Thursday, February 23, 2017

If You Teach a Youth to Prune...Increasing Laraway's Harvest

     George Swanson, Laraway’s part-time Land Steward, and a gentleman farmer with his own acreage in the Northeast Kingdom, has been planning plantings for when the snow melts and the ground rejuvenates. He sketched out a plan for crop rotation, to make the most of our fertile, certified-organic soil along the Lamoille River. He is planning a new plot for tomatoes, strategically located to minimize blight. After consulting with Lisa Rock, our inspired and creative cook, George will plant more root crops and increase potato production.  We want to grow what Lisa and Dave can use in the kitchen---and lots of it! The root cellar in our farmhouse can store about 400 pounds of produce.  George is aiming to fill the space with healthy, nutritious veggies for our cafeteria.
     “The saying goes ‘any month with R in its spelling is a month for tree pruning.’.  Our first tree pruning student workshop starts February 22 (weather permitting) and will continue into March,” George said.  It looks like snowshoes will be needed!”
     Seed starts will take root in Laraway’s classrooms in March and April, presaging what we hope will be a plentiful growing season.  Feeding kids healthy food helps them grow…and learn.  Teaching kids to grow their own vegetables satisfies their appetites while equipping them with self-sustaining skills for adulthood.
     Stay tuned…and WATCH OUR GARDEN GROW!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Greg Stefanski talks Community on "Present Time" at 99.3 WBTV Radio

     Greg Stefanski, Laraway's Executive Director will speak about the concept of Community on "Present Time" at WBTV LP 99.3, live streamed at on Friday, February 17, 2017 from 10:10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  In addition to his role at Laraway, Greg is a community activist and adjunct faculty member at Johnson State College and the Community College of Vermont.  He also designed a college-level course on the concept of Community.
     As Greg points out in his writing, "Community is can grow, it can be harmed.  We have to take care of it, especially in a world of competing influences, some of which might actually harm community." 
     So much of our work at Laraway is about helping the children, youth and families we serve find and sustain Community.  If this topic catches your fancy, we hope you'll give a listen!

Monday, February 13, 2017

You're Invited! Open House at Laraway on Thursday, February 23rd, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

     Have you ever wondered what it's really like to be a foster parent?  Did you know that Laraway's Clinical Program has expanded, offering services to local schools and community members?  Would you like to see our renovated youth recreational space, supported by a grant and designed with input from our clients?  If we've captured your curiosity, we encourage you to visit.
     Join us for Laraway's Winter Open House on Thursday, February 23rd from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at our Farmhouse at 275 Vermont Route 15W in Johnson.  Light refreshments will be served.  For more information and/or to RSVP, please contact Katherine Stamper at 802-635-2805 x 106 or  If you are interested in visiting Laraway and can't attend the Open House, please contact Katherine for a private tour.
     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, please visit