Health news and notes


Grace Cottage hosts Healthy Aging Conference

Grace Cottage's Healthy Aging Conference is a great place for answers and inspiration on how to age gracefully.

Presented by Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital staff and other professionals, this conference will help you take charge of your health, your vitality, your security, and perhaps even your longevity.

The conference will be held Nov. 7 and 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the historic Grafton Inn. Participants can sign up for one day or for both.

Topics will include tips for wellness and mental health, positive thinking, healthy breathing, aging and exercise, the importance of community connections, nutrition, avoiding medication interactions, financial strategies, end of life issues, Alzheimer's and dementia, downsizing the home, the benefits of creativity, and spirituality and aging.

The conference fee is $90 per day per person. The fee includes presentations, a continental breakfast and a lunch each day, and an optional chair massage or Zero Balancing session.

For more information or to register, contact Andrea Seaton, 802-365-9109.

The Grafton Inn offers conference participants a discounted room rate of $119/night, breakfast included. To book a stay, call 802-843-2248.


Writing at the Hopeful Caf

Writing helps us make sense of our own lives. It gives us an outlet for exploring haunting, challenging, and pleasant thoughts. When we write, we think deeper and closer to our own truths. Join us for this new group where people in recovery can explore their thoughts and feelings. The group will meet at Turning Point, 39 Elm St., Mondays from 1 to 2:30 p.m., starting Oct. 30.

Facilitator Laurie Tigan is a recovery coach as well as a language arts educator. Writing is a therapeutic opportunity to have a creative outlet to work on sobriety. Join this caf style of writing and sharing! The group is casual and free flowing--no judgments. Spelling and grammar, no worries.

This group offers a daytime writing experience for people who cannot attend the Monday evening Recovery through Words group, or people who wish to participate in two creative groups. The Recovery through Words group meets every Monday at 6 p.m. New members are always welcome.

For information, contact Laurie Tigan at or 802-257-5600.

Windham County schools have a fruitful fall

October is National Farm-to-School Month and that means school kitchens are filled with berries.

Food service providers at Academy School and Brattleboro Union High School are hard at work freezing over 350 pounds of berries so their students can snack on local fruits all winter long.

"The town of Brattleboro and Fresh Picks Caf strive to make delicious, local healthy food available to all our students," said Ali West, Food Service Director at Academy School. "By purchasing local berries we are not only providing our students with nutritionally superior produce but also supporting our local community and farmers. Our students love our fruit and yogurt parfaits and introducing homemade muffins using frozen local berries has been a huge hit. Freezing berries is the easiest way to preserve the fresh taste and nutrition in local produce. For us, buying local is a win-win option and we at Fresh Picks Caf are committed to buying local whenever we can."

These schools, along with 20 others, are regular buyers of local food through the Food Connects Food Hub, an aggregation and distribution food hub serving southern Vermont and New Hampshire. The food hub currently works with over 45 producers and 100 wholesale buyers, delivering local products to the region four days a week.

Berries are just one of the many local products regularly delivered to school cafeterias on the Food Connects refrigerated truck. Others items include apples, yogurt, pudding, lettuce and potatoes. The food hub provides convenient access to local products, supporting schools as they work to increase their local food purchasing, a statewide goal put forward by Farm to Plate in Vermont's food system plan. Food Connects, the nonprofit behind the food hub, is a part of the Farm to Plate Network — a coalition of over 350 farms, food production businesses, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, capital providers and government — working to make this goal a reality.

Food Connects encourages areas schools to purchase at least 10 percent of their annual food budget from local producers.They make it simple for schools and institutions to purchase source-identified local food through their food hub, and further guide efforts through their innovative programming.Their Farm to School Program provides schools educational support through the Harvest of the Month and Try-A-Bite curricula, while also supplying equipment and professional development opportunities to food service providers, equipping them to work with seasonal, local foods.


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