Peter Dixon, co-owner of Parish Hill Creamery, slices a wedge of cheese at a recent Brattleboro Winter Farmers Market.
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Connecting community with farms and food

The Brattleboro Winter Farmers Market sees tremendous growth — and a growing need to provide access to local food — as it grows roots at its new home on the Winston Prouty campus

What started 18 years ago as a way for Windham County farmers to help feed the local community with surplus food - produce that remained at the end of the summer season - is now a thriving local attraction that boasts hundreds of visitors weekly through the winter months.

The Brattleboro Winter Farmers Market describes itself on its website as the only weekly winter farmers' market in Windham County and one of the oldest in the state.

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A walk through the market

The Commons spoke with several farmers who participate in the Brattleboro Winter Farmers' Market to find out more about their farms and offerings. Coming to the Brattleboro Winter Farmers' Market from Westminster, Peter Dixon and Rachael Schall of Parish Hill Creamery say that the enterprise is where they've been able to put their experience and passions into full play, making "cheese that is the ultimate expression of this place" from milk that comes from the Elm Lea Farm at the...

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WSESD board candidates eye process, priorities

Residents of WSESD member towns will vote on all candidates for the Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) School Board, including those not from their specific towns, on Town Meeting Day next Tuesday, March 5. Most of the candidates in the three races for seats on met Feb. 26 in a candidates' forum. Dummerston Town Moderator Cindy Jerome moderated the exchange, sponsored by The Commons, the Brattleboro Reformer, and Brattleboro Community Television, with questions asked by Jeff Potter, editor of The...

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Candidates have their say in Brattleboro

The five candidates for the three Selectboard seats on the March 5 ballot met on Feb. 22 to discuss the issues in a forum sponsored by The Commons, the Brattleboro Reformer, and Brattleboro Community Television. Melanie Winters, managing editor of the Reformer, and Randolph T. Holhut, deputy editor of The Commons, asked questions of all five, breaking them apart into those vying for a three-year seat and those competing for two one-year seats on the board. Running for the three-year...

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Town Meeting Day is Tuesday

Most voters throughout the county will assemble on Town Meeting Day on Tuesday, March 5. Voters in Athens, Brattleboro, Brookline, Rockingham, Vernon, Windham, and Westminster will convene on their own respective timetables, and Marlboro voters won't meet at all, with voters making all decisions by Australian ballot. That day also marks the presidential primary election throughout the state. According to the Vermont Secretary of State's office, "Vermont law makes town meeting a holiday for employees of the state government." State...

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Stylists unite for a friend in need

Loretta Palazzo recalls her first impressions of Re Sheppard. "All those years ago, she popped into Boomerang looking for a job," says Palazzo, the owner of the clothing store on Main Street. "I noticed right away that she is artistic, she was dressed so cool. Soft spoken, super kind. That's how we became friends." Some people know Sheppard as a talented rock star musician who plays bass guitar. Other people know her from work at New England Center for Circus...

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Vote for two!

During the Feb. 26 candidates' forum for the Windham Southeast School District (WSESD) board of directors, Moderator Cindy Jerome realized the Dummerston ballot includes an error. There should be direction on each town's ballot to vote for "not more than two" for the three-year seat as Brattleboro representative. It was printed as "not more than one" on the Dummerston ballot. Voters in all WSESD member towns vote on all candidates, whether they represent their specific towns. There are three candidates...

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Early and absentee ballots now available

Early and absentee ballots for the Presidential Primary, Brattleboro Annual Town Meeting and Windham Southeast School District School Board vote to be held March 5 are now available by request. Absentee ballots for this election must be requested. Anyone wishing to vote early and in-person may now do so at the Brattleboro Town Clerk's Office. This option is available through Monday, March 4, at 5 p.m. Anyone wishing to vote absentee may apply for an absentee ballot until 5 p.m.

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Marking midwinter

A tradition carries on this week with the start of the Brattleboro Winter Carnival's 68th year. Since 1993, Carol Lolatte has brought her organizational talents to the committee organizing the celebration, and Lolatte, who by day works as recreation and parks director for the town, has served as president for the last three years. "I have the hat that I wear for the [Recreation and Parks] Department and the hat I wear for the senior citizens in town. Helping run...

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