By Anson Tebbetts - Vermont Secretary of Agriculture
The Gifts of Spring
Spring might be my favorite season in Vermont. When I think of the Green Mountains I think of the month of May. The wildflowers carpet the forest floor. Vermont’s rolling hills of sugar maples are turning green. Ramps and fiddleheads offer some of the year’s first food. Farm fields are many shades of green. Farmers are planting crops, gardeners are planning in earnest, and critters are returning or waking up to their habitat for another season. The birds are singing and grooming their young. The Green Mountains are once again ready to unfold into spring and summer.
We are grateful for the months ahead of us. We all know the seasons are short in the Green Mountains, but Vermonters can pack so much into spring and summer. While many of us were navigating the muddy backroads, our farmers were busy growing the first produce of the season. You can find it in the stores and at community events. Farmers markets have returned to outside venues and offer us fresh food and drink. You can also find produce, meat, maple, eggs, and dairy at your local farmstand or store. Supporting local businesses helps us all by keeping our dollars in the Green Mountains, supporting our working lands.
You also may want to take a trip to a nursery or greenhouse this May to find the perfect plants to light up homes and backyards. Vermont’s nursery and landscaping businesses brighten our gardens and help to feed us. They, too, color “Green” in the “Green Mountains.”
As we flip the summer calendar forward to summer, keep your eye out for farm and food events across Vermont. In June we will celebrate our dairy farmers. There will be festivals, food trucks and fun events that highlight all things dairy. From the first maple creemee of the season to the first ice cream social, dairy is part of our spring and summer fun. Dairy supports our Green Mountain economy. Those who work the land contribute to so many businesses, from hospitality to those who rely on farmers to purchase supplies, feed, and fertilizers.
We hope the weather is kind to our farmers during this short growing season. We look for sunny days, just enough rain and no big weather events in the days ahead. Let’s celebrate our farmers and those who support them in the Green Mountains. We here at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture wish everyone a safe and productive spring!