hill country observerThe independent newspaper of eastern New York, southwestern Vermont and the Berkshires





Markets with a mission

When the new cooperatively owned food market in Poultney, Vt., opened its doors in June, its founders had a goal of recruiting 200 member-owners by the end of this year. They exceeded that goal within a month. Poultney isn’t the only town where the co-op concept is catching on; at least three other new coop markets are now being organized from Cummington, Mass., to Hudson, N.Y., and existing co-ops around the region are expanding. read more



Saratoga line puts tourist trains to test

For the first time in 55 years, regularly scheduled passenger trains started running last month between Saratoga Springs and the Adirondack village of North Creek. The tourist trains, following a scenic route along the upper Hudson River, have long been the dream of some area politicians and business leaders, but it took more than 15 years and $10 million to make that dream a reality. read more



Reviving a cheese-making culture

An upcoming tour cheese producers in and around Washington County, N.Y., will show how the local food movement has rekindled interest in an activity that was common in the region more than a century ago. In 1875, the county boasted 11 cheese factories producing 750,000 pounds a year. Today, after a 70-year hiatus, it has a half-dozen farmstead cheese makers. read more



Art exhibit aims to help preserve raptors’ habitat

An art exhibit next month at Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls will help to protect the short-eared owls, northern harriers and other raptors that depend on the Washington County Grasslands, a 13,000-acre network for farm fields in Fort Edward that has been threatened with development.read more



Artists to compete in ‘paint-out’

There’s nothing quite like the immediacy of watching an artist in the act of creating a painting. And that simple principle is what powers the North Bennington Plein Air Competition, a “paint-out” in which professional artists vie to capture the appearance of landscapes as the lighting, atmosphere and weather change.read more



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