photos by Eliza Boudreau

It’s a Monday evening and the sun is casting long shadows across Legion Field in the center of Johnson, Vermont. Small children are giving each other wagon rides and scampering back and forth from the playground to the picnic tables to grab warm slices of pizza as they emerge from the stone oven on the edge of the field.

About two dozen neighbors young and old are hovering cheerfully around the wooden shelter that houses the community oven, conversing and pitching in to the flurry of pizza making activity. A long table has been laid out for pizza assembly and…


Photography by Dylan Griffin

Known variously as county fairs, state fairs, field days or sometimes — with a little bravado — a world’s fair, agricultural fairs offer an opportunity for farmers and hobbyists alike to show off their horse training expertise, their vegetable growing skills, their pie baking (and pie eating) prowess, their finest rabbits and hens, their most excellent maple syrup, their woodworking ability, their cattle wrangling agility, and their pumpkins as big as a bathtub, among other things one might get handy at living in the country. These fairs are also an opportunity to gorge yourself on fried dough and grilled sausage…


Photo by Dylan Griffin

My decision to move to Vermont was a very deliberate one, though the specifics of how and where I made my way up here were largely decided by chance. I did not grow up here, or anywhere near here, but it only took one long weekend visiting with my husband in 2014 to fall in love. That it was during peak fall foliage certainly helped sweep us off our feet.

We’d been falling out of love with New York City, the place we’d called home for over a decade. We craved more space, less stress, more nature, less competition. A…


Four Seasons of Local Goods

As winter marches on, I’ve been fending off cabin fever by planning my garden beds, alphabetizing my seed packets, and eating my way through the last of my stockpile of winter squash, canned tomatoes and frozen herbs. Still, it will be months before I can enjoy the bounty of my backyard vegetable patch once again.

But all over Vermont, other people are getting ready to harvest the earliest crop of the season: maple syrup. Trees are being tapped, buckets hung, tubes checked, and as the days lengthen and the air thaws, the sap starts to…


Photo by Caleb Kenna

Recently passing through Rochester, Vermont I stopped for lunch at Sandy’s Books and Bakery. While waiting for my rosemary chicken soup to come up, I wandered the labyrinth of small rooms lined floor to ceiling with books. I turned a corner into a tiny nook of a room where a table sat atop a faded oriental rug, piled with books on New England birds, Tibetan spirituality and an encyclopedia of western medicine. With no one else in the room every remaining sound was absorbed by the thick walls of books. …


Back before Route 100 was widened and paved into a state highway that cuts north through the center of Lamoille County, the village of North Hyde Park had sidewalks. Or dirt footpaths anyway, connecting the cluster of farm houses and small businesses that made up the little neighborhood. The village today includes the post office, a lumber mill, two churches (one quietly active on Sunday mornings, one vacant) and a few light manufacturing businesses on the outskirts. But locals still refer to certain residences by their former role in the community. My next door neighbors live in “the old general…


There’s a silent conversation going on right now on my lawn. It’s a political debate between the lawns signs in my yard and the lawn signs in my neighbor’s yard directly across the road. They do not agree one bit.

I’ll admit to placing the first sign, though it wasn’t technically anything partisan. You may have noticed these blue signs proclaiming “Hate Has No Home Here” in multiple languages. The signs were designed by a group of neighbors from a racially diverse neighborhood in my hometown of Chicago and have caught on across America as a way to foster a…


Winter Games for a New Vermonter, New Mom

Photo by Beth Solano on Unsplash

I’m currently experiencing my first full winter as a Vermonter. It also happens to be my first full winter as a work-from-home mom. Cabin fever isn’t quite the right phrase for what I’ve been feeling, because I’m tremendously grateful for the cozy old farmhouse my husband and I are nesting in and for the fact that I can work all day in fuzzy slippers and sneak in nursing my baby during conference calls. Yes, this new Vermont life suits me. And yet, with the sun setting at 4:15pm and frequent stretches of…

Liz Schroeter Courtney

Business Development at BBMG. Mom at the Courtney family homestead in northern Vermont. Food, Guitars, and Written Words.

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