Hello! It's been a while since I've written a newsletter, and many things have changed. Most exciting is, after many years of searching, we found a gorgeous beautiful farm in West Glover, Vermont! It has 188 acres, 70 of which are tillable and another 20 are pasture. It is unbelievably beautiful, with rolling fields, vast views, two incredible barns and a pretty great house. Our kids have a long flat driveway on which to ride their bikes, and Willa is doing great without training wheels! It is nice to be home, with all of our animals and ourselves in one lovely, farmable place.
What is especially exciting is what we are doing with all of our animals. We finally have an opportunity to properly graze them rotationally, in a system that is best for each kind of animal and in a way that best feeds the soils. Farming has many layers that come before the end result- food- like understanding our soils and grasses, and careful observation of our animals. We have been working with great farmers like Sarah Flack and Jack Lazor to better educate ourselves about all the things we can do to enhance the health of our animals and fields. It is inspiring and energizing and productive. I wrote an article for the Montpelier Bridge newspaper about this, and you can read that here.
Another cool thing we are up to is we will soon be grinding our own grain, custom making each type of feed for each type animal. We are receiving a loan from the new and innovative Vermont Farm Fund to accomplish this goal. You can read about our Hammermill and the VFF here.
We have also been hosting field trips, as teaching kids about where their food comes from is important to us. Kids are amazing! They want to know about their food. They don't like thinking about unhappy animals, and they are relieved to learn that there is an alternative. Having lots of kids around the farm is satisfying: watching them sneak around after a rabbit, scratch a pigs belly or snuggle the chicks. It helps make our new Smart Burger Program, all about putting ethically raised and safe to eat beef in Vermont schools seem all the more worthwhile. The Barton Weekly Chronicle put a three page spread in the paper this week about our farm and the field trips and Smart Burgers. It doesn't appear to be online, but if you are in the area pick up a paper, it is a well-written and informative article. And click here to learn more.
The growing season is shorter up here, and it sure is windy, so using our animals to fertilize our fields is of upmost importance, so we can make the hay grow quickly! It is fun to look out at our farm, and dream and imagine all the things we will do and accomplish here. We wander around, taking in the views and admiring our animals, and feel a tremendous amount of gratitude. We still get carried away admiring the little chicks zooming about their brooders, or the laying hens darting here and there, showing off some prize they found. And of course, the calves and piglets are so adorable we can hardly stand it. There is a lot of peace here.
We are taking orders now for our awesome Easy Share CSA. We call it the easy share because that is just what it is: easy. It is convenient and you will only receive just what you want or will use. Unless you would like us to inspire your creativity and cooking to more diverse choices. It saves you money and supports our farm, so overall it is a complete winner. And, beginning in June our chicken will be at City Market, Healthy Living and Hunger Mountain Coop. We often have a cut or two of meat in Pete's Greens meat share as well. And of course, you can always come visit us at the Montpelier Farmers' Market, in the Juilos parking lot, from 9-1, all summer long. The market is full of amazing farmers, food, crafts and gifts. It is a vibrant place that can supply you with most of your food each week. I am the president of the market, and we are working on how programs to support low-income Vermonters Shopping at market. We have incentives and promotions all the time, and want the market to be a market place for every kind of family and shopper. Local food is expensive, it costs a lot to produce. However, good food should be available to all and we at the market are working hard toward that goal. Click here or visit www.montpelierfarmsmarket.com to learn more.
Eat well and Enjoy!