Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Garlic is for HEROES

Shallots are for babies;
Onions are for men;
Garlic is for heroes

     What to do on a rainy September day at Laraway?  With our fields and garden doused with heavy rain, a handful of students from Laraway School convened in a small conference room with our Land Steward and AmeriCorp volunteer to trim and snip some of the 500 heads of garlic harvested from our garden.  These tasty, aromatic bulbs are wending their way into our cafeteria and the kitchens of the families we serve, enhancing and fortifying meals.
      The room smelled of garlic which wafted into the hallway----smelling a bit more like an Italian restaurant than a school.  One expected a waiter to whoosh by with a steaming plate of garlicky pesto on pasta. Students chatted as they worked while carefully navigating the bulbs and stems with clippers.
     Garlic, it can be said, IS for heroes.  Our youth, it can also be said, are heroes who---despite significant challenges in their daily lives---make it to school to learn, to grow and to occasionally snip and clip garlic.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Farmer on Site at Laraway Farm

   Getting your full serving of veggies isn't too hard these days at Laraway. Every Wednesday, Laraway School students spend the morning working with the land at our on-site farm, a program called Farmer On-Site. Each class completes a specific farm task. The past few weeks have been focused on bringing in a bountiful harvest. We have collected over 800lb of potatoes, beets, onions, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, squash, and elderberries- a pretty significant increase in production from previous years! Youth, school, and land steward staff have started the mornings with a check-in and quick game (we have been focusing on name games so far for the beginning of the year). Instructions are given and then everyone participates in garden tasks. The groups have ended with washing and weighing produce on our brand new scale, using their math skills to add up how much of each veggie was picked. Sometimes the kids will also carry their harvests directly to the kitchen, where our kitchen staff turns them into tasty breakfasts and lunches. YUM!

Article and photos by Ginny Cooke, Land Stewardship Americorps VISTA

Beautiful, bountiful, beets

A day's harvest

One BIG beet

A medley of green and purple string beans

Quite the carrot!

What 1.4lb of carrot looks like

Harvesting cabbage

Cabbage bounty
Squash art

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Laraway Staff presents at Children's Literacy Foundation Conference on September 18th

               Julie Landry, M.Ed., Director of Laraway School, will present a workshop on “Emotional and Learning Challenges” at the CLiF Conference for Rural Librarians to be held at the Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction on Friday, September 18th.
     “I’m excited about our partnership with CliF and the opportunity to speak with librarians about this population of students,” Landry said.
     CLiF is an independent non-profit organization founded in 1998. Its mission is to nurture a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural children in New Hampshire and Vermont. For more information, visit or email
     Laraway Youth & Family Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to identifying and building on the strengths of children and youth with emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges, through alternative education, therapeutic foster care and public school based behavioral intervention supports.  For more information, visit or email

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

SERVE Local Volunteers Lend a Hand

If there's one thing we know about the Laraway gardens, it's that volunteers are worth their weight in compost. On Friday, September 4, four volunteers from Johnson State College's SERVE Local program came to help weed the perennial bed located at the front of Laraway's property. The bed includes a variety of regenerative and tasty plants including a few apple trees that are bearing fruit for the first time this year, currants, apple mint, bee balm, and comfrey. Unfortunately, it was hard to tell that these plants were living there under a summer's worth of weeds. The volunteers spent an hour and half weeding the bed, discussing herbal remedies and weekend plans. By the end, there was a wheel barrow full of unwanted greenery and a significantly tidier garden. Thank you so much to our volunteers for taking the time to help us out!

Article written by Ginny Cooke, VYT Land Steward Americorps Member
Photos by Sarah Golden

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Laraway co-sponsors Lamoille Valley Career and Job Fair


The public is invited to attend the Lamoille Valley Career and Job Fair to be held on Thursday, September 24th, 2015 at the Green Mountain Technology & Career Center on the campus of Lamoille Union Middle/High School in Hyde Park.  This event is free to attend and open to 11th  and 12th grade students from area high schools and the general public.  While the Job Fair is open from 12 noon to 4 pm, the preferred time to attend for students is 12-2 pm and for the general public, 2-4 pm.          

Admission is free and open to the public!

     The Career and Job Fair provides an opportunity for job seekers to speak with a number of local businesses and explore a variety of careers in a short period of time.  Job seekers are encouraged to bring copies of their resumes, meet with professionals in our Job Fair Resource Area before attending meeting with employers.  They can take advantage of this chance to put their qualifications directly into the hands of local employers who are looking for employees.  Job seekers will find opportunities from entry level to advanced positions in a wide variety of fields.   For ongoing updates, leading up to September 24th, please log on to our website: and monitor our event Facebook page: 
      New this year will be Panel Discussions geared toward students from local high schools.  Area professionals will present information and answer questions about a range of industries.  Students plan to sign up before the Career & Job Fair for one of 8 topics which include: 
  •  Preparing for and Succeeding at a Career & Job Fair
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship:  Taking a Good Idea and Running With It
  • Careers and Employment Opportunities in the Growing Vermont   Agricultural Industry-It Includes Farming but Offers So Many More Opportunities
  • Do You Have a Desire to Help People?  Opportunities in Healthcare and Human Services
  • Want to Use Your Mind and Your Hands?  Check Out the Many Great Careers in the Skilled Trades!
  • Do You Like to Design, Create and Build?  Careers Using Your Creative Interests and Energy  (Maker Space, IT, Engineering, Marketing/Design)
  • Careers Connecting Customers to the World Around Them—Opportunities in Hospitality, Culinary, Marketing and Sales!
  • Higher Education and Employment—Connecting the Dots.

     After attending a Panel, students will proceed into the exhibit area to connect with area businesses. 
      The growing list of businesses and organizations participating this year include: Copley Hospital, Creative Workforce Solutions, Edward Jones, Rich Jacob Financial Advisor, Green Mountain Transit Agency, Hannaford, Home Instead Senior Care, Laraway Youth & Family Services, Lamoille County Mental Health Services, Lamoille Economic Development Corporation, Lyndon State College, MEI Electrical Contractors, New England Culinary Institute, Shaws, Smugglers' Notch Resort, State of VT Department of Personnel, Stoweflake Resort & Spa, Strategies for College Inc., Trapp Family Lodge, Union Bank, Vermont Technical College, VT Society of Land Surveyors, Washington County Mental Health Services, and more.
      Thank you to the event sponsors: Smuggler’s Notch Resort, Union Bank, Laraway Youth and Family Services, Creative Workforce Solutions and Lamoille Economic Development Corp.
      For more information please contact DJ Masi, Business Account Manager, Creative Workforce Solutions, Lamoille Region at 802-793-8309 or