The Exit Interview: Samantha Stanford, Owner and Founder of Dirty Dog Mobile Grooming
Jul19

The Exit Interview: Samantha Stanford, Owner and Founder of Dirty Dog Mobile Grooming

Americans spent $6.6 billion on pet boarding and grooming services in 2017, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, and the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs in pet grooming will grow by 11 percent through at least 2023. Add to that a 2018 American Veterinary Medical Association report that shows almost 30 percent of Vermont and 24 percent of New Hampshire households own at least one dog, and...

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The food truck industry is growing in Vt. and N.H. and shows no signs of slowing down
Jul19

The food truck industry is growing in Vt. and N.H. and shows no signs of slowing down

On a humid June night, hundreds of people waited in Lebanon’s Colburn Park to sample fares from 13 food trucks. While the patrons stood in line, generators buzzed and chefs pivoted through the hot interiors of the trucks, filling orders for everything from lobster rolls to fried cauliflower to Thai food. “It seems very popular,” said Meagan Henry, an administrative assistant with the city’s Recreation and Parks Department and...

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Business of Agriculture: Outsourcing keeps farms running efficiently
Jul19

Business of Agriculture: Outsourcing keeps farms running efficiently

Time was when Upper Valley farmers had to be able to handle just about every task related to their operation themselves — from repairing equipment to trimming animals’ hooves to fetching inputs like grain and bedding. But today it’s a different story as services and supplies come to the farm on wheels and outsourcing of more and more traditional farm tasks becomes the rule. It’s not always cheaper in the short run, but calling on...

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Business of Agriculture: On the farm, the end of life is commonplace and easy
Apr19

Business of Agriculture: On the farm, the end of life is commonplace and easy

I had a volunteer on the farm once who had trouble thinning carrots. She couldn’t bear to see the little baby thinnings shriveling in the sun as we moved down the rows. She shoved a bunch into her pockets with the idea of replanting them when she got home. I don’t know how that worked out. She never came back.   Hers was an unusual case, though I think she had a fundamental insight into farming that is easy to miss: Death is...

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Cover story: In the business of death, one of our most timeless industries confronts a changing world
Apr19

Cover story: In the business of death, one of our most timeless industries confronts a changing world

When Lee Webster’s mother died, her body was laid out at home. Family members came and went for the weekend, before loading her body into Webster’s van. They played her mother’s favorite music while driving the corpse to a crematorium in St. Johnsbury. The next day family members picked up the remains, and Webster’s mother was buried in the family plot in East Montpelier Center. “It was simple,” said Webster, president of New...

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Made in the Upper Valley: The art of taxidermy brings visions of luxury and learning to life
Apr19

Made in the Upper Valley: The art of taxidermy brings visions of luxury and learning to life

Whether it’s a carcass found in the woods, a coyote struck by a car, or the annual hunters’ take of deer, moose, bear and turkeys, death isn’t necessarily the last stop for animals in the Upper Valley. Many are restored to a semblance of their previous lives by professional taxidermists in New Hampshire and Vermont. “We memorialize these beautiful animals,” said John Matyka, owner of Jacobs Brook Taxidermy in Orford, “and in the...

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The Exit Interview: Dr. Judith Hills
Apr19

The Exit Interview: Dr. Judith Hills

Dr. Judith Hills recalls that when she graduated from high school, not many women went on to become doctors. Still, she’d always been interested in medicine, and after her husband became a veterinarian, she decided she had what it took to become a physician. When her youngest child started first grade, Hills started medical school at Dartmouth College. She worked briefly at the Ottauquechee Health Center, when hospice was getting...

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The Business of Agriculture: Succession Is a Family Affair
Jan22

The Business of Agriculture: Succession Is a Family Affair

Agricultural enterprises constantly confront swarms of problems and issues as they try to be profitable and sustainable, but often there’s one in particular that hovers over everything, that vexes the owners for years and, occasionally, spells doom for the business. It’s the matter of succession — what will become of the farm when the present generation ages out and whether or not there’ll be the talent, interest and wherewithal to...

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Made in the Upper Valley: Stave Puzzles
Jan22

Made in the Upper Valley: Stave Puzzles

It was 1970, and Steve Richardson was out of a job. He’d moved his wife, Martha, and their two young sons to the Upper Valley from New Jersey to work in a software development firm, but the company went broke and everyone was laid off. “Martha was working at Creare putting bread on the table,” he recalled, “while I was out re-inventing myself.” It’s not too much of a stretch to say that his professional life was in pieces. Richardson...

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