• Editor's Note Summer 2012

    Editor's Note Summer 2012

    Not everyone gets to eat popcorn popped in pork fat. But there it was in a big pot, greeting four sweaty interns after our morning removing a winter’s worth of bedded pack from a hoop house and doing other tasks too numerous to mention. The popcorn was mighty tasty, and eager hands grabbed for it around the communal table.

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  • Weed Eater

    Weed Eater

    ‘What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I planned the dinner with Emerson’s optimism and an eye on my backyard. Through spring’s soaking rains I watched Japanese knotweed swell beside the garden shed and was cheered by the sight of garlic mustard peeping up between the raspberry canes. When slender stalks rose amidst the mustard’s heart-shaped leaves and a few early flowers appeared, it was time to send out the invitations.

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  • A Smokin’ Place

    A Smokin’ Place

    The previous home of Vermont Smoke & Cure was at the end of the Exit 6 ramp off I-89, at the bottom of a long hill, at the first stoplight on the corner, inside the back of a gas station.

    “Don’t laugh,” the company’s website said. “Remember that other Vermont food company that started out in a gas station (hint: the ice cream guys).”

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  • Set the Table with Gluten-free baked goods

    Set the Table with Gluten-free baked goods

    We fell in love over dessert—pie to be specific—and when our relationship began, a friend exclaimed to Edge, “This is perfect! Katie loves to bake, and you love to eat baked goods!” The truth is, we both love to bake and eat, so for one whole summer we enticed each other with homemade bread, muffins, and treats made of flour and sugar and butter, stuffing dozens of cookies in our packs for each climbing or hiking trip. During that same summer, Edge was battling a parasite he’d picked up in Mexico the winter before. After many weeks of seeing naturopathic doctors, he finally gave in to a three-day antibiotic regimen, which killed the parasite for good and wiped his gut clean at the same time. That changed everything.

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  • Reflections of a Restaurateur | Part 2

    Reflections of a Restaurateur | Part 2

    When I tell farmers that I’m planning to grow a portion of the food for my Montpelier restaurant, sometimes they laugh at me. “Good luck with that,” one wiry, tanned grower at the farmers’ market chortled, noting that I’d probably lose money for the first three years rather than save a bundle.  “Let me know how it goes for you,” he suggested as I walked away, a wicked gleam in his eye.

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  • Diversifying Dairy in Vermont

    Diversifying Dairy in Vermont

    Turkey Hill Farm sits on 50 acres of land in Randolph. The view was breathtaking from Stuart and Margaret Osha’s porch, as we sat one morning in April listening to the songbirds and the happy pigs rooting under the trees. I came to the farm to find out what it’s like to launch a value-added dairy product after years of selling raw milk. A few weeks later, the Oshas announced they will be moving on from farming this fall, but their story remains compelling.

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  • The Development of a Recipe

    The Development of a Recipe

    When I entered college I planned on being a computer programmer, but by the time graduation rolled around, plans had changed. My baking hobby was fast becoming a professional interest, and while it might not seem like a clear path from computer science and applied math major to choosing a career in baking and recipe development, both interests make good use of my logical brain that likes to play. I spent a couple of years working in other kitchens before I got the nerve to start Butterfly Bakery of Vermont, and I love the repetitive day in, day out of the wholesale baking gig. But my recipe development gives me some room to play without having to create and maintain whole new product lines for stores.

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  • Farming without Harm

    Farming without Harm

    Ray Bernier, like many farmers, is inventive. When he realized he needed to transition out of the dairy business, he turned his Milton farm into a home for 400 emus. The emu market didn’t materialize (although he still swears by emu oil and buys some every year at the fairs) so he turned to raising horses. Somewhere along the line there were ostrich in there, too, but he could never get the chicks to grow to adults.

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  • Farmers' Kitchen—Blueberry Bounty

    Farmers' Kitchen—Blueberry Bounty

    How many blueberries can you fit in your mouth? I’ll race you up Blueberry Hill! Can we go to the pajama party in the blueberry field? When is the Blueberry Festival? These are just a few of the questions we hear over and over again as the blueberry season begins.

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  • Mizuna

    Mizuna

    Mizuna, tatsoi
    tokyo burkana
    red kumatsu
    claytonia, minutina -
    I dip these foreign leaves by the bushel
    into a sink pond cold and clear
    and wash away the clay that coats my farm.

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Farmers' Kitchen—Blueberry Bounty

Boyd Family

Written on

April 11 , 2013

How many blueberries can you fit in your mouth? I’ll race you up Blueberry Hill! Can we go to the pajama party in the blueberry field? When is the Blueberry Festival? These are just a few of the questions we hear over and over again as the blueberry season begins.

In 1926, the Army Corps of Engineers made plans to build Lake Whitingham, otherwise known as Harriman Reservoir, in southern Vermont. The Boyd family was required to move from their original farm, which is now under the lake. After careful consideration, our present hillside farm on the northern end of Wilmington became the family’s new home, and so our relationship with this piece of earth began.

The family worked and lived like many Vermont farm families. At times three generations lived together, sons and cousins went to war, several siblings moved away, and others kept the farm going through the Depression. The gardens were lush, the milk was plentiful, the butter and cream were fresh, and the animals were raised to provide for the family and to sell. The apple orchard was in the upper mowing, and somewhere around 40 years ago the first blueberry bushes went in.

Fast forward to the fourth generation now working the fields, trying to hold true to the same ideas of providing for the family while embracing the vision of the fifth generation, who wanted to plant hundreds of blueberry bushes! So plant we did, and now we have more than 500 highbush blueberry bushes. We also added 1,500 raspberry bushes. Today we also grow year-round produce, operate a nursery, produce our own honey, have PYO berry pickings, haost weddings, and engage in many other activities.

We are also the host site for several of the Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival activities. Aside from their wonderful nutritional qualities, blueberries are a perfect crop: very easy to harvest, long lasting, no peeling required, and ours are pre-washed by the rain! Our family is always experimenting with unique ways to enjoy them, and this Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Cake (right) wins raves from all who try it!

In short, the farm has been a whirlwind of activities the last few years. Our nieces, nephews, cousins, sisters, brothers, parents, and staff provide the energy and support we need to move forward. Customers stopping by to use their Farm Member cards encourage us. Visitors marvel at our diversity. And the new year-round “Farm Market” is an exciting upgrade to the large barn and might just provide the area required for the ideas of the sixth generation!

Visit BoydFamilyFarm.com to learn more about the farm in Wilmington orVermontBlueberry.com to learn more about the Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival.

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Home Stories Issues 2012 Summer 2012 | Issue 21 Farmers' Kitchen—Blueberry Bounty