Early Summer Farm Visits
This past June, some staff members from City Market had the opportunity to visit a couple of our favorite local farms: Jericho Settlers Farm in Jericho and Last Resort Farm in Monkton. Here at City Market, we make it a priority to get out of the office, visit local farmers and vendors, and learn what goes into the farming operations that bring such amazing and delicious products to our shelves.
Our first stop was in Jericho where Christa Alexander (who has been farming at Jericho Settlers Farm since it opened in 2002), guided us through parts of their farm and greenhouses. Christa and her husband Mark operate 200 acres of farm land with 25 of those acres growing certified organic vegetables, flowers, and herbs for their year-round for retail, wholesale, and CSA outlets.
As Christa walked us through the greenhouses, she told us that they now grow over 75 types of organic vegetables and herbs, which includes lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, beets and much more.
Jericho Settlers Farm is also committed to raising 100% grass-fed and finished lamb and pasture-raised pork on their farm. They used to raise beef and chicken but have since partnered with other local farmers in the area to offer those options at their farm stand.
The last section of the farm we visited was a field across the road where they have a large flock of 1,500 hens. These hens live outside where they thrive on pasture in the summer and large hoop houses during the cold winter months. They feed on plants and insects as well non-GMO grains and are never given antibiotics or growth hormones. If you’re ever looking to try some of these eggs, you can find them at both store locations!
Our next stop took us down Route 116, through Hinesburg and Starksboro and into Monkton where we ended up at Last Resort Farm. Here, we got to meet one of the co-owners, Eugenie Doyle and her son Silas, who is the farm’s General Manager in their converted milk house that now serves as the farm stand. Last Resort Farm is a 272-acre farm that was purchased by Sam Burr and Eugenie Doyle in 1986, where they operated it as a conventional dairy farm until 1993. After a 3-year transition period, the farm became certified organic and is well-known around Vermont for producing some of the highest quality products.
Eugenie and Silas took us around their greenhouses where we got to see where their famous ginger comes from as well other vegetables that they grow. One of my personal favorite spots we got to see was the strawberry fields. Unfortunately for us, we were a week too early to try any but we did learn that Last Resort Farm was one of the first farms in Vermont to offer pick your own organic strawberries. On top of that, they also offer a special section of “Toddler Rows” where children can enjoy the experience and joys of picking their own berries without worrying about stepping on any rows.
Before our tour came to a close, Silas took us down to a little pond on the farm where he has begun to grow and cultivate mushrooms on wood logs that have been cut down on their land. This required getting your boots a little muddy, but it was Vermont to a T.
We can’t thank our local farmers enough for taking the time out of their busy work schedules to show us around. Our staff left with an even bigger appreciation of what the farmers do every single day to make sure the food shows up on our shelves.
Looking to get out on farms this summer? Check out Vermont Open Farm Week August 9-15!