Mary Engisch

Weekend Host/Reporter

Mary Engisch is the host and reporter for Weekend Edition Saturday and Weekend Edition Sunday on VPR.

Mary joined VPR in 2011 as a board operator and announcer. From 2014 to 2018, she also hosted a weekly arts calendar segment and feature with local artists.

During the week, Mary works with the programming and news teams, helping to create on-air content and conducting interviews for the weekend news magazines. She is also one of the directors for Vermont Edition.

She grew up in Vermont in a tiny household full of 7 siblings, two parents and some cats.

Since then, she has earned a B.A. in Journalism from St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont, and has worked at a small weekly newspaper, as a voice-over artist, a vegan cupcake entrepreneur and a rock deejay at several local stations in Vermont.

She spends any free time concocting new gluten-free, low-sugar, tasty vegan dessert recipes and loves lifting very heavy things each morning at her gym.

Mary still resides in her hometown, still in a very tiny house, still with lots of people and still with some cats.

Greens, herbs and flowers lay in a wooden basket.

If you forage for wild leeks, ramps and other wild edibles growing right now, it is imperative that you heed caution and know proper wild edible identification.

This helps ensure you stay safe and the wild edibles can continue to thrive. It's best to adopt some best practices when out looking for these delicious bits of nature in the springtime. 

an illustrated cover for made in korea with the image of a person in the center in full color, with other grey versions of that person, except the face is replaced with a robot's
Jeremy Holt, Courtesy

The backcover description for a new sci-fi comic series from Middlebury writer Jeremy Holt describes it as: “Step One: Remove from box. Step Two: Power on. Step Three: Raise your child.”

Holt's series Made In Korea is illustrated by George Schall and debuts May 26.

A woman in a mask next to a sign reading canceled
Anna Van Dine / VPR File

Vermont has suspended usage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until at least April 23 while federal health authorities investigate a severe — though very rare — reaction to the shot. In talking with your friends and families and coworkers about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause, we wanted to know: How are you doing? What are you feeling and thinking?

Small green seedlings grow in dark brown soil

With warm weather settling in, you may step out to your garden or gaze at your raised bed and notice many seeds are germinating! Flowers such as calendula, verbena and poppies, and veggies like arugula, lettuce and mustard, may have self sown from last year. And this is the time to thin them out!

Three portraits of Vermont teenagers.
Courtesy, Listen Up Project - Kingdom County Productions

Listen Up Project is an original musical created by Kingdom County Productions and built around stories from the lives of Vermont teens. Due to the pandemic, the main production's tour was postponed until later this spring. In the meantime, show choreographer Shani Stoddard helped put together a collaborative story-sharing project called Black Voices of Vermont.

A deer eats the tops of flowering plants.

It seems you wait all winter for some colorful flowers to bloom and then the deer and rabbits eat them all first! When it comes to flowering bulbs, there are preventive measures to avoid this.

Purple and pink sweet pea blossoms on slender green stems.

Some flower varieties just seem to elicit a smile on your face just by looking at them. One such posie is the lovely sweet pea, with the flower bud's cheery appearance, beautiful hues and lovely scent!

Planting them is easy, when you know a couple of helpful tips. And you can start seeds indoors this month, then transplant and grow in a flower garden, raised bed or window box to use in fresh sweet pea bouquets for the table.

Find heirloom, fragrant varieties with names like "Miss Willmott," "America" and "Cupani." There is also a smaller window-box-sized variety, called, "Cupid," and even a perennial sweet pea.

A framed silkscreen image of a child's doll, dressed in a bright red dress.
Erin Jenkins, Courtesy

As a child growing up in South Carolina, artist and printmaker Jennifer Mack-Watkins' curiosity was fueled by thumbing through her local library’s card catalogs and then following those threads. Such as the manner in which Mack-Watkins came to create the works in her first museum solo show, “Children of the Sun,” up now at Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.

A pair of pruning shears cut the limb of a berry bush.

Many gardeners are growing blueberry bushes in their lawns and landscapes. These are great additions to your yard, because they are not only beautiful but also provide fresh fruit!

Now is a perfect time to learn some techniques for pruning your blueberry bushes. We'll learn about when to prune, the different aged branches and how to prune to get the best production.

VPR Newscast for 03/21/21 at 10:04 a.m.

A raised garden bed with herbs and veggies is watered from a watering can.
Patrick Daxenbichler

Early spring is the perfect time to build some raised beds. First, though, there are some things to consider, like the size of the raised bed and the material you’ll use.

Some pink boxes with Seder meal elements, like matzoh and wine.
Rabbi Eliyahu Junik, courtesy

As the religious leader of Burlington's Jewish community, Rabbi Eliyahu Junik aims to strengthen not only the Jewish community of Vermont's largest city, but also the community at large. 

Bright green moss covers large rocks and boulders.

You might not have considered it but there is a groundcover that can be a beautiful addition to your gardens and ground cover. It's moss! It add texture and color to landscapes and is easy to cultivate. Right about now, mosses are reappearing on rock ledges as the snow melts as an early and welcomed harbinger of spring. In this episode, Charlie will share an actual recipe you can whip up for making and spreading moss in your yard.

A detail watercolor image of a ski mountain covered in snow and trees.
Jim Niehues, courtesy

First, flying over summits to snap hundreds of aerial photos, then putting the puzzle of pictures together to create an image he'll paint with watercolor, artist Jim Niehues is "The Man Behind The Maps."

A white wooden church with a steeple in the wintertime.
UMC-Middlesex Facebook page, Courtesy

Last month, a Middlesex landmark, built in 1906, was destroyed by fire. Early this week, fire investigators determined an electrical fire in the church’s basement furnace room caused the fire. 

Small green seedlings in peat pots with soil.
Jon Spalding

The sun (when it appears) seems a bit warmer on your skin and you've got dreamy garden-plotting thoughts in your head. Right now, though, patience is your best friend when it comes to seed-starting!

You want to ensure your seedlings get the best beginning they can. This ensures they can thrive and produce fruits, veggies and flowers once you plant them in your garden or raised bed this spring and summer.

So, for right now, gather what you need and in a week or two, you should be good to start begin your seed-starts!

After nearly a year of cancelled and postponed social gatherings and sporting events due to COVID-19, The Town of Middlebury's recreation department, its school district and local volunteers created a place for the community to enjoy a favorite winter pastime.

Small carrot seedlings in a line grow in soil.

You may have heard the mantra that, "carrots love tomatoes," when it comes to garden placement. In this episode, we'll learn about plant partners and the scientific data that backs up how the placement of certain plants can keep pests and weeds at bay. You can experiment in your own garden this summer! 

A speaker cone with the words, "Safe & Sound."
Anna Ste. Marie

This episode of Safe & Sound has Vermont music about dolphin adoration, monsters and shapeshifters, plus whiskey and spinning planets. We also get a behind-the-curtain glimpse of how Ripton artist Sarah King digs in to write her dark Americana folk ballads.

A railroad dining-car eatery with stools, counter and booths.
John Getchell, courtesy

The sign propped up in the parking space in front of Bennington's Blue Benn Diner reads, "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It!" And since new owner John Getchell left his home in Southern Maine to purchase and run the Bennington landmark, he has changed very little about it.