Healthy Living Loves Local: Produce Staff Visit Local Farmers

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Bread and Butter Farm is a beautiful and inspiring farm just down the road from Healthy Living in Shelburne/South Burlington.  Bread and Butter Farm as it is now is just three years old and it is truly amazing what they have accomplished in that time.  They have a beautiful bakery, humanely raised cattle for beef and a greenhouse filled with gorgeous greens.   Healthy Living is happy to announce that we have partnered with Bread and Butter Farm to build  another greenhouse which will in turn supply Healthy Living with Kale and Cilantro through the Winter.

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They have very successful Burger Nights where they invite the local community to the farm to share some farm raised food, hear some lovely music and enjoy the beautiful farm atmosphere.   We had a lot of fun and definitely felt inspired visiting our new neighbors at Bread and Butter.

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Lewis Creek Farm in Starksboro, Vermont has been owned and operated by Hank Bissell since 1981. The 150 acre farm sits in a valley at the foot of the Green Mountains, about 20 miles from both Burlington and Middlebury.  This gorgeous farm was such a pleasure to visit.  We had so much fun viewing all of the beautiful fields nestled into the hills and tucked around the Lewis Creek.  We waded through the creek to get to a field on the farm and had a blast enjoying the cool refreshing water on the hot summer day.  Lewis Creek Farm’s growing practices are an Ecologically Grown method.  This method  doesn’t reject all chemical use, but they use them sparingly and judiciously. The result is that most of their crops are grown with no pesticides at all.  Of those that are sprayed the majority get sprays that are approved for organic production.  In the few cases where they do use chemical sprays, they use those with the lowest possible toxicity.  We learned a lot visiting this beautiful farm and had so much fun in the process!

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Our next visit was to Last Resort Farm a lovely family run farm in Monkton.  Sam Burr and Eugenie Doyle have been farming together since 1980.  Originally conventional dairy and strawberry farmers they transitioned to organic production methods in the 1990s.  They have been certified organic with NOFA-VT since 1998.  Eugenie & Sam hire mostly local students to help on the farm which is a wonderful way to pass on the depth of knowledge they have and educate their local community about the wonders of organic food production.  We were mesmorized by the gorgeous garlic drying and in the fields along with rows of beautiful blueberries, tomatoes, and much more.

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Stony Loam Farm is a charming farm in Charlotte surrounded by gorgeous Vermont scenery and run by David Quickle.  Stony Loam farm enjoys stony loam soil on one portion of the farm and amazingly just a few feet away has a clay soil.  At Stony Loam we had a lot of fun seeing the rows of lettuce, eggplant, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and trying all of the amazing tomatoes.  We learned a lot about David’s lettuce growing methods from seed and then transplanting to the fields.  Stony Loam farm aims to: provide Charlotte and surrounding communities access to local and organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers, preserve the land and surrounding habitat and build community around food and sustainable living.

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Our last stop of the day was to Miskell’s Farm, where we marveled at David Miskell’s amazing glass greenhouse.  The greenhouse is extremely large and houses beautiful peach trees, cucumber plants, bountiful rows of basil, kale and chards.  David Miskell was one of the first farmers to plant tomatoes in greenhouses in the eighties and he was a pioneer in the area for many years.  Miskell’s Organic Tomatoes were the first locally grown tomatoes with such a long season, as they were available from the end of March through mid-December.  Recently, David decided to try something different and has been exploring different produce to grow in his gorgeous greenhouse. Miskell settled on organic, greenhouse-grown peaches, specifically varieties that don’t grow well outdoors in the Vermont climate.  We were thrilled to see Miskells greenhouse in action and see the luscious peach trees in full bloom.

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Overall, we had such a fantastic day visiting all of our farmer friends and we would love to tell you about it.  Stop by the produce department today and ask us about these wonderful farms.

– Laurel Heisman, Produce Manager