History of the Farm
When we bought our first 15 acres of land in Post Mills, Vermont, starting a vegetable farm was certainly not on our mind. However, the land was flat, stoneless, and an arable sandy loam, and before we knew it we began planting and cultivating one single acre. The year was 1980, and Tim and I were both looking to change careers. With the help of a Vista volunteer, we used hand, hoe, and rototiller, to control the weeds, and spread manure with a pitchfork out of the back of a pick-up truck. Before we knew it, we were selling vegetables off a roadside card table and wholesaling to local restaurants.
We started by building up the soil and growing crops that could tolerate Vermont’s relatively limited growing season. We began experimenting primarily with, salad greens, herbs, and crucifers and these crops still remain the “bread and butter” of our sales. Desiring to move beyond these staple crops, we spent a big part of our off-season with other farmers at numerous conferences learning and sharing ways to extend the season and to grow delicious tomatoes for as long as economically viable. Interestingly, we continue to do this 35 years later.
Tim’s parents, Polly and Howard, were very helpful and played such an active and important role in our farm's first years that many of our customers assumed that it was they who had started the farm. At first, they tended the stand, harvested, and helped with cultivation in the field. Once the farm had been established, they expanded their role and became a force in the greenhouses with Polly advising new gardeners and Howard giving his famous tours.
One of our first farming ventures was selling produce at the The Norwich Farmers Market. The Market was only a couple of years old when we first attended. That was back before many of us growers had vegetable stands and when the Market took place twice a week. We hauled truckloads of plants to the market long before the big box stores even thought about building in the area. Our children learned the business at our feet and off the back of the truck.
As the farm grew, so did our labor force or "farm crew". We hired mostly students including many enthusiastic family members. Since tilling our first acre in 1980, we purchased adjacent land twice and now cultivate over forty acres of mixed vegetables which are all sold locally. Click to see a list of our wholesale customers. Many of our initial wholesale customers have come and gone, but we continue to supply to several establishments who have been supportive for over twenty years, including: The Prince and Pauper Restaurant, Simon Pearce, The Woodstock Farmers’ Market and the Aloha Camps.