It’s no secret that famers make the world go round. They produce clean and healthy food and if you can get it locally, there’s just nothing better. Those from larger cities or towns likely don’t pass by rolling farmlands on their commute to work like we do in the Mad River Valley. That’s what makes visiting so special to some people. It’s a step outside of the norm for them, maybe outside of their comfort zone (shout out to that ripe smell of cow manure), and a step into nature. This is just the perfect time of year to take advantage of the amazing produce our local farmers have been growing all summer. We’re getting the last of the good stuff, with hearty fall vegetables right on the horizon. I’m featuring the Valley’s wonderful farm stands filled with fresh produce, locally made cheeses, meats, beverages and so much more. Even if just to purchase a pumpkin to get into the fall vibe, they are worth the stop.
Hartshorn’s Organic Farm
Hartshorn’s Organic Farm is a VOF certified organic Vermont farm producing and selling delicious, healthy vegetables, fruits, and flowers from their roadside farm stand. They offer CSA shares and pick your own strawberries and blueberries too. There’s even a maple sugar house where you can watch syrup making in the early Spring. They sell local jams and pickled veggies, homemade sauces, zoodles, soups. cider, and baked goods on top of their produce. Right off of Route 100, a lot of people see it and pull over to check it out. You won’t be disappointed!
von Trapp Farm Store
The von Trapp Farm Store is a family owned and operated farmstead creamery and farm store. Built into their barn, the Farm Store features all of their certified organic farmstead cheeses and yogurts, and pastured meats. They also carry products from different Vermont producers, including charcuterie board fixings, beer & wine, organic produce, ready-to-eat, and pantry staples. The store opened 2020 and quickly became a community favorite. Seriously, don’t skip the cheese on this one.
Knoll Farm is known for raising purebred Icelandic Sheep and certified organic pick-your-own blueberries. They are also home of The Refuge at Knoll Farm, a retreat center well known nationally as a place where leadership, relationships, and well being are given space to flourish. In their shop, you’ll find food from their farm and growers nearby, as well as handmade gifts, art and all-natural yarns. They also have one of the best views in the Valley and offer pre-made picnic baskets filled with local goodies. It’s one of my favorite activities to do in the summer!
Gaylord Farm is run by the second and third generation of Gaylords to farm in the Mad River Valley. Though they started out as a dairy farm in 1948 on their land in Waitsfield, they transitioned to a diversified farm with the next generation. They now raise organic beef, vegetables and eggs. You can find their stand chock full of hand raised produce at the Waitsfield Farmers Market every Saturday. Be sure to drive by their farm stand location and spot some of those cute Belted Galloway cows with their signature pattern.
Mad River Taste Place
Okay so not a farm stand, but an amazing place to visit to find a ton of local products! The Mad River Taste Place is a specialty grocery store right in the heart of the Valley. They carry jams, dips, meats, chocolates, syrups, gourmet groceries and housewares. Not to mention the two stand out parts of the shop which are the incredible cheese case with tons of local selections, as well as their walk in beer cooler. It’s a great one stop shop to bring a variety of Vermont goods home from your trip.