Happy Vermont

Happy Vermont

Stories about the places you love told by the people who live here. Visit www.happyvermont.com.

Episodes

April 24, 2021 30 min

Winemaker Kendra Knapik spent part of her childhood in Vermont's Champlain Islands, where her grandfather operated a dairy farm and later a golf course. 

Kendra is a veterinary oncologist, and her husband Rob is a full-time professor and chair of the physics department at Norwich University. The vineyard is located in Grand Isle, while their winery – where they produce natural wine – is at their home in Stowe. 

In this ep...

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It’s March in Vermont, and those 60 degree days we’ve been having all week won’t last. They never do. 

Still, the first week of spring in Vermont turned out to be one of the warmest and sunniest in recent memory. Host Erica Houskeeper talks to neighbors, kids, and other Vermonters about what they love most about the spring season. 

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Nancilee Kennedy arrived in southern Vermont in March 1971 and moved to Danby a decade ago. In recent years, she began to worry about her small community.

After the local general store in the heart of town closed its doors, Main Street became eerily quiet.

She decided to do something about it. In November, she opened Danby Village Shops, a local marketplace selling food, toys, home decor, self-care products, clothing, and more. 

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Artist Katharine Montstream is a driving force behind the Red Hot Chilly Dippers, a dedicated group of adventurers that meet at Oakledge Park, Perkins Pier, or the Burlington waterfront for icy winter swims in Lake Champlain.

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Amy Richardson is a UVM alumna, mother of three, and Vermont dairy farmer. For 25 years, she's been part of the Richardson Farm, a dairy farm in Hartland that dates back to the early 1900s. 

In this episode, Amy talks about balancing farm life and family, the heartbreak of losing a parent, and everyday things that bring her joy.

(recorded in August 2020)

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The Catamount Trail features more than 300 miles of backcountry skiing in Vermont. The trail extends the entire length of Vermont, winding through towns, villages, and remote sections of the state.

Matt Williams, executive director of the Catamount Trail Association, talks about what makes the trail special and offers tips on how beginners can try backcountry skiing this winter.

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There are 251 cities and towns in Vermont, plus three gores and one grant. Some places you've probably heard of, like Burlington, Brattleboro, Woodstock, and Stowe. Then there are other places, including Lewis, Baltimore, and Victory, that are off the beaten path. Host Erica Houskeeper talks with Stephanie Young, executive director of the 251 Club, about the club's beginnings, what it offers, and why you should join. 

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Alison Kosakowski Conant first came to Vermont in crisis mode.

While working in communications for Maersk, a global shipping company, she rushed from her home in New Jersey to Vermont in April 2009. The Maersk Alabama had been hijacked by four Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. The ship’s captain, Richard Phillips of Underhill, Vermont, was taken hostage.

As the crisis unfolded, Alison was dispatched to the captain’s home in the...

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October 14, 2020 43 min

Chad Abramovich loves to explore the weird side of Vermont. Things like abandoned buildings, mysterious legends, and obscure places are right up his alley. Chad talks with host Erica Houskeeper about what makes Vermont weird and shares stories about strange and mysterious places in the state. 

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Fall in Vermont is all about hiking, scenic drives, apple picking and exploring small towns.

You can’t go wrong wherever you are in Vermont this fall—the leaves are changing across the state and there’s beauty to be seen in every direction.

In the fall, there are dozens of scenic towns worth visiting, including Craftsbury, Peacham, Ripton, Dorset, and Wilmington. Here's a list of towns to explore and things to do along the wa...

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Mike Snyder is the go-to guy for Vermont fall foliage updates. As commissioner of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, Mike is known as Vermont’s Chief Foliage Forecaster, providing weekly foliage reports to the media and state tourism office. 

In this episode, Mike chats with host Erica Houskeeper about the 2020 fall foliage season, the science behind why the leaves change, and what makes autumn in Vermont so special. 

 

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Baker and musician Heather Lynne runs The Wild Fern on Route 100 in Stockbridge, Vermont. She spends part of her week baking, cooking, and filling to-go orders for sourdough bread, sesame bagels, locally sourced beef burgers, and pesto pizza.

On other days, she is lining up musicians for drive-in concerts at the café’s outdoor pop-up stage or playing bass with her band, Rick Redington & The Luv.

She opened The Wild Fern after...

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Bob Blanchard, who grew up in Burlington, Vermont, started a Facebook group last year that highlights the history of his hometown.

With more than 10,000 followers, the popular Facebook page features old photos of Church Street, Battery Park, the Waterfront, local grocery stores, and neighborhoods around the city. Several times a week, Bob shares historic information that he has meticulously researched.

In this episode, Bob shares...

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When you think of Vermont, what comes to mind? Ben & Jerry's? Maple syrup? Host Erica Houskeeper shares entertaining details about Vermont and recommends unusual, beautiful places to visit in the Green Mountain State. 

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Tara Schatz of Bennington is an avid hiker, camper, and outdoor enthusiast who writes about her adventures on BackRoadRambers.com. Tara's travel blog offers tips about kayaking, camping, hiking, visiting state parks, and road trips around Vermont.

In this episode of Happy Vermont, Tara talks about camping at off-the-beaten path locations, exploring swimming holes, waterfalls, and hiking trails, and her favorite places in Vermo...

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Artist Kathryn Wiegers is brightening up Vermont's downtowns with her giant, vibrant murals. Stroll along the streets of Rutland and you'll come across murals of elephants, giraffes, or even one that's a take on Rosie the Riveter as a COVID-19 essential worker.

In Burlington, her colorful flower mural can be seen at Green State Gardener on Pine Street, while two new murals by Kathryn will be installed at the Hilton Hot...

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Roy MacNeil of Greensboro, Vermont, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2014. The diagnosis changed everything about his life, except for his love to create music.

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While growing up on her family's dairy farm in Whitingham, Vermont, Abbie Corse couldn't wait to leave and do something else with her life. But when faced with a choice about her future, she realized she couldn't walk away. 

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Vermont baker Charlie Emers has been a professional bread baker since 2001. The former lamp maker and veggie farmer talks about becoming a baker and making a life for himself in rural Vermont.

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Angela Miller of Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, Vermont, was on track to re-launch her cheesemaking operation, which had closed last fall. Then the COVID-19 outbreak happened, and the world changed.

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