Vermonters invited to celebrate “The Power of Pulses”


Photo provided.
Photo provided.



SPRINGFIELD, Vt.– VINE Sanctuary invites the public to attend its Vegan PULSE Potluck on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist church in Springfield. This free event will feature a short presentation on cooking and growing the legumes known as pulses, prizes for most creative pulse-based dishes, and free seed packets for all participants.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has declared 2016 the “International Year of Pulses” because lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, and other legumes are the key to ending the worldwide hunger, water, and climate change crises. As affordable sources of plant-based protein, pulses also provide fiber, iron, and B vitamins — all for as little as ten cents per serving. Drought-tolerant plants that enrich rather than deplete the soil, pulses also are easy for both farmers and home gardeners to grow.

As an essential element of the corn-beans-squash system practiced by Abenaki farmers, pulses are part of the true traditional agriculture of Vermont. As consumer demand for dairy continues to decline, and as water pollution and climate change associated with dairying become less tolerable, pulses will be an important component of our state’s agricultural future.

The Sept. 18 event will be a potluck at which participants are challenged to bring a creative dish that includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, and other legumes. However, since several volunteers will be bringing more than one dish to share, anyone can attend — even if they do not bring something to share. The only requirement is that any food brought to the potluck be vegan, which means free from any animal products such as meat, dairy, or eggs.

People who would like to try making a pulse-based vegan dish but don’t know where to start can visit or to search for recipes. At the event, prizes will be distributed for the most creative entree, side dish, and dessert. All participants will receive a packet of pulse seeds donated by High Mowing Organic Seeds, a Vermont company.

VINE Sanctuary is a non-profit farmed animal refuge based in Springfield, Vermont. More than 500 animals, including birds and cows seized by authorities in cases of extreme cruelty or neglect, live at the 100+ acre sanctuary, half of which is maintained as a wildlife refuge. VINE organizes quarterly vegan potlucks as part of its local educational programming, with participants coming from as far north as Burlington and as far south as Brattleboro.

In addition to caring for sanctuary residents, VINE advocates for social and environmental justice. As a member of several international networks dedicated to plant-based solutions to hunger and climate change, VINE cheered when UN/FAO declared 2016 to be the “Year of Pulses.” At the Pulse Potluck on Sept. 18, VINE’s cofounder Patrice Jones, who has spoken at international forums such as the World Food Summit and the World Forum for Food Sovereignty, will explain why pulses are so important and also share helpful tips on cooking and growing pulses.

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