Over the past number of years, my wife Kristin and I have been researching and experimenting with homesteading, farming, animals, gardening and places to live. We visited quite a number of farms before moving to Vermont, including a lot of dairy goat farms and cheese operations. I've long had a love affair with food, going back to my childhood that included farming, gardening and Mennonite country cooking. I worked as a cook in restaurants in high school and college and have continued to do a lot of cooking at home ever since. Kristin and I both like to experiment with food and doing things for ourselves.
Together we've played around with gardening, homebrewing, cocktails, soda making, pickling and composting. Kristin has become quite a good bread baker, including sourdough and has also tried her hand at canning, preserving, yogurt, kimchi, flavored alcohols and granola. Basically we are both very interested in knowing where our food comes from, growing and making as much of it ourselves as possible and eventually doing some small scale homesteading and farming. All of that led us to Vermont in the summer of 2011. In the summer of 2013, we bought a 10 acre property that we are attempting to transform into a hobby farm. This section of my website will attempt to share various resources we've found, farms and food websites we like, books to look into and stuff about animals and gardening.
PickAPacket.com - I created a custom search engine to find and compare seed varieties and prices from a variety of open-pollinated and/or organic seed companies.
Interesting Farms (Google Map)
This is a map I started a few years ago. Initially it was to map various artisan goat dairies around the country. It has since evolved to include farms of any type that I find interesting. Mostly concentrated in the northeastern U.S.
View Interesting farms in a larger map
Vermont Farm-related Resources
- Vermont Growers Guide Fantastic resource for who grows or raises produce and livestock products around Vermont. Browse by specific product, by farm name or by places to buy, such as farmer's markets, farm stands and natural food stores.
- Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont Nonprofit association of farmers, gardeners, and consumers working to promote an economically viable and ecologically sound Vermont food system for the benefit of current and future generations.
- Vermont Fresh Network Encourages farmers, food producers and chefs to work directly with each other to build partnerships.
Farms we have visited
- Prairie Fruits - Champaign IL Visited in spring of 2008. Helped out a bit with milking and feeding babies, toured the cheesemaking facility.
- Rush Creek Farms - Champaign IL Visited in spring of 2008. Kiko meat goats.
- Circle M - Blanchardsville WI Visited in summer of 2009. They have a vegetable CSA and animals of all kinds. We helped out with digging post holes for a fence and doing some ground tilling with a broadfork.
- DreamFarm - Cross Plains WI Visited in summer of 2009. Farmstead goat cheese and pastured eggs.
- Blue Ledge Farm - Salisbury VT Visited 11/13/2009. Artisan goat dairy and cheese. Featured on Martha Stewart's show and magazine. We ended up moving to an area only about 40 minutes from them. They are also both painters and have a studio in the upstairs of their barn.
- Fat Toad Farm - Brookfield VT Visited 11/13/2009. They make goat milk caramel and some chevre as well.
- Mountain Farm - Burnsville NC Visited 5/7/2010. Lavender, blueberry and goat dairy. They also have a cabin for rental and sometimes do weddings on the property.
- Dove Song Dairy - Bernville PA Raw milk goat dairy close to where Kristin's parents live in central PA. They have a little farm store and try to grow as much of their own feed as possible.
- Stone & Thistle Farm - East Meredith NY Diversified farm with a restaurant on the property. Truly farm-to-table and as hyper-local as you can get. They raise sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows. Also trying out pastured rabbits with modified cages low to the ground that are similar to the chicken tractor concept.