Charlotte Albright

Charlotte Albright moved to Vermont from Maine in 2006, after more than a decade of reporting and producing for Maine Public Broadcasting Network. She has also contributed  many  stories to NPR. Her first project for Vermont Public Radio was a series on farming, followed by frequent free-lancing. In January 2012 she joined the VPR staff and now covers the Upper Valley and the Northeast Kingdom.

One way to test your mettle in winter is to take one of those quick penguin plunges in icy water. But some stoic swimmers actually carve pools out of frozen lakes and race each other.

The sport of winter swimming is popular abroad, especially in Russia, Scandinavia and China. But last weekend, a newly formed organization to promote winter swimming in the United States held its first national competition on the Vermont-Quebec border.

The wild-game supper has traditionally been a way for rural America to share the harvest before winter sets in. Food historians trace the ritual back to Colonial times, when families had to hunt in order to eat well, and some providers were better shots than others.

For one Vermont couple, "local" doesn't mean heading to the farmers market. It means finding a natural salad bar at your picnic spot — or maybe even in your backyard.

Nova Kim and Les Hook live on a lush farm between a large lake and the Connecticut River near the Vermont-New Hampshire border. Over the decades, they've become skilled gatherers of edible wild foods, which they sell to high-end restaurants. But on this drizzly day, they're in their own kitchen, making dressing for a picnic green salad.