Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hardwick "Revival" Now a Regional Trend

The Boston Globe today features an article on creative economies and the revival of small communities throughout New England, but with a special focus on Hardwick...

For struggling N.E. towns, revival is a work of art
Galleries, music seen luring newcomers

By Sarah Schweitzer, Globe Staff October 31, 2007

HARDWICK, Vt. - What to do about Hardwick?

This Northeast Kingdom village fell into a deep slump decades ago with the shuttering of its granite factories, leaving a hard-edged downtown of rowdy bars, an X-rated movie theater and troubleseekers. Ideas came and went; little changed. So there was ample skepticism when a band of residents proposed righting Hardwick's woes with an infusion of artists. The town, some said, had enough struggling souls.

But the group persevered. They raised $260,000 to refurbish the opera house. Its reopening in 2003 is credited with spurring other changes: An art gallery opened last spring in a former meat locker, wine tastings were inaugurated in a downtown park over the summer, a bistro featuring an Alsace-trained chef is opening in February. While Hardwick still looks the part of a dowager, with run-down Victorian homes and empty storefronts, many in town, including a growing circle of newcomers, say the town has a toehold on cool.

To continue reading:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Local Artist Finds Pixie Dust in Hardwick

CD Release Party a Success for Claire's Singer Songwriter Kristina Michelsen

A full house gathered at Positive Pie in Montpelier a week ago to applaud the release of Kristina Michelsen's new CD, Pixie Dust. In addition to being a partner in Claire's who will be running the bar and dining room with our chef, Steven Obranovich, Kristina has been celebrated locally for her music and performances. Now her friends and fans from near and far can bring her music home to enjoy her unique voice and lyrical songwriting.

You can purchase Pixie Dust at a variety of locations, including Buffalo Mountain Co-op and Galaxy Books. Kristina is also available online, for purchase or listening, with selections from the CD at the following sites:

Claire's CSR - Buy Yours While They Last

Sales of the Claire's Community Supporter Restaraunt (CSR) coupons continue. Only 50 were made available in . To purchase your $1,000 CSR, email or contact anyone on Claire's team.

Each CSR provides 40 $25 dining coupons - enough for four years of dining - spendable ten months of each year - only one per month - you pick the months it applies - unused certificates expire.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Harvest What You Sow

There's no better way to celebrate the Harvest than to share with others. Locally, the Northeast Organic Farmer's Assocation of Vermont will help you share our harvest with those in need Thursday, October 4.

Shop at Buffalo Mountain Co-op, dine at the Highland Lodge or Beyond the Garden, or travel down the road to Positive Pie or the Co-op in Plainfield. A portion of the day's sales - and at restaurants and markets around Vermont - will benefit the Vermont Farm Share Program, which assists low-income Vermonters in purshasing CSA "shares" from local farms.

Check out the program and complete list of participants:

Given recent news locally and from afar, it is important to expand the availability of CSA shares for local organic farm products. Just last week, the Vermont Department of Health issued an advisory about the recent recall of beef products from out of state. On Sunday, the New York Times published a detailed article about the "boom and bust" interactions in corn and ethanol markets, which have raised the cost of basic staples around the world while luring farmers into a questionable reliance on corn.

Times Argus Story about the Department of Health Advisory

New York Times, Ethanol's Boom Stalling as Glut Depresses Price