Healthy Living Loves Local: Produce Staff Visit Local Farmers

We love our local farmers and what better way to get connected than by visiting their farms and see all of the fabulous food growing and the farmers in action.

Our first stop was to Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg where Julie Rubaud toured us around her amazing plant retail outlet and plant starter operation, where she  showcased the seedlings and the whole plant starting process.   We were all bedazzled by the brilliant flowers and gorgeous veggie starters and dreamt about fantastic home gardens filled with Red Wagon Plants.

Red Wagon Plants is a wholesale, organic plant growers with a retail outlet in Hinesburg, Vermont.  Everything they sell is grown onsite.  As gardeners and cooks their love of food starts with seeds and is cultivated throughout the growing process ensuring the highest quality plants for the home gardener.  The Red Wagon Plants motto is belief that the kitchen garden has significance in providing not only fresh, wonderful food to the table but adds beauty to the home landscape too.

Our next leg of the adventure took us to the Intervale, where multiple farms exist in a hub right outside of Burlington.  These farms share a passion to provide healthy local food for the city of Burlington and it’s neighbors.

The Intervale Center’s mission is to strengthen community food systems with programs providing:  New farm incubation, Farm business development, Agricultural market development, Agricultural land stewardship, food systems research consulting and celebration of food and farmers!

Diggers Mirth Farm was our first Intervale visit and we were amazed by their solar powered truck which powers their greens washing station.  We enjoyed tours of the lush fields filled with rows of gorgeous mesclun, arugula, leeks, fennel, onions and much more.  We were delighted by the sweet taste of spring carrots as a parting gift.

Diggers’ Mirth Collective Farm has 5 collective members that run the farm jointly and have consensus based decision making.  Diggers Mirth Farm is located at the Intervale and was founded in 1992.  Diggers’ Mirth has been a strong part of the Old North End Community by helping start the Old North End Farmers Market as well as selling produce out of the back of their truck at various locations around the Old North End.  Diggers Mirth loves trying to broaden the scope of people who have access to their food and truly distribute their beautiful produce to all of their neighbors.

Adam’s Berry Farm was our next stop and we were thrilled to see all of Adam’s beautiful organic berry bushes.  Adam’s Berry Farm is a thriving community oriented farm that grows delicious certified organic strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and table grapes.  Adam’s Berry Farm is one of the few pick your own organic berry locations in the state and it truly is gorgeous sight.  We viewed all of the luscious berry trees and learned a lot about the amazing hard work and dedication it takes to keep an organic berry farm going and providing us with these delicious berries, yum!

Next stop Half Pint Farm, which is a beautiful two acre farm owned by husband and wife team, Mara & Spencer Welton.  Half pint specializes in small, baby and specialty varieties of crops; up to three hundred varieties at a time!   Their farm  is conceived through a desire to craft phenomenal produce, display it stunningly and offer all of their customers excellent customer service.  We were charmed by the exceedingly well kept three season shelters for heirloom tomatoes, baby squash and gorgeous rows of baby zucchini, beans, and beautiful microgreens.  We also viewed some beautiful fresh onion bunches getting their morning shower and getting ready to get packed up and head to our store!

Last stop on our fabulous farm tour was New Farms for New Americans Farm.  NFNA is a Project of the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV). AALV’s New Farms for New Americans (NFNA) project is a community gardening, social enterprise and agricultural training program of 93 refugee and immigrant households in Vermont.   NFNA farmers produce food on land at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington (6 acres), at the Intervale Center (1 acre), and in Shelburne, Vermont (1 acre).  This amazing project fosters numerous families planting and growing their own gardens and pooling together the fruits for retail sale.

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.