About

Mara Welton: Board Chair

Mara Welton co-owns and operates 2-acre Half Pint Farm with her husband Spencer in Burlington’s Intervale. Mara farms because she loves good food – and started her specialty veggie farm in 2003 to provide Vermont with locally grown niche produce. Mara loves that farming keeps her grounded, inspired, and eating the best possible food everyday! Mara brings to Slow Food Vermont a passion for food and traditional foodways, enthusiasm for the process of seed to plate, exciting and educational event planning and general good organizational skills, and an ability to trust and empower her fellow board members to keep Slow Food Vermont always engaging. When Mara is not farming, she is: running, experimenting in the kitchen, reading about food, snuggling with her dachshunds, traveling abroad, speaking at conferences, entertaining, and pining for the growing season.

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Chris Howell - Board Vice Chair

Chris Howell runs Vermont Farm Tours, a culinary tour outfit based in Burlington.  He came to Vermont in 2001 to study geography and sculpture at Middlebury College and fell in love. Chris is an avid community gardener and co-founder of Grow Team ONE, a series of gardens in Burlington’s Old North End.  His passion for sharing Vermont’s agricultural story has it’s roots in a trip to Terra Madre in 2006: Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, addressed food producers from around the world, “Your story—the one we can taste, touch, smell, and see—is one of the most valuable assets to humankind.”  Whew!  When he’s not leading culinary tours around Vermont, Chris works as a carpenter, plays outside, and makes art.  Chris is the Vice President for Slow Food VT.

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Pam-Web

Pam Chomsky-Higgins: Secretary

After growing up in central Vermont and leaving at eighteen looking for bigger and better things, Pam Chomsky-Higgins spent over thirty years working with children as a classroom teacher. She has returned to Burlington to work with educators all around the state to support them in developing and refining their instructional skills in the area of literacy. Pam loves to cook, to try new and interesting ingredients, and to search out and support local growers and producers. Because of her background in education, she has enjoyed sharing her food related knowledge and experiences with others in a variety of forums. Pam has a wonderful circle of friends with the same interests so cooking together is a special and frequent occurrence. She has such admiration for the farmers and producers of exquisite food here in Vermont. She has found that many “bigger and better” things can be found right in her own backyard. Pam is Secretary on the Slow Food VT board.

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David Morgan: Treasurer

David Morgan is the founder and owner of Slow Hand Malting, a craft malt house supplying brewers, distillers and specialty food producers with malted grain sourced from growers in Vermont and neighboring states. Inspired by the unique food culture he experienced during a two year Peace Corps assignment in West Africa with his wife, David joined Slow Food Vermont to support local food systems here at home and now serves as Treasurer on SFVT board. He is a beekeeper, an avid gardener with a penchant for cooking, canning and home brewing. When he’s not satisfying his cravings for ethnic foods of all kinds, he can be found cycling, Nordic skiing and exploring Vermont’s many gorgeous lakes by paddle board.

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Vera Simon-Nobes: PR Co-Director

Eating sweet cherry tomatoes off the vines was Vera’s favorite summer past-time as a child, and really, not much has changed.  Her father’s creative cooking and gardening inspired her to get to know food, and her interest in social justice brought to pop-up kitchens throughout the San Francisco Bay Area as an AmeriCorps member coordinating cooking and nutrition and classes in limited-income communities. Upon returning to Vermont, she co-coordinated the NOFA Vermont Winter Conference, helped out with the Vermont Farm Share Program, and today she is a shared employee between Shelburne Farms and the Vermont Farms! Association where she coordinates a three-year “Vermont Farms Agritourism Project” and the Farm-Based Education Network.  At home, Vera raises pastured lamb and chicken with her partner, Michael.

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Maureen "Mort" Deaner: Snail of Approval Director

Maureen, who also goes by the nickname ‘Mort’, is an engineer at Renewable NRG Systems. Mort grew up gardening and cooking with her grandmothers in upstate NY.  Since then she has lived in various states throughout the country and learned to appreciate the regional delicacies.  Moving to Vermont 12 years ago, she has joined the localvore scene with excitement by participating in farmers markets, CSAs, gardening, bee keeping, and traditional, real food preparation.

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Ann Cromley

Ann Cromley is a 2015 graduate of the University of Vermont. Majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics, Ann likes to geek out about good, clean, fair food and how it works with the body in a wholistic way. At UVM, she was a key leader of the Slow Food campus chapter, helping to bring the joys of the Slow Food movement to students! Hailing from Pennsylvania, she has found her home now in Vermont…forever! Her dream is to make a difference in how children grow up learning about food and nutrition, and as an avid Alice Waters fan, she sure is in no deficit of inspiration!

Ann represented the Slow Food Youth Network at Terra Madre 2015, and very successfully had her mind and palate blown away! While not in the kitchen or at a potluck, Ann enjoys running, cycling, stargazing, yogA, and exploring Vermont in the summer time! Go visit her at Stone Soup in downtown Burlington and she’ll give you free treats :)

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Evan Girard

The diversity and depth of Slow Food and its Youth Network are what attracts him to the movement. Evan moved to Vermont in Fall 2014 for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board’s AmeriCorps program. Prior, Evan spent much energy helping to build a foundation for a sustainable slow food revolution as a student at the University of New Hampshire, establishing partnerships, launching community initiatives, and campaigning for the Real Food Challenge (how he met fellow board member Ann Cromley). He gives credit to the Real Food Challenge for making him truly thankful for the hands that feed him. He feels nourished when his hands are in the soil and then holding onto his bicycle handlebars while delivering the bulk of his community garden harvests to local food pantries. Evan is excited to get to know SFVT membership and hear how they feel celebrating good, clean, and fair food helps to build a fair and just food system in VT.

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Ale Rellini

Ale is co-owner of Agricola Farm, a small diversified livestock farm on the shore of Lake Champlain. Her passion for food is a way to be connected to her childhood memories of growing up in the Italian Alps. In Vermont, she raises pigs, sheep, and chicken and enjoys keeping alive the old Italian butchering traditions. Ale brings to Slow Food her passion for reviving old traditions, her commitment to Slow Meat, and a strong desire to merge her knowledge of the Old World farming and eating with the richness of Vermont’s land. If you do not see Ale at her farm, you can probably find her teaching or doing research in the Department of Psychological Science at UVM, but even there she finds excuses to teach her students how to make ravioli.

 

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Martha Franklin: Regional Captain Central Vermont

Martha Franklin is a Chef Instructor at New England Culinary Institute. Her passions are cooking, learning and teaching others about local sustainable food…which is a perfect match for her at home or work! She is a huge  follower of  the “eat local” mantra and is excited to reflect the importance of this while teaching.  Along with gardening, supporting local farmers, vendors and businesses, she is also an avid reader and is always searching for new exciting recipes to incorporate into her work or home life.  Martha is the Regional Captain for Montpelier, VT.

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Stephan Cantor: Regional Captain Northeast Kingdom

Stephan Cantor owns and operates Deep Mountain Maple, a maple farm business, together with her husband Howard Cantor. Since 1985 the Cantors have sold their maple products in New York City at the Union Square Greenmarket and other Greenmarkets around New York, and they have been proud to be part of the tremendous growth of farmer’s markets nationwide. They strive to represent Vermont well every week, year round with delicious maple syrup and fine maple candies. Stephan lives and works in West Glover, in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom and at the heart of some of the most exciting things happening today in pursuit of better food systems and of food that is good, clean, and fair. She is an anthropologist by inclination and training, whose scholarly interests are focused on food culture and the histories of foods and food ways, including maple sugar. Stephan has been affiliated with Slow Food USA since 2000, when she led a maple Tasting Event at the first convocation of Slow Food New York. Since then she has been a delegate to Terra Madre (2010), and is currently very excited to energize Slow Food in northeastern Vermont as Slow Food VT’s Northeast Kingdom Regional Captain.

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