Field Stone Farm Fresh
One of the joys of summer in Vermont is farm-fresh produce. And about now is when it comes in abundance.
Here at The Pitcher Inn, in the kitchen, we’re all smiles when Hannah Blackmer bursts through the door with armfuls of produce. Hannah and her mom Chandra run the women-owned and -operated Field Stone Farm between Northfield and Roxbury, Vermont, just over the mountains from the inn. This time of year Field Stone is our primary source of fresh vegetables, a key ingredient in our many summer and fall offerings.
We recently caught up with a very busy Hannah Blackmer to learn more about her passion for farming. Here’s a lightly edited version of our conversation.
Field Stone Farm was started in 2010 and has been owned and operated by a mother-daughter team since 2016. We strive towards no-till, regenerative practices on one-and-a-half acres of mixed vegetables, and make wicked good wood-fired pizza. The farm is located in Northfield on land that I grew up on. Before returning home to farm here, I had two additional seasons of farm work.
What motivates you to farm?
I have always preferred to work outside. When I started farming, I found that it pushed me not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Working in tandem with so much that is beyond your control…every season is humbling, and that challenge feeds me. And while I cannot control the weather, I can control the care that goes into how I choose to grow food. Intentionality, craftsmanship, and pride invite a connection to my community beyond our socially distilled simplicity of “eat to live”. When people get excited about flavor, texture, variety, and quality–about slowing down their day to be present with what is on their plate–that feels right and good. Everyone deserves to know the joy food can bring. It may seem like a small impact on the world, but it is my impact, and I’m honored to make it.
What are you growing this year?
We grow almost the entire alphabet of veggies. This year we added some new heirloom tomatoes that I’m really excited to try, and some new pepper varieties. Last year we grew some ginger, and this year we doubled down on that and are trialing some turmeric.
What are you delivering to the inn?
Right now I’m delivering a lot of greens! Typical June stuff: lettuce mix, arugula, spinach, kale, cilantro, and radishes. We deliver lettuce weekly, the rest will transition out in favor of summer crops before too long.
What’s really got you excited right now?
We just finished up all of our big spring plantings (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and winter squash) which is always fun to have behind us, and now we’re on the verge of snap pea season which is very exciting! We don’t heat any of our greenhouses, so we typically have to wait a little longer for all the summer treats but I think the wait is totally worth it.
We encourage guests to come dine with us to see if “the wait is totally worth it,” as Vermont farmer Hannah Blackmer puts it.