The rewards of the first few months of work here at Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center have all been sweet. Along with the delicious strawberries, the farm has been graced with several classes of happy, inquisitive and bright young students here to observe, learn, and enjoy the farm with their classes. Students ranging in ages from kindergarten to high school have observed predation in the greenhouses, colonies of bees working busily to gather nectar from our early flowering fruits, the decomposers in our compost piles, and much more.
I’ve been very fortunate in my new position to be able to learn and observe the farm in one of its busiest (strawberry) seasons. This timing has helped me build an understanding of this organization and the philosophy and ideals the management team hold dear as they pursue the mission of the farm. Here are a few of these observations:
- Our customers and visitors are very loyal and supportive of the great work of the farm, in our production fields, in the kitchen and with education. You all are truly our greatest asset as an organization with a social mission, and every member of the team here at CCF believes this.
- CCF is a vibrant atmosphere for all who work here. Our staff are dedicated to their job and fiercely passionate about their work.
- The farm itself is an invaluable resource for learning. It is bursting with wildlife, demonstrative of a healthy, farm ecosystem. Its innovative practices and tried and true systems are great models to learn from, whether you’re a new farmer, have been growing food for years, or are simply an inquisitive lover of good food.
Anyone who spends even the shortest amount of time on the farm can see these things. Cedar Circle Farm is transparent to the visitor; we put forth great effort in being authentic. We encourage our guests to ask questions and to become more involved.
Because Vermont is undoubtedly the leader in Farm to School programming in the country, states look to Vermont as a guiding light in food systems education. However, there is much more work to be done in this state, in the region, and in the world. We need to continue to help young farmers succeed in this industry, as it can be challenging to enter into such a vast field and cultivate an identity. We need to continue helping both children and adults alike develop good eating habits, as well as help consumers better understand that their choices are powerful tools in making the necessary changes to our broken food system and ability to mitigate climate change. The magnitude of this work can seem daunting to anyone, but I find positive encouragement everywhere I look on the farm. From the field crew, the administrative staff, and the children who come for trips with their schools, this is a community clearly determined to make a difference. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be welcomed to be a part of it. I look forward to sharing farm experiences with you all.