Clean Water and Viable Farms: Farmers and Environmentalists Must Lead Together

Clean Water and Viable Farms: Farmers and Environmentalists Must Lead Together

When we put hope in broad coalitions and encourage the farming and environmental communities to lead together, we’re not being too sunny about the likelihood of conflict and disagreement. The ecological integrity of Vermont’s landscape IS at risk, and the viability of Vermont’s farms IS in jeopardy. But we emphasize the need for listening and collaboration between farmers and environmentalists because agricultural and water quality science and policy issues are very complex. Both communities also stand to gain from each other’s success.

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New Feature Story: Housing Vermont Figured Out a Better Way to Heat and Cool Affordable Housing with the Parsons Platform

New Feature Story: Housing Vermont Figured Out a Better Way to Heat and Cool Affordable Housing with the Parsons Platform

In the summer of 2008, heating oil reached nearly $4.50 per gallon. Energy costs across the 1,600 apartments owned by the nonprofit Housing Vermont doubled as that year’s spending on fuel hit $2.5 million. Housing Vermont tried to shield their tenants from the spike, but renters still saw their fuel costs go up by almost 10 percent. Something needed to be done in order to protect renters with low incomes from volatile fuel prices. This was the beginning of what came to be known as the Parsons Platform.

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Low-Tech Solutions are a High Priority for the Green New Deal

Low-Tech Solutions are a High Priority for the Green New Deal

Much of what I’ve read about the Green New Deal has been about the expansion of clean technology, renewable energy, and electrification. Indeed, a foundational premise for the Green New Deal resolution is that the United States has the advanced technological capacity to transform our energy and economic systems.  But this isn’t the whole solution.

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New Feature Story: Growing Local Food Sales in Face of New Marketplace Challenges

New Feature Story: Growing Local Food Sales in Face of New Marketplace Challenges

We are in a precarious moment where gains made by Farm to Plate and Eat Local initiatives to grow and diversify Vermont’s agricultural opportunities are threatened by consolidation in the retail food industry. This feature story, longer than our typical blog post, explains why High Meadows is committing its time and financial resources to helping nonprofit food hubs scale up to better connect modest-scale farms to consumers who want both healthy food and a fair wage to the farmer. We expect to learn a lot from our partners in this work.

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