Summer Shares are Wrapping Up: Check Your Value and October Events

Week 19 Share Value Tally

Fall is here, the leaves are dropping, corn fields are being razed, pumpkins are in, cabbages are piling up, the sun is dropping, and the air is cooling. Even smells in the air are different.

And still, we have two more weeks of the 2019 Summer Share! We are in week 19 of our 21 week season and the produce selections continue to amaze. The early root veggies are in (daikon, red onions, celeriac, delicata, butternut and acorn squash) and yet we still are enjoying sweet peppers, chard, napa, salad mix, romaine, and the last of the luscious tomatoes. We’ve had a bountiful season….which translates into incredible share value for our members.

Week 10 Share Value Tally

What is “share value” and how does it impact members? In short, it’s a bigger bang for your buck. Each season we track retail pricing for products comparable to our offerings , as if you were going to an organic grocery in town and buying the same items and quantities you received at a pick-up. Each week this season we posted the value of that week’s share as well as the cumulative value of the share to date. For comparison, check out the share value at week 10. We catch up and get ahead as the summer marches on!

Even as we wind down summer (two pick-ups remain, all summer shares end October 24) we are gearing up for the start of our winter shares on October 31 (Group 1) and November 7 (Group 2.) Not signed up yet? We have room for you. Go here.

If you need more ways to enjoy the Intervale and our farm, in particular, don’t forget about the 8th Annual Harvest Run for Sustainability on October 13 and the City Market Crop Mob in our fields on October 19. The Run is your chance for a good stretch of the leg while the Crop Mob is a good way to get your hands dirty!

Don’t forget to fill out the 2019 Summer Share Survey and tell us what worked for you (or not.)

Remember, The Intervale Community Farm is your year-round source of healthy, local, organic food as well as a great outdoor destination in the heart of Burlington.

Bees (and other "critters") at the Intervale

            The word “critters” amuses me for some reason as it’s just a more fun word than “animal,” and I use it loosely and perhaps incorrectly as a result. Critters help us manage the farm (and yes, the deer and raccoon critters help to destroy) in many ways. We use “beneficial critters” to control aphids in the greenhouse and high tunnels, to control pests in our broccoli and peppers; bees pollinate, and birds eat mosquitoes.  We release lady bugs on a regular basis as well as beneficials to target pests on specific plants. We’ve been working with UVM for some time to identify and control the swede midge, a critter pest in the broccoli fields.

 

            This summer, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies has been studying our bees! There are hives in the Intervale which benefit all Intervale farms and result in honey for the hive owners (and the bees.) Several farm members have provided the hives over the years, and the Vermont Beekeepers Association has a “northern yard” they use for demonstrations and hands-on experiences for members and new beekeepers. Mostly you won’t run into the hives because they are tucked away and not in our PYO fields or pick-up area.  However, you might find the bees themselves around the pick-up area!

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Bombus borealis on Tithonia

            Spencer Hardy is a CSA member and the project coordinator for the Vermont Center for Ecostudies work this summer and he sent along a short description of the work and findings thus far:

 

We’ve all heard about the value of bees and how many threats they face. But did you know there are over 300 species of bees in Vermont? Apis mellifera - the Western Honey Bee - gets most of the attention, as they are the most commonly managed bee and are used for pollination of many crops. However, Honey Bees are not native to North America and for all intents and purposes are a domestic animal in Vermont. The other relatively well-known group is the Bumblebees (genus Bombus) with 17 species known from Vermont . Read all about them here.

Triepeolus remigatus

 The remaining species are mostly small, solitary bees that have not been studied very well. A Vermont Center for Ecostudies project got underway this summer to better understand the bees of Vermont. As part of this, Spencer Hardy the project coordinator, has been sampling around the pick-up barn once a week. Most of the bees can only be identified by a small number of experts, so the final results will have to wait, but some preliminary findings indicate ICF has a great diversity of native bees, including some rare species and a few never before documented in Vermont. Many native bees are oligoleges, meaning they only collect pollen from a single plant genus, and ICF grows several crops that have specialist bees. Physalis, the genus that includes ground-cherries and tomatillos has at least two such species. One of them, Perdita halictoides, is a tiny black bee smaller than a grain of rice and the only place it has ever been found in Vermont is around the 20’ of tomatillos in the corral behind the pick-up barn. Another exciting find was Triepeolus remigatus, one of the so-called Cuckoo Bees that lay their eggs in the nests of other species where their larvae take over and develop off the stored pollen and nectar that was intended for the host larvae. This particular species had never been recorded in northern New England and is thought to parasitize the Pruinose Squash Bee (Peponapis pruinosa) which is a specialist of pumpkins and squash flowers and is probably responsible for most of the zuchinni you enjoyed this summer (but not the melon, as that is from a different genus not visited by this bee.)

 Next time you whip up a salsa verde or zucchini fritter, appreciate the obscure little bees that make those foods possible!

Purple Martin houses

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Bees are fine for the crops, but what about the mosquitoes biting the members? This summer we installed some purple martin houses near our river fields as an experiment. We aren’t sure we have a population but we have houses for them! The purple martin houses we’re used to seeing look like condos on poles, but we were told the birds actually prefer something that looks like a huge dried gourd. So that’s what board member Mark Twery installed for us. We hope we’ll be seeing these “winged beneficials” hanging around more!

October Happenings at the Farm: Pumpkins, Fun Run, Crop Mob, and Winter Shares

The late summer and fall months at the farm are extremely busy times. You’ve seen some of the results of all the work at your weekly pick-ups: delicata squash, acorn squash, yellow onions, the colored peppers, corn, tomatillos, cherry tomatoes. It feels like everything ripened at once, but of course we know we’re experiencing the normal cycle of growing and fruits of our labor.

Pumpkins!

And with October arriving soon we have pumpkins! Our highly anticipated, annual Pumpkin Day will be Saturday, October 5 (with a rain date of Sunday, October 6), from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be wagon rides to the Tower field where you will be able to select your pumpkin for the season. Don’t worry, if you can’t make it to this event pumpkins will be available at pick-ups. Bring the family for a fun time.

The 8th Annual Harvest Run for Sustainability 5k will be held on Sunday, October 13, from 9:15 a.m. to noon. Scamper through the farm and fields with your family! This event supports the Sustainability Academy and is sponsored by City Market. You can sign up here.

If you are more inclined to get your hands dirty and help with the fall harvest, sign up for the City Market Crop Mob at ICF on Saturday, October 19, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. We value the assistance of our member volunteers at this annual event to bring in the storage crops for our winter shares. Sign up here and earn City Market member worker hours.

Finally, we didn’t forget Halloween…in fact, October 31 is the first week of our winter pick-ups! We will be dressed as farmers and will appreciate anyone who stops by for their share dressed for trick-or-treating. Sign up for your winter share here. If you’d like to add eggs or cheese to your regular pick-ups, sign up here. We will continue to offer bread for on site sales as we have done this summer.

October will be busy! Eat all your vegetables and build your strength for all the events and loads of fun.

Our 30th Anniversary Party: It was a Blast!

Part of our party crowd

Part of our party crowd

Sunday, September 8 started out with a little rain, but true to the weather forecast, the rain moved out by the time we started our festivities at the farm. We had perfect fall weather for our evening and a huge turnout of our farm community.

Grilled ICF vegetables

Grilled ICF vegetables

While it was impossible to do an exact head count, we estimate 250+ people attended. We ate grilled vegetables, cold salads, tortilla chips, multiple kinds of bread, and fabulous Woodbelly Pizza. To wash everything down? Full Barrel Beer Cooperative was pouring and Spoonful Herbals made herbed water. Oh yes, we had sweets: melons and a huge carrot cake provided by Mirabelles. Not a crumb remained.

We had music, games, speeches, introduction of the candidates for the board, and shared memories with friends. There were as many kids as there were adults. There were second generation farm members (“kids” of long time members are now joining with their families) and Intervale farmer friends and ICF staff and a few dogs, even.

If you took pictures, please feel free to send them along for our archives. I took 165 pictures in an attempt to get every face recorded at least once (groups or otherwise), but I’m sure I missed folks. We’re only 30 once so we’d like to document as much as possible!

Woodbelly Pizza

Woodbelly Pizza

We appreciated the efforts of our Board to prepare all the food ahead of time and help us to keep our plates full. Also thanks to Woodbelly Pizza, Mirabelles, Full Barrel Beer, All Souls Tortilleria, Spoonful Herbals, and Brett Hughes and that Bluegrass Band for their contributions to a wonderful evening.

Winter Share 2019-20 Sign-up is Open

The minute nighttime temperatures get into the 50’s I start thinking about flannel sheets, hot kettles of soup, long sleeves, and preparing for our winter share season. Fall is my favorite season with all the changes in light, temperatures, colors, and yes, anticipating cooking fall and winter foods such as stew and soup and roasted root vegetables.

If you share any of my glee about the fall, you’ve been waiting to sign-up for your ICF Winter Share. Today is the day! As always, the earlier you sign up, the better. We have many fewer shares to offer in the winter time so we always sell out.

Winter share pick-up area

As a reminder, winter shares are picked up every OTHER week, only on Thursdays, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. We don’t offer a bagged share option because there is no outside cooler available. It’s easy to come on an alternate week if you’ve missed your scheduled time. Shares are one size (you’ll get 10-12 lbs of mixed roots, your choice, and squash, cabbage, greens in addition.

We always have a good crowd at the winter pick-ups; some people ski in or bring skis and take a run before or after gathering their bounty. You’ll find the same good cheer and camaraderie as during the summer, and of course, the same delicious produce grown for your eating delight.

Sign up today!

Celebrate 30 years of Intervale Community Farm September 8th!

Graphic design by Maja Smith. Art by Bonnie Acker.

Please join the Intervale Community Farm Board of Directors and staff for an all-ages afternoon of food, drink, music, games, and celebration. We hope you will join us at our summer pickup location rain or shine on Sunday, September 8th — everyone is welcome!

Featuring wood-fired pizza by Woodbelly Pizza, music by Brett Hughes and That Bluegrass Band, beer from Full Barrel Cooperative Brewery, and lots of other excellent produce from ICF and food from our friends at City Market, Spoonful Herbals All Souls Tortilleria, and Mirabelles Cafe and Bakery.

Schedule of Events:

4:00-5:00 pm Games, snacks and drinks

5:00 pm Pizza and dinner begin; Brett Hughes and That Bluegrass Band start the music

5:30 pm Brief welcome and reflections, then return to music

6:15 pm Brief introductions by candidates for the ICF Board of directors, other board business, band resumes playing

6;50 pm Final reflections and send-off, music resumes to show us out

Bring your picnic gear: chairs, blankets, reusable plates, cups, and silverware if you like!

Artist: Bonnie Acker

This is the official annual meeting of Intervale Community Farm Cooperative. Given our celebration this year, the meeting portion will be very brief!

New Bread Maker in Town and At the Farm

We’re happy to let you know we’re going to have an additional bread option available on Mondays starting August 5. We will have a few loaves from O Bread bakery as usual.

We’re still working to find the best fit for the farm and for you. If you don’t know, not all artisan bread makers bake every day. So finding the right bread and the right baker for our schedule and volume is not an easy task.

Back Door Bread will be available on Monday, August 5. Some of you have sampled the bread offerings from Jim Williams at various pop-up events since he and his family moved to Charlotte a few months ago. You’ve told us you loved the taste and texture of the many loaves, all made from single varieties of locally sourced wheat (local and New England.)

We expect to have 4 varieties available for sale. Each loaf is approximately 1.5 lbs.

For more information, be sure to read the recent article in Seven Days as well as check out the web site and Instagram for Back Door Bread.

We hope you’ll let us know your thoughts after you’ve tried some of the loaves!

ICF Works to Relieve Food Insecurity

LIFE_ON_BORDER.jpg

A recent VPR story, newspaper reports, and even a recent book by a UVM professor have been highlighting the plight of migrant workers on (mostly) dairy farms and food insecurity issues.  One of our members asked me if there was anything ICF could do to help remedy the problem.

In fact, we have been aware of the problem and have been involved in solutions. We have been growing tomatoes and herbs totaling about 200 plants per year for the Huertas Project for the past three years.  Occasionally, the program director has been interested in some leftover field transplants, including broccoli, peppers, and onions. The Huertas Project helps migrant families grow “kitchen gardens” and we’ve been happy to provide plants for these gardens.

One of the stated purposes of The Intervale Community Farm is to “Support the wider community by contributing to the development of sound agricultural and food security initiatives.” As well, we send regular donations to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf for local distribution, but we are also involved with the Vermont Foodbank with donations so that our reach is statewide. In 2018 we donated over 62,000 lbs of fresh produce to these programs and likely reached many migrant families as a result. We also offer a subsidized share program where we make up to 60 shares available to families at a reduced price in the summer.

If you’d like to learn more about this migrant worker food insecurity issue, Teresa Mares will be speaking about her research at Rokeby Museum on Sunday, July 28 at 3:00 pm.

Life on the Other Border
Sunday, July 28, 3:00 pm

Teresa M. Mares, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont, will speak about food insecurity experienced by migrant farmworkers in the northeastern borderlands of the United States. Mares’ research is based on Latinx farmworkers who labor in Vermont’s dairy industry. She will illuminate the complex and resilient ways workers sustain themselves and their families while also serving as the backbone of the state’s agricultural economy. Copies of her book, Life on the Other Border, will be available for sale and signing. 

Celebrating 30 Years of ICF: Save the Date—Sunday,September 8

Thirty years ago, ICF was one of the first CSAs in the nation. Now we are among 12,000 such farms across the country.

We started as a 5-acre farm with 100 families who saw the benefit of creating stable markets for farmers and dependable sources of fresh, safe and affordable food for consumers. Today we are a 58-acre farm providing fresh food year round for over 620 families as well as providing over 60,000 pounds of produce to local food shelves. Additionally, this year we will be providing mini-shares to 259 residents of senior housing sites through NOFA-VT.

Help us celebrate 30 years of our farm, its growth, and its mission on Sunday, September 8th, from 4:00-7:00 at the summer pick-up area. We’ll have great food to share, games for all ages, and inspiring stories to share.

We look forward to seeing all of our members and friends of the Farm at the festivities.

Pizza Night at ICF is Back! Mark Friday, July 26 on Your Calendar!

We can’t think of a better way to use ICF vegetables than on pizza! Unless it’s to have ICF salad and melons to accompany fresh, wood-fired pizza on a mid-summer night at the farm.

The NOFA Pizza Oven will be returning to ICF on Friday, July 26, 5:00-7:30.

It’s great fun to watch the pizzas being made, to see the combinations created with our veggies, and then to eat the result. You can be sure there are never any leftovers!

Everyone is welcome to attend. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, plan to relax. We’ll have salad, sliced tomatoes, and whatever else is ready at the time. We’ll provide plates and flatware, but please feel free to bring your own picnic supplies and beverages other than water.

Donations of $5 per person or $20 per family will be gratefully accepted to help offset the cost of the pizza.

See you on July 26!

New Request: NOFA needs some help with the pizza prep at this event. If you’d like to volunteer and earn City Market hours, contact Andy Jones. We need 6 people for 2 hours each or 3 people for 4 hours.

Vegetables: Colors, Textures, Tastes

Salad mix

One of the most enjoyable parts of a weekly pick-up is seeing all the colors and textures of vegetables on the tables or in the fields and using multiple senses to enjoy the produce. Is “crunch” a sense?

Early in the season there are lots of shades of green and then more colors come a bit later. The baby lettuces are greens and reds, collards and spinach and raab are yet other shades of green, and early cucumbers follow. Not since the huge box of Crayola crayons have there been such luscious shades to choose from for dinner!

Some of the vegetables are “tougher,” if you will. Collards are not as tender as baby lettuce and spinach. Collards and raab need to be cooked! Everything else could be finger food! And they all feel different on the tongue: some melt away, some need more chewing, and some can be nearly liquid (try an arugula pesto sometime.)

Early cucumbers

Taste? Sweet cucumbers and peppery arugula and semi-bitter raab. Mix arugula with a hot pasta and chick peas for a very nourishing dish.

The anticipation of the salad for dinner or the grilled everything to accompany (select a protein) may influence what you select each week. Try grilling romaine for your salad! Stuff a zucchini. Grill carrots and onions.  Add any or all to your salad base or eat them cold during the week.

If you’d like to anticipate the harvests and plan for new cooking adventures, check out the normal pattern of produce availability here. But if you are content to plan for just the week at hand, be sure to check our updated list for the week before you arrive at pick-up.

Flowers for Everyone: Tell Your Friends and Neighbors (PYO Flower Share)

An example of a first-week share from 2017

Again this year we are pleased to offer a pick-your-own flower share for non-CSA community members. (NOTE: If you are a member of the CSA and have signed up for your summer share, you will have flowers included in your weekly pick-ups.)

Many people grow what they need for vegetables at home or are members of other CSAs or simply shop farmers' markets for their produce. But fresh flowers are not always available or may not grow well at home. Some home gardeners are better at vegetables than flowers, or we may have too much shade for robust cutting gardens, or it's just nicer to have a wider variety of colorful stems to select from ICF!

We will offer a 10 week flower share which starts July 8. The flower fields are always accessible for picking 20 stems once weekly. Once you have signed up we'll contact you for a brief orientation to the fields and process.

Prepayment of $107 is required ($100 plus 7% sales tax) and may be mailed to ICF, 128 Intervale Rd, Burlington, VT  05401.

Sign up here for your blooms and please feel free to share with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues. You do not have to be a CSA member to sign up for flowers.

 

 

Complete Your Veggie Share: Bread, Eggs, and Cheese

We cannot live by veggies alone…we need bread and cheese at the very least to make a picnic!

As we’ve done for many years, we partner with local producers of goat cheese, eggs, and artisan bread which you can pre-order and pick up at the same time as you gather your vegetable share. We do have a few extra of each item we will sell on site each week, but if you want to be assured of your favorite we encourage pre-ordering.

Photo from O Bread web site

This year we are excited to offer a selection of certified-organic bread from O Bread in Shelburne.  Prices vary by type, and we’ll be testing out which loaves are popular – please let us know your favorites! For now, all loaves will be cash (or on account) sales. If we get a sense of favorites we will do pre-orders as usual.

Returning will be free-range, pastured non-organic eggs from Jericho Settlers Farm, in Jericho. Available by the share and the dozen at $5.50/dozen. 

Since 2003, Does’ Leap Farm in East Fairfield has provided ICF members with a rotating selection of several certified-organic fresh and aged goat cheeses by the share or $8 each Samples will be available during the first pick-up week.

Sign up here or see us at any pick-up to start your shares.

First Pick-ups of Summer 2019: Monday, June 3 & Thursday, June 6

It’s time! Early summer is here!

We’ll be starting our 21 week CSA pick-ups on Monday, June 3 and Thursday, June 6.

Pick-up time is from 3:00-6:30 at our pole barn area on the left/west side of Intervale Road. Look for the parking lot, buildings, and lots of smiling faces.

Bring your reusable bags or baskets, your sun hats, and bug spray. Some crops (scallions, herbs) will be “pick-your-own” and you want to be prepared.

Kathie will be on site during the first week of pick-ups if you have any account questions or want to make payments. You can also order your supplemental eggs and cheese for the summer. Does’ Leap cheese will be available for sampling if you’ve never tried it before!

We are also very pleased to announce we will have bread available for purchase by the loaf from O Bread Bakery in Shelburne. Their bread is available at many stores around town and you may have enjoyed it before.

We are looking forward to the start of our 30th year as a CSA and can’t wait to welcome you to the farm.

New Skin for a Hoop House

On Sunday, May 5, ICF staff and 4 hearty member volunteers reskinned the northwest hoop house in our complex at 282 Intervale Road.

We have to wait for non-windy, non-rainy days, as you can imagine. And such a project takes many hands and some patience. Think of trying to wrap a present that requires ladders, ropes, and weight to be successful. (In the past we’ve used large potatoes as the weight on the ropes. They are easy to toss and provide just enough tension to hold the plastic down while edges are being fastened.)

While the plastic is thick, winds, ice, and sun can do a number on the material. There is a double layer of plastic and fans provide some insulation between the layers. Air warmed by the sun can be quite toasty! We use these houses in the winter for spinach, baby lettuce, and baby kale. In the summer they are used for peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant.

Some members have wondered about our winter growing in these houses. They are not heated with anything but the sun. We cover the rows with mulch and plastic and keep the greens as warm as possible. They don’t freeze but they are in a slow growth state. So spinach sown in December might not be ready until February! January and February are the months where we are not likely to have fresh greens for our winter share members.

In the summer months we’ll hardly be able to keep up with the rapid growth in these houses. It won’t be long now!

While Waiting for Summer Shares to Begin in Our 30th Year

2018 First Pick-up. We’ll have a blank slate for you to design soon!

May is always a transition month for the farm and by extension, for the members.

In May we finish up the winter shares (what I’ve now starting calling the winter/spring share), seasonal staff return or start new with us, fields are planted with the seedlings we’ve been growing since March, and we gear up in earnest for the start of our 21-week summer share.

How can you pass the month and control your excitement?

First, make sure you have signed up for your summer share! We still have room for you, but you shouldn’t wait too long. Normally by the start of June we are sold out! Sign up here and feel free to tell your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues.

Second, if you did participate in the winter/spring share, we’d love to have you complete the survey we do after each season. You can find the survey here.

Third, we are having a pop-up plant sale at the two final winter/spring pick-ups. Everyone is invited to stop by and purchase flower and herb pots for your home gardens. You’ll find the plant sale at the winter pick-up area from 3:00-6:00 on May 9 and May 16. We will not be having weekend plant sales this year!

Finally, watch your email, our web page, and our Facebook page for the announcement of the summer share start dates. We know when we’d like to begin, but Mother Nature gets a vote also.

We look forward to welcoming you, or welcoming you back, very soon!

Pop-Up Plant Sales at the Last Winter Pick-ups

For the last    15   years we’ve been holding our annual plant sales on Saturday mornings. But who really wants to break up a weekend by running down to the farm to get plant starts when you’re already out and about on a weekday!

This year we’re trying something new. Our last two winter share pick-ups are on May 9 and May 16. We’ll have our plant sale to coincide with the usual 3:00-6:00 pick-up. Everyone is invited to stop by for purchases even if you are not a winter share member.

Instead of (or in addition to) browsing seed catalogs and looking at pictures of flowers, dreaming of your own colorful gardens this spring and summer, you'll want to come to our Annual Plant Sale.

Each year we grow certified organic plants for our CSA shares (herbs, vegetables, and flowers) and we grow enough for you to purchase for your home gardens. Many ICF members grow a few flowers or herbs at home just because it's fun to walk outside their kitchen door and pick something for dinner. Some of us have dreams of larger garden plots but recognize that time and space work against us. I first became a member of ICF when I was living in a home with minuscule space for gardening. That said, I've always had a few pots of something on my porch even with a CSA share.

Come to the last winter share pick-ups to get plant starts, say hello, and join us in welcoming summer!

Greenhouse Science: Corn + wood = onions

Tucked into the large greenhouse and tunnel complex on the east side of Intervale Road you’ll find a single heated greenhouse where we start all of the seeds we’ll transplant to the fields when the ground warms up. It’s important to know this greenhouse is the only one we heat.

Of course you’d expect we’d have to have a warm place to start seeds given Vermont weather! We can go from 5 inches of snow to 47 degrees in a day, as we did last week, so imagine the variables we face when opening the greenhouse the first week of March.

We use a combination of heating fuels for the house. Several years ago we installed a biofuel furnace to reduce our dependence on propane. At this time of year, Jill fills the fuel hopper with about 200 lbs of a mix of wood pellets and dried corn ( 1:2 ratio.) At night the propane will come on as needed to achieve our desired temperatures.

The daytime temperature goal is 72 degrees. The louvers open at that point and then the vent fan turns on at 76 to keep the temperature steady. The overnight temperature goal is 60 degrees. As the nighttime temperatures rise we’ll use less biofuel and propane, as you’d expect, because the sun helps with the warmth and the double layer of heavy plastic traps a cushion of warm air .

Over the course of the heating season, we usually go through 3 tons of wood pellets and 4 tons of dried corn.

Our efforts pay off when the first onions come up!





Seasons, Change, and Continuity: The Greenhouse is Open

Jill Rotondo

We're on the cusp of spring and the change of seasons that we can expect every year around this time. Granted, there is a bit more snow and ice on this date than we might have had in past years, but we have the hope of spring coming.


Rain or shine, snow or ice, we open our propagation greenhouse around the same time every year: the first week of March. The farmers have made a detailed crop plan which includes specific dates for starting seeds, how deep to plant the seeds in the starting pots, how much water is required. If onions are started now we'll see them in approximately 90 days. Onions are always the first seeds to be started. Soon the tomatoes will be started, grafting will begin, the ground in the high tunnels will be turned over, all so that we are on schedule for our summer CSA. Of course the weather may change our plans, but we do have a plan!


The more things change...change is good, right? We rotate crops so that nutrients can rebuild and we can fight any pests that have taken up residence. We change our crop production based, in part, on member feedback (as well as growing success, seed availability, etc.) We change planting and cultivating techniques so we are more efficient with materials and labor (our tomato trolleys last year are a prime example of a labor saving practice.) What doesn't change is the high quality produce we grow for an increasing number of families in the area.


Samantha DuPont

And then continuity...from scheduled equipment maintenance to organic soil practices to high customer satisfaction, we're 30 years as a CSA because of our commitment and connection to our members and the land we farm.  Key to the continuity is our staff. Andy Jones has been the Farm Manager for 26 years. Aly Martelle has been here 12 years, Silas Branson, Jill Rotondo, and Kathie Sullivan 9 years. Sara Howe and Samantha DuPont are returning for their 6th years.  We supplement staff with seasonal workers who gain knowledge and experience from working beside such an expert staff. See more about our full year staff here.


You can be a part of this Burlington institution and help us usher in the next 30 years of farming in the city! Sign up for your 2019 summer share here. Tell your friends and neighbors. We aim for 650 shares but because some of those are split between families, we think we're feeding approximately 1500 people per week (which does not include the 62,000 pounds or so of food donations to area food shelves.)  You can be a part of this food phenom today!

Meet the New ICF Board Member: Andrea Solazzo

As you know, ICF is governed by a nine member board serving rotating 3-year terms. The board meets monthly with Farmer Andy Jones for updates on the farm management, but they also discuss future planning for the farm’s sustainability and fiscal health. And they plan events for members!

Andrea Solazzo, courtesy Vermont Foodbank

Abby McGowan had to step down from her current term as she is on sabbatical in India for 6 months. It would be hard to attend board meetings from afar! We’re happy to tell you that current farm member Andrea Solazzo has agreed to serve out the remaining 2 years of Abby’s term.

We’d like you to meet Andrea.

Andrea Solazzo currently manages the Northern Vermont gleaning program, coordinates with area food shelves on nutrition education and works with the various fresh produce programs at the Vermont Foodbank. Additionally, Andrea supports the Foodbank through diversity and inclusion work, advocacy and story gathering initiatives. Prior to her time at the Foodbank, she led delegations to international conferences for UN based NGO’s around climate justice and food sovereignty issues, owned an agriculturally focused study abroad organization and had active leadership in various community organizing campaigns around livable wages. Andrea’s passion for sustainable agriculture evolved from first learning about homesteading in rural Appalachia, to then starting a small farm on her college campus, traveling around Mexico for a month with La Via Campesina on an international caravan with activists and farmers from around the world and then landing in Vermont eight years ago to work at the Vermont Workers Center and at various farms in the Burlington area. She is ICF’s biggest fan, feels incredibly lucky to enjoy amazing veggies from the farm every week and loves working in ICF’s fields throughout the growing season through her work with the Foodbank. Andrea is excited to be on the ICF board and support the farm in continuing their inspiring work throughout the community.