Island Life

 5  Organizations to Donate to in Grand Isle County

 Toys for Kids of Vermont


1. Toys for Kids

Toys for Kids is a volunteer program sponsored by Vermont Marine Corps League. They collect toys for kids in need and have numerous drop off locations right in Grand Isle County. Some of these locations include Keeler Bay Variety, Emmons Supermarket, Hero’s Welcome, Harborside Market, and the Isle La Motte Town Office. You can also donate through a virtual toy barrel and order items to be shipped to JeriHill Hardware. 

Donate here

Image source: Toys for Kids


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2.  Voices Against Violence - Laurie’s House

Voices Against Violence serves Franklin and Grand Isle County and as many of us know domestic violence is on the rise due to the pandemic. This organization would greatly appreciate any help to continue their work educating and providing safe housing for members of our community. 

Donate here

Image source: Voices Against Violence



3. South Hero Land Trust

Join South Hero Land Trust in their Grow for a Neighbor campaign! You can volunteer as a gardener or donate to buy seedlings. The produce yielded will be donated to a local food shelf and the seedlings are bought from local farms and will be used for the volunteer gardeners and to create potted plant packets for families at risk. 

Donate here.

Image source: South Hero Land Trust

4. C.I.D.E.R.

Currently CIDER’s Neighborhood Meals program is delivering an average of 650 meals a month to around 45-50 recipients. While they are supported by some funding such as the United Way of Northwest Vermont and Granny Attic, the balance of funding to carry out Neighborhood Meals comes from CIDER’s fundraising efforts. With that said, they would greatly appreciate any help this holiday season!

Donate here

Image Source: Annie Gardiner 

5. Donate to a Local Food Pantry 

Food pantries accept dry and canned food donations, so nonperishable items that might be in your pantry. They often are looking for goods such as peanut butter, canned soup, whole grain pasta, and canned beans to list a few. Grand Isle County has a number of food pantries; such as the Saint Joseph’s Church in Grand Isle and the United Methodist Church of North Hero.

For more information call them today at 802-372-4092 or (802) 372-6638.

Image Source: United Methodist Church


Have any other donation recommendations? Comment below!


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How to Prepare the Perfect Charcuterie Board


While the holidays may look different this year there is one thing that remains constant: the comfort of being surrounded by those you love most and of course good eats! This holiday season, impress your guests with a charcuterie board! Carefully crafted and presented quite elegantly, a charcuterie board is essentially a fancy title for a meat and cheese board. Here are five easy steps to help you prepare the perfect appetizer!

1. Select Your Provisions.

Having a medley of diverse cured meats is the first step to create your cheese board. Aim for thinly sliced provisions such as prosciutto or peppered salami. Then try rolling the slices or layering them on your board. Typically these meats can be found at local specialty food stores including Healthy Living and City Market

Photo Source: FN Sharp

2. Choose Your Cheese.

The next step is choosing your fromage. While it's hard to go wrong in this department, incorporating multiple contrasting textures will keep your board fun and interesting! Include artisanal cheeses like Isle La Motte’s Happy Bird Poultry Farm’s Smoked Seriously Sharp Cheddar slices and then mix in a softer cheese like Vermont Creamery’s  herb goat cheese. For one stop shopping, check out Cheese and Wine Traders for a wide selection of local Vermont products.

Photo source:  Happy Bird Poultry

3. Incorporate Fruit And Nuts.

Adding fruit to your charcuterie board not only provides a pop of color in your presentation but it creates a sweet mixture of flavor. Select fruit that goes with your cheeses of choice. Include an assortment of fresh and dried fruit then try to add a fruit spread or chutney! Test out Arbor Farmstead’s excellent selection of fruit preserves on their new online farmstand here.. Plus,  don’t forget to add a mix of nuts in there...Do we dare suggest candied walnuts?  

Photo source:  Arbor Farmstead

4. Add Crackers and Bread

When making your decision on what crackers to incorporate, think about the type of cheese and meats you’ve selected. Vermont’s Castleton’s Crackers complement nicely with harder cheeses while hand crafted bread such as a seeded baguette  from Wally's Place would be ideal to pair with your spreads or dips. 

Photo source: Wally's Place

5. Compose Your Charcuterie Board

Finally, it’s time to assemble your ingredients into a beautiful meat and cheese board. First, we recommend using your largest cutting board or a sizable serving platter. Then layer the cheese and meats on top of each other and sprinkle the fruit and nuts in where you see fit. Additionally, you can use a small bowl if you have something like a creamy dip or olives. Include any necessary utensils such as cheese knife and garnish with an herb like rosemary or thyme for a pleasant aroma!

Photo source: A Dash of Megnut 

Now pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, marvel at your board, and dive in! Whether you're gathering with family at the holidays or going to housewarming parties charcuterie boards will be sure to amaze your company and their taste buds!

Photo source: Edyta via Eating European


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Nature Trails In The Champlain Islands

Nature Trails In The Champlain Islands

The Champlain Islands are a nature lovers’ paradise with nature trails, beaches and wildlife. These trails are enjoyed year-round by people on foot, bikes, snowshoes or skis. Here are some of our favorite trails. What ones do you enjoy?









1. Fox Run, Snow Farm Vineyard, South Hero, VT

Enjoy a glass of wine and then go for a walk on the Fox Run trail. A short, uphill walk with an amazing views the Island Line Trail, the vineyard and Lake Champlain. Location: 190 W Shore Rd, South Hero, VT 05486. 

Photo Source: Annie Mora, Coldwell Banker Islands Realty











2. Island Line Trail, South Hero, VT

This 13.4 mile trail travels through Burlington, Colchester and South Hero. This trail is great for biking and walking with stunning views of Lake Champlain. Location: From South Hero, the trail head is located off of Martin Road with the trail access road on the left. 

Photo Source: Annie Mora, Coldwell Banker Islands Realty










3. Butternut Hill, North Hero, VT

Located at Camp Ingalls, the mile long trail at Butternut Hill winds through floodplain forests, cedar pine forest and cobble shorelines while offering a great southerly view of Lake Champlain. Location: 1769 South End Road, North Hero, VT

Photo Source: North Hero Parks and Recreation Facebook Page









4. Fisk Quarry Preserve, Isle La Motte, VT

A short walk with amazing scenery. Search for fossils or bring a picnic and soak up the sun on the large rocks.

Location: 4039 W Shore Rd, Isle La Motte, VT 05463

Photo Source: Annie Mora, Coldwell Banker Islands Realty










5. Ironwood Nature Trail, Grand Isle, VT

Ironwood Nature Trail features numerous old iron wood trees (also called hardhack, or hop hornbeam), a 15-foot observation tower, wetland-forest plants, and an exposed bedrock dome with deep fissures. Approximately 1 mile round trip. Location: Trail begins at the corner of the intersection of East Shore Road South and the Grand Isle State Park access road.

Photo Source: Trail Finder, Photo Courtesy: Dan Sullivan




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Community Beat: Hackett's Orchard

In this episode of Community Beat Annie sits down with Ron Hackett, owner of Hackett's Orchard in South Hero, Vermont. Ron shares the history of the orchard and what it is like to live in South Hero, Vermont.

Ron and Celia Hackett have owned Hackett's Orchard since 1967 and now three generations of family help run the orchard. They have a 50 acre farm that grows 47 varieties of apples. They have thousands of visitors each year who not only come for the apples but for their delicious homemade apple cider doughnuts as well. 

To learn more about Hackett's Orchard visit their website or Facebook Page.

Highlight Interview:

Full Length Interview:

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