Darcie Abbene

Writer and Educator

I am a freelance writer who loves the intersection of people, place, food, agriculture, books and learning. My work is guided by the questions, ‘What story does this tell?’ and ‘What can you learn from this?’ because every thing, every person, has a story to tell and learning these stories is what keeps things interesting. My most important career goal is to use my writing skills in a way that helps promote 'The Good' in life- good stories, good people, good work.


Features, Profiles and Interviews

Vermont Land Trust
VLT and AmeriCorps: Hands-On Land Management - Vermont Land Trust

When Nate and Jessie Rogers bought their 133-acre farm on the Dog River in Berlin, they knew they were going to have river problems. Damage to the riverbanks delivered by 2011's Tropical Storm Irene, coupled with the river's twists and turns, has continually presented a challenge to farmers on this property.

Vermont Woman
Jeb Spaulding on the State of the State Colleges

Chancellor Jeb Spaulding walks into the corner offices of the Vermont State Colleges in Montpelier, shakes my hand vigorously, introduces his assistant, Elaine Sopchak, who is meeting with a new intern, and then introduces himself to the intern.

Riding It Out: How Horse Assisted Therapy is Helping Kids In and Out of the Barn

Riding instructor Sarah Seidman stands in the middle of the arena at Pease Farm Stable in Middlesex. Her two students — 13-year old Celina Torres on a medium-size, white mare named Molly and Celina's grandmother, Elaine Boyce, on the elegant, brown-and-black Windsong — rein in their mounts to listen to her directions. They're about to play a game.

MACC: Morristown Alliance for Culture and Commerce
Honor to Whom Honor is Due

By Darcie Abbene When the Morristown Civil War Monument, sitting at the bottom of Academy Park, was erected in 1911, chairman of the monument committee W.A. Beebe issued a challenge to the group gathered to celebrate the service of Morrisville's 172 volunteers and members of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Vermont Fences
Sweet Rowan Farmstead

Paul Lisai stands under the trusses of the partially constructed roof over his new barnyard and manure pit. It is the latest project in the ongoing evolution of Sweet Rowen Farmstead, a small value added dairy farm. The barn looks out over a luscious green pasture filled with his grazing herd of thirty milking cows. The top of Jay Peak dominates the far off horizon behind them. Although Lisai has only owned the Sweet Rowen property for two years, he has been producing milk and making cheese...

Habitat: Forget the Treehouse- Put This VW Bus Cupola on Your Barn

Say you're building a barn. From the roof, there's a great view. Then say you know someone selling a busted 1980 Volkswagen Vanagon. And a guy with a crane. These things may seem disparate, but not if you're Dave Shinnlinger. He'd owned several Vanagons in high school and dreamed of integrating one into a building. So when his barn needed a cupola, hoisting one of the boxy buses up there was "an obvious conclusion."

Vermont Fences
Vermont Compost Company

Karl Hammer of Vermont Compost Company acknowledges that in some sense, he has always known the farming life is the right one for him. At eight years old, the New York City native’s imagination was caught by the green mountains and the Vershire dairy farms where his parents bought a hundred acres to escape the city.

Stowe Today
Morrisville History and Art Walk

In a project that underscores its mission of creating a viable and strong downtown, Morristown Alliance for Culture and Commerce plans to highlight points of historic and artistic interest in the downtown through its new Morristown History and Art Walk. The downtown nonprofit, known locally as MACC, plans to launch the cultural footpath next spring.

Vermont Fences
Elmore Mountain Farm

Bunny and Peter Merrill's 112 acre farm is in a word: picturesque. The classic farmhouse is yellow, the adjacent barn is red. The house is downhill of their sugar house and trails. Next to it is a small pasture where six goats chomp grass and whatever discarded Christmas tree that might be available.

Kids VT
Fairy-House Making

Fairies are famously elusive. But keen-eyed kids know that all it takes is a little time in nature to find - or build - a fairy house. Half a dozen such preschoolers gathered in a field at the Green Mountain Audubon Center one recent morning to make magical miniature dwellings from natural materials.

Kids VT
The Art of... Fabric Upcycling

With its robot battles, 3D printers and rocket displays, the Champlain Mini Maker Faire at Shelburne Farms had a decidedly high-tech vibe. But this celebration of innovation in September included at least one low-tech activity - the first-ever "Swap, Stitch, Make."

Book Reviews

I Refuse by by Per Petterson: Summary and reviews

Per Petterson's I Refuse is as tightly written as its stout title suggests. It is not a story with a complicated plot, but rather a story of complicated emotions stemming from a chance encounter between two childhood friends, Tommy and Jim, who have not spoken in thirty years. The chance moment sends each man back to delve into their past friendship and its demise, and the story is revealed through a slow peeling back of the layers of time, jumping between perspectives and decades. Now middle...

Kids VT
Book Review: Bugs in My Hair

In early October, my family experienced what now seems to have become the new normal in schools: my kindergartener got lice, which was rampant in her classroom. A friend and preschool teacher recommended the picture book Bugs in My Hair by David Shannon as a way to find a bit of humor in the situation.

Kids VT
Book Review: The Book With No Pictures

I'll admit it. I picked up The Book With No Pictures off the shelf at the library because it was written by B.J. Novak, of The Office fame. When I showed my husband, he gave it an eye roll. "That's just a cheap trick.

Review of Muse by Jonathan Galassi

Galassi's novel, Muse is a story of poetry and also of love. The "muse" in question is Ida Perkins, a poet of national clout with quite a following. Notably, her enamored fans include publishing moguls Homer Stern and his business rival (and Ida's own cousin), Sterling Wainwright.

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