A free, fun and unique event happening at Vermont Organics Reclamation (VOR), St. Albans, VT on Saturday, Oct. 22:
Starting at 11 a.m., Dr. Wiseman and VOR will host a bicentennial commemoration of the Year Without A Summer — or “1800 and froze to death” — when a volcanic eruption on the other side of the world caused plummeting temperatures worldwide and shrunk New England’s growing season.
The climate-induced crop shortages and ensuing famine forced many Vermonters to leave the state and seek better lands to the south and west. However, many Native American crops, as well as some old Euroamerican varieties, may have survived these terrible conditions. The Seeds of Renewal Project, led by Dr. Fred Wiseman, has just completed a “cold-hardiness” analysis of more than 35 regional, native crops that range from the early 19th century to over 500 years old.
The Oct. 22 event at VOR will explore and feature these fascinating crops, as well as little known facts about the survival and rebirth of ancient Vermont agriculture, agricultural ceremony and cuisine. The program begins at 11 a.m. with a welcome and then a Powerpoint presentation by Dr. Wiseman. (PLEASE NOTE: Seating for Wiseman’s presentation is limited to 50 people. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Afterward, there will be a free meal featuring many of these indigenous crops, which are being grown as part of an agroforest on VOR’s 185-acre campus. The agroforest, the crops in it, and an effort to raise pigs humanely and naturally, are all part of VOR’s new Rugg Brook Campus initiative, which is meant to educate the public about the impaired Rugg Brook watershed, its history, and its future.
The free meal will feature native squash and beans, as well as pork products from VOR. There will also be a bean hole supper — a Native American celebration dinner that features a bean dinner cooked from a pot in the ground. Following the dinner, there will be guided tours of VOR’s agroforest. (You will also have a chance to meet Lily and Ethan, two UVM interns who spent the summer building and cultivating VORs agroforest with VOR’s Jim Stiles and others.)
Thank you for your time and attention today. We hope to see you on Oct. 22. I have attached a map with directions to VOR and can provide you with more if necessary. (And please share this with anyone who might be interested within your professional and personal circles.)