Featured Programs

Nahhan / ISTOCK

On my recent trip to Northern India, I noticed in farmers' fields a common Vermont shrub. There were rows and rows of yews. I found out they're the Pacific yews and farmers are growing them to extract a cancer-fighting chemical, taxol, from the plant.

Young Writers Project: 'Elemental'

Feb 14, 2019
Lake Champlain Waldorf School poet Charlotte Hughes uses the chaotic forces of nature to describe the deterioration of a couple.
YWP Media Library, artwork by Tim Searls, 16, Danville, Vermont

They say that
he was the water
and she was the fire.
But his riptides overcame her
and buried her flame.
She was caught in his wild storms
and tossed around like a rag doll.
She used to be fierce,
but she became soggy
and flexible like a rubber band.

VPR Cafe: Winter Comfort Foods Stir Up Hearty Flavors And Fond Memories

Feb 14, 2019
For food writer, Melissa Pasanen, The Kitchen Table's cider-steamed mussels bring back memories of a dish she enjoyed as a child.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

Even if bitter cold temperatures and mounting piles of snow aren't your cup of tea, there is one thing to love about winter: comfort food! From chicken soup to chili and mac 'n cheese to dumplings, many of these dishes not only warm us physically, but also emotionally.

Rumble Strip: Susan And I Talk About Cancer

Feb 12, 2019

In this month's excerpt of Rumble Strip on VPR, podcast creator and producer Erica Heilman talks with her friend Susan, who has breast cancer. To hear the entire podcast, find more from Rumble Strip here.

Timeline: Pareidolia

Feb 11, 2019
U.S. Public Domain

In the past couple of episodes we’ve looked at quite a few audio experiments or illusions, exploring the limitations and wonderful abilities of our ears and mind. I’ve been joined by some friends from VPR, Brendan Kinney, Leslie Blount and Joe Tymecki. They volunteered to take part in these experiments and share their experiences with us.

Young Writers Project: 'Peace'

Feb 8, 2019
This week’s Richmond, Vermont, poet Anna Wahlin puts words to the stormy resistance she feels walking uphill toward the better, brighter future.
YWP Media Library, digital art by Walker Jones

The snow swirls around me,
covering up my footprints
and leaving me stranded
in the colorless blizzard.
The cold bites at my bare skin,
turning it to a rosy red,
trying to take me over.

p ponomare / ISTOCK

The days are getting longer and you know what that means for the veggie gardener, it's time to start thinking about tomatoes.

VPR Cafe: Vermont Fishing Company Reimagines The CSA With... The CSF

Feb 7, 2019
Honeywilya Fish is a Duxbury company that catches, fillets, and ships Alaskan Salmon back to Vermont where it's sold at farmers markets, retailers and through a CSF.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

You might have heard of, or participate in, a CSA (community supported agriculture). But now, one small company is bringing the CSF - community supported fish - from the waters of Alaska to dinner tables in Vermont.

Charlotte, Vermont, poet Courtney McDermott writes of spontaneous introspection that claims her in a school locker room, allowing her past to weave itself into her present as she comes to a new understanding of herself.
YWP Media Library, photo by Jenna Rice

One shoe off, then the other.

Quiet, besides the rhythmic replacement
of clothing fabric against my skin.
The lights don’t buzz;
the sink doesn’t drip, for once.

tomazl / ISTOCK

Our ears and minds are amazing. Not only can they hear and experience the world around us, they are also filling in the gaps in our perception. We don’t even realize all the ways that our hearing is constructing the world around us, helping to keep us safe and understand our surroundings.

Young Writers Project: 'Skiing'

Feb 4, 2019
Burlington, Vermont, poet Laura Zhou-Hackett reflects on the first blurry image of her childhood: her father and herself, swishing through the winter countryside.
YWP Media Library, photo by Lindsey Stuntz

Happiness is the faded memory
of tiny cross-country skis
next to your father’s tall ones,
and of climbing the snowy hill sideways
(or else you will fall back down).
Happiness is the sight of a frozen pond
next to an open field,
and the swish-swish of skis
penetrating the still, quiet air.

igaguri_1 / ISTOCK

Many people love having some houseplants blooming in winter. We're all familiar with African violets and Christmas cactus as two of the best flowering houseplants. But there are others that offer bright colorful flowers without much more work.

VPR Cafe: Remembering Enid Wonnacott

Feb 1, 2019
Enid Wonnacott, who recently passed away, was a leader in Vermont's organic farming movement.
James Buck / Seven Days

Recently, the Vermont agriculture community - and Vermont overall - lost someone who poured her heart and soul into the organic farming movement. Enid Wonnacott passed away January 18 at her home in Huntington. Until stepping down last fall, Wonnacott was executive director of The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA-VT).

Kent McFarland

Even in the winter time, beaver ponds are active habitats. The harvested trees and brush attract other wildlife like deer and turkey to feed. The lodges themselves provide warmth for the beavers and other rodents, such as mice and muskrats. The North American beaver has seen a resurgence in the last 100 years after being trapped to near-extinction by European settlers.

Young Writers Project: 'Fields'

Jan 25, 2019
This week, Essex Junction, Vermont, writer Maecy Odit shares a series of assigned journal entries.
YWP Media Library, photo by Carmella Clark

Chapter 1
Today I am asked to write whatever comes to my mind,
and really nothing is coming to my mind.
So really, my mind is like… a blank field of wheat,
with the wind lightly blowing.

Chapter 2
Today I am adding on to this story,
only because once again I have nothing on my mind –
but today there are cows in the field
slowly eating the wheat as if in slow motion.
But they don’t care; it’s as if they are happy to be slow eaters.
They have flies buzzing around their ears and heads,
and I think, How are they not getting distracted by the flies?
I know I would be. Or maybe they are,
but they are just good at hiding it from others.
Or maybe they just don’t want us to know.

Selwa Baroody / ISTOCK

For years onions were one of those crops I avoided growing in the garden. They're cheap and plentiful in markets. Why take up space with such a common veggie? But then I started experimenting with unusual varieties and now I'm hooked on onions.

U.S. Public Domain

We are wired to respond to sound in a thousandth of a second. With that kind of visceral, automatic response we sometimes get it wrong. I’ve been looking at the research of perceptual and cognitive psychologist Diana Deutsch. She has spent her career exploring and assembling audio illusions and curiosities. We’ll look at a few of them together and ask “can you trust your ears?”


I'm always looking for new plants and growing techniques. That's why I'm fascinated with kokedama hanging houseplants. Kokedama is an ancient form of Japanese bonsai. It's also called "poorman's bonsai" because it is so easy to do.

VPR Cafe: A Bread Pudding To Cure The Winter Blues

Jan 18, 2019
Kismet chef, Crystal Maderia, makes a savory style of bread pudding that's similar to French onion soup.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

The winter blues affect almost all of us in one way or another. Less daylight, colder temperatures and a season that always seems to last longer than its allotted 91.25 days. It's the time of year when not only our taste buds, but our souls, crave heart-warming foods that provide comfort during the darkest days of the year. 

Jessica Ruscello / ISTOCK

With the surge of interest in houseplants, many home owners are rethinking indoor plantings. While floor plants, such as ficus and dracena, are dramatic, a more practical approach is hanging baskets. Hanging houseplants take up less space, fit into small nooks and can have interesting growth. Here are some of the easiest to try in your home.