Farming is hard work and often I'm asked by friends and customers why I do it. Well, part of the answer is because of you. One of the driving motivations for me to farm is to provide something of use and value for my community, every day, year round. Healthy food raised in a sustainable manner that respects the land and the animals that we raise is a direct way to do this. I grew up here in Jericho Center where our main farm is located. When we started dabbling in farming over 15 years ago our first customers and supporters were the great network of friends I have from having lived here all my life. They supported us and helped us get going, and as the farm has thrived we have been able to give back.
The primary ways we support our community are through donations of food, partnerships in fund raising, and education opportunities.
Every week the Vermont Foodbank truck rolls into our driveway and we load it up with any excess veggies we produced that week. We donate over 10,000 lbs of food each year to the Foodbank and our local food shelf. We also host the Intervale Center's Gleaning Program, which provides free fresh produce to families in need and social service organizations in the Burlington area. Every Friday during the growing season a group of volunteers gleans produce from our fields that we would not otherwise harvest.
We support many schools and Farm to School programs in our area through food donations, fund raising partnerships and learning at the farm. From pre-schoolers to college students and beyond, we host numerous school groups each year for learning opportunities, class projects, and research projects. We have hosted leek moth research with St. Michael's faculty, IPM aphid control studies with UVM Entomology lab, harvest bundle fund raising with Essex Farm to School and MMU girls soccer team, class learning with the UVM Agroecology class, tours with UID and Saxon Hill School students, and planting and harvest days at the farm and taste-testing in the cafeteria with Richmond Farm to School.
Thank you for supporting our farm which enables us to give back to our community in these important ways. We love growing for you and learning with you how to grow Good Food Year Round! If you want to help give some of this good food directly, consider purchasing a harvest bundle for donation to the Jericho or Richmond Food Shelf. Learn how here.