As many of you know, the focus of our work here at Wild Roots Farm VT has been centered around community engagement and resilience through food systems education. We have frequently examined the possibilities of having a farmstead school to expand our current workshop series, but have been at full capacity this last year, more so with the pandemic. Needless to say there has been much reflection over the previous six months about our offerings and how we can continue to do meaningful work. This is what we have come up with:
On August 23, 2020, we are going to be hosting an information session that will overview our next project intended to support community resilience while engaging the personal self in the process. We want to support to the greatest extent- health, vitality and forward motion for all. So goes the saying, "It takes a village." Here are four components that we will speak and build workshop series around- Food Systems, Health & Wellness, Infrastructure, and Firearm Safety.
So why these topics? Recent events have revealed there to be several cracks in the current systems which make up our nation, often resulting in instability that effects these four items. This session is not about getting all the preppers together to determine how we are going to start a revolution, but is about identifying concerns within our own lives or region and being proactive so that weakness becomes strength, and threats become opportunity. In the Marines we had a little ditty called the 7 P's. Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. As whimsical as this may sound, there is a lot of merit and meaning to be considered from it.
The day will begin at 10 am and run 'til around 230 pm. Lunch will not be provided so please bring your own (a fire will be going- feel free to bring a dutch-oven or cast iron to warm your meal in)
An agenda is not entirely set but will be sent out via email prior to the event, to those who are able to attend. Notes will be provided for those who are unable to attend but remain interested.
Along with the four topics of discussion, we will overview tools and methods to analyze and inventory our resources (knowledge, skills, land, grants, etc.), set up a skill share platform so that others may teach if there is a specific topic they are interested in, and share dates for upcoming workshops that will be for in person and online participation. There will also be opportunities provided for our community gardens and greenhouse in the 2021 season
If you are interested in participating or have questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you.
Well this year's been a doozie. Lots of incredible and slightly concerning things have occurred but as the sun continues to rise each day, so too shall the farmer.
There are many things that could be typed in this section given the length of time since the last update, but what is most important to share is that recently, a dear friend has passed on in the most gentle of ways while at home surrounded by family. To discuss the incredible impact that Bunny Daubner has had on so many lives would take an infinite amount of time.
Over the last few weeks of her life, I had the honor and privilege to sit with her and her family and watch this process take place. To be utterly honest, sadness was and has been short lived. The spirit of this woman is endless and true in the greatest form of compassion. So many times over the years she would offer guidance and support without judgement and with such certainty, that even still, I cannot fathom how such a person could be so selfless and loving.
As many of you are aware, community engagement and on-farm education has been at the forefront of our mission. Bunny has been there since the beginning. This fall upon the completion of our farm stand and stage, we will be dedicating the space to Bunny and continue the legacy of her kindness, her whit, and her wonder, which she kept alive until the day she left this plane.
It is most gracious of her family, that in Bunny's memory, donations in lieu of flowers may be made to support our efforts and mission of engaging community through climate resilient food systems education.
Donations may be made by clicking the Donate tab, or by sending in a good old fashioned check made payable to Wild Roots Farm Vermont at 195 Harvey Road, Bristol, VT, 05443.
This fall we will have a community build day and dedication gathering. More details to follow.
If you have a moment, please hold Bunny and her family in the light.
*Picture below from R to L: Bunny's granddaughters Molly, Kate, Halle, & Farmer Jon
With a prolonged period of warmer weather, we have been able to wrap up those last minute tasks without worry. Designs for next years crops are being finalized and we are planning to add an additional 300 shrubs and trees for berries and nuts while providing a multi-purpose windbreak with food and habitat for song birds and pollinators.
We are coming to a close working with our 5th semester of students from the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. I continue to be amazed by the enthusiasm they share to improve & regenerate the natural world. This semester's project consisted of two gardens that will provide forage all season long for our native pollinators. Designs will be posted in the coming weeks.
There are some dates of upcoming events in which Wild Roots Farm Vermont will be participating in (posted below). Be well and Happy Thanksgiving
Mushroom Medicine and Cultivation Workshop with Spoonful Herbals, Burlington, Vermont, December 14
Sierra Club Military Outdoors Training, Lincoln, Vermont, January 2-7
2018 Vermont Grazing and Livestock Conference, Fairlee, Vermont, January 19-20
2018 NOFA-VT Winter Conference, Burlington, Vermont, February 17-19
2018 AgrAbility National Training Workshop, Portland, Maine, March 19-22
In just two weeks, Wild Roots Farm Vermont will represent organic/ regenerative farmers on a community panel to discuss land conservation, water quality and farm viability. This event is intended to engage community about various farm practices in Addison County and meet their local producers.
The event is on Thursday, November 9 from 6:30-8:30 pm at Twilight Auditorium on Middlebury College Campus. Doors open at 6:00pm and light refreshments will be served. This event is open to the public.
More information available by request from email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
As this season comes to a close, it is most appropriate to offer gratitude for the harvest, support, and potential for our site.
In the two short years Wild Roots Farm has been in existence, we have had the great pleasure of working with several hundred community members during it's development. In doing so, we have expanded our abilities to educate our youth, allowed time and space for college students to utilize various design principles for developing resilient food systems, and offered the opportunity for veterans to find a greater sense of self and purpose after their time in service.
With each group that visits for a class tour, workshop or volunteer workday, we are clear to state that every component of our farm and every practice that we implement, is designed to improve the health and vitality of our community (from soil to wild beast).
We believe that by providing a space for community to gather, get their hands dirty, view the landscape from an ecological perspective and share a meal, will only help us to develop a greater sense of purpose in our lives and encourage us to move beyond the narratives that have kept us from reaching our potential as human beings.
We use hand tools and good 'ole sweat equity with the occasional usage of modern day technology (weed-wackers at times) to get things done.
Copious amounts of bio-mass (compost, manure, wood chips and hay) have been placed onto our beds with cover crops, to increase biological activity and organic matter in the soil which allows us to not have to water our crops even after three weeks of Vermont drought-like conditions.
Animals are rotated regularly to prevent overgrazing and compaction while offering fertilizer and food.Tree crops are placed on contour and the strips between the tree lines are filled with a cocktail of cover crops for forage.
We do not seek a competitive edge or believe that every action performed is most efficient. Mistakes have been plenty, but are viewed as learning opportunities that will allow us to share what works and what doesn't given the circumstances and resources available.
We choose to live this way because it aligns with our vision of creating a sustainable future that is adaptable to change and are resilient, Our workshops, community discussions and pizza dates are inclusive to those who wish to learn, teach and be humble.
Thank you to everyone (community and guest speakers) for your help and support.
Next season is only right around the corner, and we look forward to seeing you all on the farm.
-Wild Roots Farm Vermont
With our second season at the homestead, we are well underway to developing a healthy eco-system filled with trees, vegetables, medicine, animals and community. This spring was cool and wet but allowed us to plant over 200 trees and shrubs to establish our southern wind break, 3,600 square foot forest garden and wildlife corridor.
We were also most fortunate as one of two farms to receive an Innovations Grant from the National Farm to School Network which allow us to expand our educational outreach and provide opportunities for the K-12 community in Addison County to engage with local food systems. With this award, we will be establishing a compost system with Bristol Elementary and Mt. Abe High School, providing mentorship for high school students, and working with a local illustrator to develop a comic series.
As the summer season comes to a close, temperatures continue to stay high and dry, but our beds remain cool and moist with the organic matter on top protecting our soil from the elements. This marks the second year of soil prep and next season will begin a 10 year crop rotation cycle alternating heavy feeders, light feeders and nutrient givers. These beds are also located next to the pizza oven with a convenient walk to and from the field to fill the bellies of our community properly.