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Farm stands offer fresh picks for hungry localvores

Drive along any backroad in Addison County, and you’re bound to find yourself passing long lines of corn, spots of tomatoes, meandering cows and in the fall, fields speckled with pumpkins and gourds. Somewhere on the farm, you can almost always count on a wooden stand with a colorful awning to hold an abundance of the crops grown on those fields.
As the summer comes to a close, hungry locavores searching for the best tomatoes, sweet corn and squash head to Lewis Creek Farm in Starksboro, Red Sky Farm in Orwell, Riverfront Gardens in Vergennes and Sweet Hill Farm in New Haven. For mums and other late-summer flowers, Cornwall’s Sunset Hill Farm, Red Sky Farm and Scott’s Greenbush Gardens in North Ferrisburgh will light up your garden. And for fresh, local meat, head to Agricola Farm in Panton, where Alessandra Rellini raises heritage pigs, Icelandic sheep and heritage chickens. Or, drive over to Cornwall, where Cheryl and Marc Cesario raise grass-fed beef at Meeting Place Pastures.
Many Addison County residents have already chosen their favorite farms stands, but for those who haven’t, we’ve got a few ideas.
KOMBUCHA AND YEAR-ROUND VEGGIES
Many farm stands sell veggies, meat and sometimes baked goods, but Golden Well Farm & Apiaries has added something different to the list: kombucha. The Nicole Burke and Ryan Miller, co-owners of the New Haven-based farm, have been selling the drink, which they’ve named Apis Kombucha at the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, Burlington’s City Market, and at markets and shops around the state. Miller, who previously worked as a cider maker, now works full-time to make the drink — which, since it hit the market last summer, has been flying off the shelves.
In addition to kombucha, the Golden Well farm stand offers their organic vegetables, mushrooms, flowers and eggs from their free-range chickens. They also sell products from other local vendors, like V-Smiley’s honey jams, Northern Bayou cold brew coffee, Sobre Mesa’s fermented foods and Starbird’s sustainably-sourced Atlantic salmon. Kombucha drinkers can refill their growlers at the stand, and get a $1 discount for the fill-up (purchasing a growler anywhere else will cost you $8). This fall, the couple plans to insulate the farm stand, housed in one of the farm’s barns, so that customers can keep bringing winter veggies and other products home year-round.
Golden Well Farm & Apiaries
1089 River Road, New Haven, VT, 05472 | (802) 870-0361
Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Offers: kombucha, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, flowers, eggs, fermented foods
MUMS, VEGGIES AND HANDMADE BLANKETS
RED SKY FARM co-owner Paula Barnes says that almost everything they sell comes straight from the farm. Anything that doesn’t, with the exception of peaches, comes from other local producers.
On Route 74 in Orwell, Paula Barnes, co-owner of Red Sky Farm, sits on a bench beside the street-side farm stand and exchanges waves with almost every car that passes by. With her husband, Ed, she owned dairy cows until 2005, until the two decided to try their hand at growing a few pumpkins. Twelve years later, the farm sells all types of vegetables, and in the fall, they sell mums, apple and pumpkin pie, potatoes and onions. Though almost everything is grown on-farm, Barnes does order a handful of other types of produce from outside growers. The only products grown out of state are peaches.
“Those come from an orchard in Pennsylvania, and we’ve been getting those peaches for a long, long time,” Barnes said. “Everybody waits for those peaches.”
But everything else that Barnes orders from elsewhere — maple syrup from Shoreham, other fruits, honey — is grown locally.
“We try to grow a good variety of vegetables,” she said, “but there are some things we can’t grow because for some reason, our land isn’t right for it. If there’s a demand for it, we’ll work with another farm stand to bring it in. I’m a big believer in supporting the local guy, and hopefully he’ll support me. I think it’s a nice partnership.”
In the back of the farm stand, Barnes sells blankets and handmade clothes that she sews in the winter months. New this year, Red Sky Farm will open the stand year-round and sell their bumper crops — potatoes, onions, squash, zucchini and any other leftovers. Barnes said farming never gets old.
“I love to work with the land, I love the smell of the earth, and I love our customers,” she said.
Red Sky Farm
613 Route 73, Orwell, VT, 05760 | (802) 948-2566
Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Offers: vegetables (including pumpkins), maple syrup, honey, jam, mums
TRACTOR RIDES AND PUMPKIN PICKING
A RAINBOW OF PEPPERS on display at the Lester Farm on Route 7 in New Haven
Sam and Maura Lester, owners of Lester Farm, searched for the perfect farmland all over the northeast, in New York, New Hampshire and Maine, before settling in Vermont.
“It was a matter of finding a piece of property that was on the main road, not out in the boonies somewhere,” he said. When the two visited the 28-acre piece of Route 7-adjacent property in New Haven, he was immediately sold. “We literally were here for 10 minutes, and we said, ‘okay, this is the place.’ This was really what we were looking for.”
That was in 2006. Now, the farm stand sells sweet corn, all kinds of vegetables and melons along with milk, eggs, dry products like pasta, cheese, butter and more. All of these products can be purchased through a CSA, which gives customers a store credit to buy whatever produce they would like, whenever they can come by to get it. That way, customers don’t have to worry about produce going bad when they go on vacation, and anything not spent carries over to the following year.
For the fall season, Lester Farm has a corn maze, which will open this weekend, wagon rides, u-pick pumpkins, and plenty of fall decorations to keep young kids entertained. The stand stays open from June until the end of October.
Lester Farm And Market
2297 Ethan Allen Highway, New Haven 05472 | (802) 453-3132
Hours: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Offers: vegetables, baked goods, eggs, cheese, fruit, berries, flowers, canned goods, maple, honey
 
One of the best things about fall is fresh produce you can get from a local farm. From pumpkins to gourds to mums and late-summer tomatoes, these Addison County farm stands offer some of fall’s best offerings. 
 
AGRICOLA FARM
2674 Jersey St., Panton, VT 05491 | (802) 475-3409
Hours: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Offers: vegetables, baked goods, eggs, cheese, chicken, pork, lamb, wool, flowers, canned goods, maple, honey, plant seedlings
 
CHAMPLAIN ORCHARDS
3597 VT-74, Shoreham, VT 05770 | (802) 897-2777
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Offers: bread/baked goods, cheese, cider/apples, wine/hard cider, fruit, berries, maple, honey
 
DOUGLAS ORCHARDS
1050 RT. 74 W. Shoreham, VT 05770 | (802) 897-5043
Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Offers: cider/apples, fruit, berries, maple, honey
 
EAST BROOK HOPS AND FARMSTAND
345 East Main St., East Middlebury, VT 05740 | (802) 989-0325
Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Offers: vegetables, honey, maple, hops, grass-fed beef
 
GOLDEN WELL FARM & APIARIES
1089 River Road, New Haven, VT, 05472 | (802) 870-0361
Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Offers: kombucha, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, flowers, eggs, fermented foods
 
THE LAST RESORT FARM
2246 Tyler Bridge Rd., Monkton, VT 05469 | (802) 453-2847
Hours: Serve yourself, 24/7, year-round
Offers: organic berries, vegetables and eggs
 
LESTER FARM AND MARKET
2297 Ethan Allen Highway, New Haven 05472 | (802) 453-3132
Hours: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Offers: vegetables, baked goods, eggs, cheese, cider/apples, fruit, berries, flowers, canned goods, maple, honey
 
LEWIS CREEK FARM
3071 Route 116, Starksboro, VT, 05487 | (802) 453-4591
Hours: Self-serve, come anytime
Offers: 50+ vegetables (including pumpkins), plants
 
MAPLE MEADOW FARM
518 Maple St., Salisbury, VT 05769 | (802) 352-4241
Hours: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Offers: eggs, milk, cheese, maple
 
MEETING PLACE PASTURES
1368 West St., Cornwall, VT, 05753 | (802) 462-3759
Offers: humanely raised beef, pork and veal
 
RED SKY FARM
613 Route 73, Orwell, VT, 05760 | (802) 948-2566
Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Offers: vegetables (including pumpkins), maple syrup, honey, jam, mums
 
RIVERFRONT GARDENS
229 Ferry Road, Vergennes, VT, 05491
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Offers: vegetables, fruit, herbs  
 
SCOTT’S GREEMBUSH GARDENS
79 Quaker Street, North Ferrisburgh, VT 05473 | (802) 425-2370
Hours: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Offers: strawberries, raspberries, mums, melons, squash, pork, pumpkins, sweet corn
 
SWEET HILL FARM
3835Ethan Allen Highway, New Haven, VT 05472 | (802) 453-7751
Hours: Mon – Fri, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat – Sun, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Offers: sweet corn, cucumbers, summer squash, gourds, Indian corn, pumpkins, winter squash
 
WOODS MARKET GARDEN
93 Wood Ln, Brandon, VT 05733 | (802) 247-6630
Hours: While the stand itself has closed, fall CSA’s are available.
Offers: vegetables, baked goods, meat, cheese, maple, flowers
 
BETTER OFF BREAD
296 Mt. Philo Rd., N. Ferrisburgh, VT, 05473 | (802) 425-4802
Hours: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Offers: vegetables, spreads, eggs, bread
 
SUNSET HILL FARM
2271 VT-74, Cornwall, VT, 05753 | (802) 770-9417
Hours: Mon-Sat: 9-6; Sun: 10-6
Offers: vegetables (including pumpkins), berries, flowers
Editor’s note: If an Addison County farm stand is not listed here, please let us know. Email [email protected].
 
— Emma Cotton

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