Vermont Open Farm Week begins Friday
VERMONT — The Vermont Open Farm Week takes place from Aug. 9-15 this year at farms across the state. It is the fifth year for the event, which is designed to make connections between local farms and those who enjoy what they offer or want to learn more. It’s a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look into Vermont's vibrant working agricultural landscape.
Participants can meet the farmers, plants, and animals that bring high-quality Vermont products to the table. Every farm is unique. Milk a cow and harvest a carrot at one farm, stroll through a hop field and sample local brews at another. Four Addison County farms will participate this year. opening up their farms for free tours and offering pizza, workshops and music.
Flatlander Farm in Starksboro will be open to the public on Saturday, Aug. 10, starting at 3 p.m. They will offer farm tours and live music on the lawn overlooking the animals as they graze beneath Mount Ellen and Mount Abe. Glass Pony will provide the tunes and neighboring doers and makers will offer their goods for purchase. Flatlander Farm offers their local community thoughtfully raised pastured poultry, including duck, goose, Guinea Fowl, and Black Silkies through their CSA and at co-ops around New England. The open house is a family affair, but the owners ask that dogs be left at home. Flatlander Farm is located at 2148 Route 17 in Starksboro. A suggested donation of $10 is welcome to help compensate the band for their art.
Meeting Place Pastures will open their farm for a farm-fresh pizza dinner and a celebration on Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Owned and operated by Marc and Cheryl Cesario, Meeting Place Pastures is a diversified livestock farm established in 2009. The farm contract grazes cattle, both dairy heifers and beef, for a variety of customers and markets. They also graze their sheep flock along with the cattle on 1,200 certified organic acres of mixed perennial pastures. The pizza will be baked in NOFA-VT's wood-fired pizza. NOFA-VT’s new Executive Director Grace Oedel will be there, providing an opportunity to meet her and learn more about what she brings to the organization. There is a $10 suggested donation per person. Registration is helpful but not required. Meeting Place Pastures is at 1368 West Street in Cornwall.
Two farms will host tours and events on Thursday, Aug 15, from 4-8 p.m.: Homestead Hops and Norris Sugarworks in Starksboro and Last Resort Farm in Monkton.
At Homestead Hops visitors can take a walk through the trellised two acre hop yard and take in the sights and smells of these prolific plants. Learn about how they were once Vermont's largest agricultural crop. Hogback Mountain Brewing, Hired Hand Brewing Co., Foam Brewers, and Lawson's Finest Liquids will be serving their beer —crafted with local ingredients, including hops grown at Homestead Hops. Visitors can also take a seat by the fire or wander up by the pond. Food will be available.
Their 18,000 tap sugaring operation, Norris Sugarworks, will also be selling maple syrup, cream, sugar, and candy. Kelly and Kathleen Norris are the third generation to sugar these woods. They make some of the finest Pure Vermont Maple Syrup, certified organic, which to them mostly means that they are good stewards of the forest. The farm is at 2951 Route 17 in Starksboro.
Last Resort Farm will host a garlic braiding workshop and pizza dinner Participants can learn to create their own garlic braid. A local pizza maker will provide a flatbread dinner made with Last Resort veggies. Visitors may also take an informal tour of the farm. While pizza dinner costs have not been determined yet, the braiding workshop cost is $30 per person, which includes instruction and materials for full-sized braid; $15 for kid’s size. Farm tours are free. Last Resort Farm is located at 2246 Tyler Bridge Road in Monkton.
Many other farms just outside of Addison County will also be open. Philo Ridge Farm in Charlotte will host tours and workshops throughout the week. Trillium Hill Farm and Headwaters Produce Farm in Hinesburg will also be open. Up-to-date lists of participating farms can be found at DigInVT.com.