The Journey Farmer Program is a program for beginning farmers who are in the first few years of running their own farm business in Vermont. Farmers in the program have access to business planning support, technical assistance, farmer-to-farmer mentoring, free admission to the NOFA-VT Winter Conference and NOFA workshop series, and an education stipend. You can learn more about the program here.
Meet NOFA-VT's 2018 Journey Farmers!
Clearfield Farm- Granville
Clearfield Farm grows roughly 13 acres of certified organic mixed vegetables, cut flowers, and cover crops. Melissa Kosmaczewski and John Hirsch are first generation farmers and started farming 5 years ago in Pennsylvania on family owned land. There they grew on 1 acre for 3 farmer’s markets and provided residential produce delivery. They moved to Vermont in 2015 in pursuit of a farm to purchase after losing their land access. In 2016, they were selected by The Vermont Land Trust to purchase a 56-acre retired dairy farm in Vermont’s Mad River Valley. There they now produce for 3 farmer’s markets as well as sell wholesale to restaurants Spring-Fall. They are working towards a wholesale contract with an organic co-op distributor. They pride themselves on stewarding their land and providing high-quality organically grown produce for their local community. Their future farm goals are to become a year-round producer, focus on selling to restaurants, and joining winter farmers’ markets.
Hogwash Farm- Norwich
Hogwash Farm is a small family farm with a focus on rare heritage breed animals that thrive on the rough northern hillsides in Norwich, Vermont. Farmer Leslie O’Hara worked at Hogwash Farm for six years before purchasing the business in July of 2017; she has always loved animals and grew up tending them. Leslie prides herself on raising her animals outside year-round because the animals are happier, healthier, and produce a better product. You can find Leslie's products at their farm stand, through their CSA or at Norwich Farmers Market.
Ice House Farm- Goshen
Ice House Farm was started by Morgan & Chad Beckwith in 2016 with the goal of producing healthy delicious goat milk. Our mission is to produce nutrient dense food following regenerative farming practices that reduce pollution, sequester carbon, increase biodiversity, and support small family farms. We began our adventure on rented farmland in Addison Vermont. The 18th century farmhouse property featured panoramic views, large dairy barns with slate roofs, and the original ice house. Working with the land and goats, the soil slowly started to get into our veins and bones. This is where we developed our passion for farming and producing food. We moved to Goshen in the fall of 2016 to expand our grass-fed goat dairy and farm.
Long Winter Farm- Stowe
We - Andrew and Annie Paradee - are a husband-and-wife owned and operated diversified farm in Stowe. We produce organic vegetables and pastured, organically-fed eggs, chicken, pork, turkey and beef. Our products are sold primarily directly to customers from our on-site farmstand. Our goal is to provide healthy, beautiful produce for the local community throughout the year: the farm name Long Winter comes from our desire to produce food in an ecological way, doing our part to keep the winters long and providing food to fuel Stowe-area people's winter adventures!
We met skiing at Stowe and spent 2012-2014 working in rural northwestern Zambia as forestry and agriculture volunteers with the US Peace Corps. Upon returning to Vermont, we moved to Stowe's Nebraska Valley and began seeking farmland. When a retiring farmer down the road announced she was selling her farm, we leapt at the opportunity to farm in a community we'd fallen in love with. The Stowe Land Trust, in partnership with the Vermont Land Trust and Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition, successfully conserved 49 acres of the former Kaiser farm, which we then purchased and began making our own.
Small Farm- Brandon
Small Farm is a diverse family farm, originally started on a rocky, hilly homestead. Owners Jeremy and Laura MacLachlan homesteaded for many years and are now growing for market on 1.5 acres of land. They believe in the amazing power of good food that is grown well. They are committed to building healthy living soils, sowing heirloom and open pollinated seeds, benefitting from and supporting native pollinators, and producing fresh, good quality, diversified products sold at competitive prices.