News From the Farm: Sharing our love of connecting with the community

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February 13th, 2022

Dear Friend of NOFA-VT,

I am getting really excited for this year’s NOFA-VT Winter Conference, “Back to the Roots” on Saturday, February 18!!! There are going to be so many amazing workshops and speakers and connections!

I may have missed a few winter conferences over the years, but this year it will be 23 years since I first attended a NOFA-VT Winter Conference. My first year, I volunteered as a parking attendant when the conference used to be at The Vermont Technical College in Randolph! I remember that day so clearly, it was frigged outside and I greeted every car that arrived with an excited smile. I remember sitting in the auditorium full of land and food lovers while I knitted a winter hat. I also remember connections that were forged during workshops and mealtime. 

Not only is the Winter Conference an opportune time to learn and share it is also such an important time of the year for farmers, land, and food lovers to get off their farms and connect with like-minded people. Connection is such a vital part of land stewardship. Not only is it important for us as humans to connect with one another but to be reminded of how and why we should connect with the soil below our feet, the sky about our heads, and the creatures big and small and plants of all kinds. This is what makes agriculture, agriCULTURE! When we learn how to build a culture around the food we eat and grow we can then learn how to steward and conserve the elements that earth is so gracious to share with us. 

One of the many components that drew me to being a farmer (I was not born one!) was community! Community is such an important piece of what I focus on our farm. Bringing people together to share, learn, and teach cultivates a culture of people that respect and care for the land and one another.

There are several ways that I enjoy building community at our farm. One way is through programming for kids! We utilize our farm as a classroom and we also bring the farm to classrooms. This way of connecting food and farms to kiddos is one method of growing agriCULTURE in Vermont. The second method is agri-tourism. We offer workshops and farmstays. Bringing non-Vermont people onto our land is a very positive experience for so many people. You can learn more about our two methods of how we weave our farm with culture at the Winter Conference. We will be a part of “This Farm Feeds Vermont Kids”, and “Agritourism in Vermont” workshops—join us! 

Happy Winter!

Misse Axelrod of Drift Farmstead in Roxbury, VT

Misse shows you a few ways she helps the community connect more deeply with her farm, and talks about her upcoming workshops on agritourism and feeding schoolchildren.

illustration of cooking potRecipe: Lentil Soup with Ground Pork

Adapted from this recipe.


  • 1 lb Drift Farmstead or other local ground pork
  • 1 medium parsnip (peeled & sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 1 carrot (peeled & sliced)
  • 2 celery stalks (sliced) 
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp herb de Provence
  • 1 bay leaf  
  • 1 cup water
  • salt & pepper


  1. Brown the ground pork in a dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Salt & pepper to taste
  3. Add onions and garlic.
  4. Add carrots, parsnips and celery
  5. Stir to combine.
  6. Next, add lentils, bone broth and water
  7. Season with garlic powder, herb de provence and bay leaf
  8. Reduce heat and cover. Allow to simmer for an hour.
  9. Serve and enjoy!