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Side Dishes: Vermont Compost Company, Wine Spectator, Vermont Yak Company

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You can stop holding your breath . . . or maybe not. The Vermont Natural Resources board has ruled that Montpelier's Vermont Compost Company can continue operations - sans Act 250 permit - until 2010. (See Shay Totten's blog post on Blurt for more information.)

Currently, though, the fate of the composting facility at Burlington's Intervale Center remains up in the air.

Can't get your scraps to the Capitol City? The Chittenden Solid Waste District has help for the DIY crowd. CSWD is currently selling Soilsaver compost bins, which typically retail for nearly $100, for $42.40 including tax.

Bring cash or a check to the offices at 1021 Redmond Road in Williston to get a bin. For a limited time, they're also available at some town offices around the county. Call 872-8111 for more info.

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The new issue of Wine Spectator features a list of the top 100 cheeses in the world, and the results give Green Mountain cheese makers something to something to brag about: A hefty 10 percent of the lauded selections hail from Vermont.

Which cheeses made the cut? Consider Bardwell Farm's "Manchester" and Blue Ledge Farm's "Lake's Edge," both made with goat's milk; Alpine-style "Vermont Ayr" and "Tarentaise" from Crawford Family Farm and Thistle Hill, respectively; cheddars from Shelburne Farms, Cabot Creamery and Grafton Village; and the much-awarded "Bayley Hazen Blue" and spruce-wrapped, washed-rind "Winnemere" from Jasper Hill Farm.

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In other dairy news, the thick, creamy yogurts of Bufala di Vermont got an enthusiastic write-up in an online food mag called The Nibble. Contributing Editor Rowann Gilman calls the blueberry, maple and raspberry flavors "elegant," and sums up the brand as "a yogurt lover's dream."

Prefer the meat of hairy bovines to their milk? The Vermont Yak Company has started "retiring" animals from its herd and is selling the meat at the Waitsfield Farmers' Market. It's even appeared as a topping at American Flatbread, in the form of a beer-braised yak, poblano pepper and corn special.

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