Vermont Folklife Center receives $33,750 to research grassroots agriculture

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Vermont Folklife Center receives $33,750 to research grassroots agriculture

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 3:18am -- tim

The Vermont Folklife Center announces the receipt of a $33,750 Archie Green Fellowship Award from the American Folkife Center at the Library of Congress to conduct ethnographic and oral history research into contemporary grassroots agriculture in the state. The Archie Green Fellowship was established by the American Folklife Center to stimulate innovative research projects documenting occupational culture in contemporary America.

Farming has held a central role in the culture and economy of Vermont since the colonial period. The current explosion of small-scale, grass-roots agriculture in the state draws on this long history, mixing historical approaches and perspectives with contemporary ideas, needs and goals. At the same time, these efforts also involve the adoption of new ideas and approaches that were never part of past agricultural practice in Vermont or the region.

Although the Vermont Folklife Center Archive has extensive holdings on Vermont agriculture across the 20th century, these new, emerging models of agricultural practice are an under-documented aspect of the culture of the state. Support from the Archie Green Fellowship Program allows the Vermont Folklife Center to undertake the “The Grass-Roots Food Movement in Vermont: Documenting New Models of Locally-Focused Agriculture in the State” project and fill this hole in the record of the folklife of Vermont.

“In Vermont prior to the Second World War practically all food—with the exception of white sugar, flour, coffee, tea, and spices—was locally produced,” states Vermont Folklife Center Co-Director and Director of Education, Greg Sharrow. “contemporary efforts to re-localize food production tie our state’s agricultural heritage to innovative ideas and new approaches that can keep small scale farming economically viable and help us answer the question: ‘can we feed ourselves?’”

The Fellowship was established to honor the memory of Archie Green (1917-2009), a pioneering folklorist who championed the establishment of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. As a scholar, Green documented and analyzed the culture and traditions of American workers and encouraged others to do the same.

For additional information on the “The Grass-Roots Food Movement in Vermont: Documenting New Models of Locally-Focused Agriculture in the State” project, please contact the Vermont Folklife Center at (802) 388-4964.

The Vermont Folklife Center’s mission is to broaden, strengthen, and deepen our understanding of Vermont and the surrounding region; to assure a repository for our collective cultural memory; and to strengthen communities by building connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont.