Local Food & Agriculture
A Town That Knows How to Feed Itself
Like so many old New England towns, Barnard recalls its historical roots in agriculture. Unlike a lot of modern towns, Barnard never left those agrarian roots behind. Today, locals grow in countless backyard gardens, keep chickens and dairy cows and pigs, and have tapped thousands of maples for the annual gift of sap that runs every spring. Then there are the farmers who sell and share their bounties with the rest of us. And, of course, the local markets and restaurants that help put food on our plates.
The Farms of Barnard
There are many food producers in Barnard. Below are some of the larger farm operations, listed in alphabetical order:
Bowman Road Farm
Bowman Road Farm is a NOFA certified 200-acre farm producing Hereford beef cattle and hay. It was the first farm settled in the town of Barnard in 1776 by Thomas Freeman. They raise 100% grass-fed and grass-finished cattle and also feature a 500 tap sugar bush. Their cattle are born and raised on the farm, rotationally grazed in the summer and fed the farm’s own hay in the winter. Bowman Road Farm is proud to have 25 years of NOFA organic certification for their excellent beef and hay.
Doton Farm is a fourth generation dairy farm with 135 cows on 400 acres in the south side of Barnard. Doton Farm is a proud member of the Cabot Cooperative and was named a Dairy of Distinction by the Northeast Dairy Farm Beautification Program. Besides the milk they sell to Cabot, Doton Farm has a sugarhouse where they boil sap down to some of Vermont’s finest maple syrup. In the summer, the Dotons also grow vegetables that they sell at a roadside farmstand on Lakota Road, and Doton corn is a favorite among locals.
Edmunds Maple Hill Farm
Producing maple syrup and maple cream at 1141 Mt. Hunger Road. (802) 234-9401.
Feast & Field Farmers’ Market
Every Thursday from early June through the harvest season, a group of farmers, artists and educators host the lively Feast & Field Farmers’ Market and community gathering at the historic Clark Farm, about 5 minutes from the village of Barnard. The forces behind the farmers market includes a coop group consisting of a vegetable farm, meat producers, and a dairy and egg farm, all of whom collectively lease the land through the Vermont Land Trust. Full-time or seasonal residents can join their distinct CSAs for produce, meat, or eggs and dairy.
All of the coop farmers (and myriad other local vendors as well) sell a la carte at the Thursday markets, which are actually more than just a market. Hundreds flock from area communities to the Clark Farm’s working landscape every week for live music and dancing, tacos and wild-fermented wine, cultural events, and late night campfire jam sessions.
Eastman Farm: Offering grassfed beef from Belted Galloway cattle and pastured pork from heritage breed Mangalitsa pigs, all raised with an intense commitment to the local landscape, soil, and sustainability.
Fable Farm & Fermentory: A farm-based winery producing unique wild-fermented and barrel-aged raw wines and vinegars, among other herbal elixirs.
Heartwood Farm: Offering all the vegetables you’d expect from a farm share, and some that will be a pleasant surprise! Heartwood is dedicated to natural farming by their nature and mission.
Kiss the Cow Farm: Kiss the Cow Farm produces and sells milk, cheese, eggs, and some of the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted. Kiss the Cow’s dairy products come from a herd of much-loved Jersey cows that are certified organic and grassfed. The farm also offers pastured chicken, duck and turkey, and their 24-hour farmstand features Vermont-only products from many other regional farms.
Hambsch Family Farms
Hambsch Family Farms came about after the restoration of two old line farms in Barnard — the old Lewis Farm on Stage Road and the Roberts/Benson Farm on Route 12. Dedicated to breeding heritage pork, beef and turkey, Hambsch Family Farms gives community members the option to acquire products that are born and bred here in Barnard with the goal of creating a reliable local production venue that our town can count on into the future. Employing hands-on and individualized attention to their animals, they hand feed each pen daily and maintain a more intimate relationship with their stock that supports the best growing conditions, good health, and animal comfort.
Van Alstyne Family Farm
The Van Alstyne Family Farm raises Angus beef and produces maple syrup from about 4,500 taps, available for sale at the farm or for bulk purchase at the South Royalton Market. Located at 330 Walker Hill Road in East Barnard. (802) 763-7036.
Ward Brothers & Sons Maple Syrup
The Ward family has been producing some of the finest quality maple syrup for decades, and keeps the Barnard General Store well-stocked with a variety of grades and sizes.
La Garagista Farm & Winery
La Garagista is located on Mount Hunger at the edge of the Chateauguay and in the Piedmont chain of hills in Barnard, Vermont. Here we grow natural alpine wine and ciders. Our land has been part of small homestead farming for over two hundred years. On the farm, we attend to the care and observation of our native terroir, a whole-farm and diverse agriculture where we are not only growing wine, but also vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs for our pop~up tavernetta Hart. We also lease and farm two older parcels of vineyard in the Champlain Valley of Vermont which allows us to extend our farming efforts in a valley landscape. The work we do at the farm, in the vineyards, and in the winery, both in field and in cellar, is guided by organic, permaculture, and biodynamic thought. We try to let all elements of the farm speak for themselves accompanied by our stewardship.
Our mission is to care for our land in creative and natural ways, make way for the honest narrative told by the wines and ciders that express our unique landscape and each vintage year, and share in and support the spirited food and agriculture of our community.
Where to Eat in Barnard
The Barnard Inn & Max’s Tavern
The Barnard Inn & Max’s Tavern, just south of the village, offers both a formal dining room and a relaxed casual pub setting with a la carte menu. The owner and chef prides himself on working with local ingredients that have been sustainably produced, and the Inn was recently named the best restaurant in Vermont by MSN.com.
The Barnard General Store
The Barnard General Store isn’t just a place to pick up groceries, but also has a kitchen and deli. Order up breakfast and lunch and sit at the tables or iconic counter, or bring your meal across the street and eat at the lakefront park. The General Store is also the go-to spot for a cup of coffee any day of the week.