Almanack Contributor Vanessa Banti

Vanessa Banti

Vanessa Banti is a millennial librarian who loves the Adirondacks, and hopes to live there someday as a wonderful neighbor. In her professional life, she works with copyright and intellectual property, and in her personal life, she outside under the pines as often as possible.


Friday, April 2, 2021

Eating for the Climate is Easy

Vegetarian dinnerFantastic Foods & Simple Solutions, in 3 Parts  

The climate crisis, by its very nature, is tough to wrap your head around. We can feel some of its immediate effects, but most of the most severe changes happen on a scale that is beyond the ability of one person to see. Many of the actions we can take as a society to mitigate those effects have proven challenging to do. More and more of us agree that collective, systemic action is needed to combat climate change. In addition to systemic action, it is important that individuals still do our part. It can be really tough to figure out what to do!

When faced with the enormity of the climate crisis, we often find ourselves asking: what can we do to help?

I’d like to present a very simple answer to that question.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, February 12, 2021

John Brown’s Farm: 125 Years in Support of Abolitionist History

John Brown Farm

Celebration of John Brown Farm as a NYS Historical Site

When you stand at the grave of famed abolitionist John Brown, you stand at the intersection of the timeless forest and the modern society that humans have created. Behind you rises the “Cloudsplitter” that has framed this view for as long as anyone has looked at it. In front of you looms the Olympic ski jump, and down the road are other signs of a busy human world: upscale summer homes, an airport, a major highway. Looking in one direction shows you history. Looking in the other shows you a modern world that may not seem to have much in common with the past…right? At John Brown’s Farm in North Elba, I don’t believe this to be the case.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Getting Lost in the Woods, Lest We Lose the Woods

balsamDo you have a favorite tree of the Adirondacks? I do. Among the many wonderful options, it’s quite hard to choose.

My favorite tree isn’t the beautiful sugar maple, responsible for both fiery autumn colors and delicious maple syrup. Though I love the deep green color of the Eastern hemlock, it too is passed over. I regrettably often don’t even notice the birches, the beeches, or the red maples. Although I greatly enjoy hiking uphill through a thick tunnel of red spruce, this conifer is a close friend but not my closest. The tall and delightfully shaped Eastern white pine comes in second, but even this icon of the woods doesn’t hold first place in my heart.

My favorite tree is perhaps many people’s favorite: the Adirondack classic, the balsam fir. If nature has produced a more wonderfully appealing, delightfully fragrant, overall MVP of conifer trees on the East coast, I have yet to encounter it. There isn’t a tree that I associate more directly with the deep sense of peace and wholeness that I feel while in the woods than the balsam fir.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Capitol riots: The pain is real, but how to begin healing?

January 6th, 2021 will be a day read about in the history books.

What we can all agree on, without the slightest doubt, is that the nation is gravely wounded and we’re all feeling deeply hurt. We’re all in great pain, but it would be untrue to say all of us are in pain for the same reasons.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Flags, Towns and Symbolism in the ADK 

What the Sign Says, When It Means “Keep Out”  

From the September 18th issue of the Adirondack Enterprise, regarding a recent proposal to change the name of Swastika, NY: 

“I’m dead-set against changing it,” [Councilman Howard] Aubin said Monday. Aubin said the word swastika means “well-being.” Swastika does mean “well-being” in Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. Aubin said “only an intolerant person” would assume the name is connected to the German Nazi Party and its leader, Adolf Hitler, whose aggression prompted World War II.

» Continue Reading.



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