Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Come to the Gardens!

What a transformation! What was once a shrub covered, granite strewn lot has become an open expanse of field, surrounded by granite blocks. It's a blank canvas waiting to turn into a community garden and YOU can help.

Lyndon State College students helped us out last weekend
We have two work days scheduled on Saturday, September 1st and Saturday, September 15th, beginning at 9am and ending at 12pm.

Below is a list of our tasks to complete before the snow falls:

  • Build raised beds from local wood
  • Rake and seed garden areas
  • Create paths with woodchips
Please contact Heather Davis at 802-472-5840 or to sign up as a volunteer or for more information about the Hardwick Community Garden.

The gardens are located at 150 Granite Street and you need to come prepared with work gloves and water bottles. 

Our old garden, flooded by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011

Moving the sign 

Our new space at Atkins Field!

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Note from Pete's Greens

Thanks to all of you who donated to the Vermont Farm Fund post Irene last summer.

I appreciate your ability to recognize the vision of this new fund, for trusting us to do good things with your money, and for your fast reaction in the wake of that storm. We helped a great group of farms get back on their feet. I'm excited that the fund in moving forward with the innovation loan program and hope you will consider supporting VFF as it helps to continue to develop Vermont's local economy.

Pete Johnson
Pete's Greens
Craftsbury, Vermont

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vermont Farm Fund - A note from us to you

It's been a humbling experience to work within and for the agricultural community in Vermont. Every day, small farms across this nation face enormous pressures to survive, let alone thrive and prosper. In Vermont, we are fortunate to have a great network of organizations that look to support the needs of small and beginning farmers - UVM Extension and its many partners, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, NOFA-VTVermont Farm Viability and many more.

The Vermont Farm Fund gives Vermont farmers a chance to bridge the financial gap between a fledgling farm and a maturing farm by quickly and effieciently providing a low or zero interest loan from our revolving loan account. With every payment made, our farmers become a part of something bigger than themselves - they feed a fund that allows the next farmer a chance to meet or grow their needs too. 

As someone who gives to the Vermont Farm Fund, you also become a part of this community of agriculture, supporting small Vermont farms directly and knowing your donation will benefit many for years to come.

Thank you,

Elena Gustavson

Program Director for the Center for an Agricultural Economy

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Harlow Farm is "Sharing the Harvest"

Paul Harlow - photo courtesy of VT Foodbank

This great post from the Vermont Foodbank features Paul Harlow, the farmer behind Harlow Farm and Westminister Organics. He is also a recipient of a loan from the Vermont Farm Fund and we are so proud that we could be a part of his recovery after Tropical Storm Irene.

Harlow Farm: Sharing the Harvest

For nearly a century, the 150-acre Harlow Farm in Westminster, Vermont, has produced healthy, nutritious food for both Vermonters and our neighbors throughout New England. The farm’s commitment and benefit to the Vermont community continues to spread as one of the largest donors of fresh local produce to the Vermont Foodbank.

In any given year, Harlow Farm can donate as much as 56,000 pounds of produce through the Foodbank’s Gleaning Program. The farm plays a significant role in helping the Foodbank grow our network of volunteer support and expand our ability to distribute more fresh, local produce throughout the state.

Paul Harlow is a third generation farmer. His grandfather purchased the farm in 1917 and in 1965 the family converted the farm from dairy to vegetables. As one of the largest organic vegetable farmers in New England, Paul donates lettuce, kale, collards, carrots, beets, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, summer squash, zucchini, winter squash, pumpkins, and more.
“The quality and quantity of produce that Harlow Farm donates is exceptional,” says  Vermont Foodbank Program Manager Michelle Wallace. (See “Insight Look: Program Manager.”) “Paul has been incredibly generous to the Foodbank, entrusting us to drive in his fields and bring volunteers twice a week to harvest excess produce. He offers more food than we have the staff and volunteer power to gather. With more volunteer help, we could be gleaning two to three times more food.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kingdom Farm & Food Days - Thank you to those that give...

High Mowing Organic Seeds, the Center for an Agricultural Economy and the New England Culinary Institute would like to express our deep appreciation and thanks to the folks who have so generously donated food items to the Kingdom Farm and Food day event. Without their kind donations we would not be able to provide such an array of amazing local fare. Thank you all so much for your contributions.

Keep up to date at the Kingdom Farm & Food website!

Bonnieview Farm, Craftsbury Common - Mossend Blue and Coomersdale cheese

Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro - Clothbound Cheddar, Bayley Hazen Blue and Harbison Cheddar

Sawmill Brook Farm , Greensboro-pasture raised Black Angus ground beef

Elmore Mountain Bread, Elmore - Country French bread

Michelle's Kimchi, Craftsbury - spicy Korean-style kimchi

Vermont Soy, Hardwick - artisan tofu

Laughing Moon Chocolates, Stowe - Fennel Truffles

photo credit Delia Gillen

Photo Credit Delia Gillen

Friday, August 3, 2012

When Mark Bittman came for a visit...

...we decided to have a cocktail and tasting party.

July 31st, Mark Bittman toured the area with Sterling College before heading to the Vermont Food Venture Center for a personal tour and gathering before his dinner at Claire's.

Many thanks to Sterling College for arranging and to Mr. Bittman for an engaging visit.

Fifteen of our clients set up tents and samples

Mark Bittman checking out the bean burgers

Chuck, owner of Vermont Maple Nut Company chats with Mr. Bittman

Don of Sumptuous Syrups shows his wares

One of our VFVC clients, Vermont Kale Chips

Mr. Bittman and Janice, owner of Vermont Kale Chips, pose for a photograph.

Sampling the yummy Fifth Sun Salsa varieties

Chatting about switchel with Susan of Vermont Switchel

Annie Rowell - VFVC Program Associate - Recognize the sombrero?