt, with all the associated folk expressions – common as dirt, say. But farmers and scientists alike have long known that a healthy soil system is not just the key to our agricultural cycles; soil is one of the major building blocks of farm viability, floodwater management, carbon sequestration, ecosystem productivity, and a clean atmosphere.

Read More

Farmland Access and Affordability

The Vermont Food Funders Network is a learning network of funders who provide grants and loans to strengthen the Vermont food system. The Vermont Food Funders Network focused its April, 2016 meeting on farmland access and affordability. Many of Vermont’s older farmers are retiring, and new farmers are running enterprises which require different land configurations. But, even if appropriate land is available, can a farmer afford to lease or own it?

Read More