FEBRUARY'S MEMBER OF THE MONTH: Christine Bourque & Adam Farris, Blue Heron Farm (Grand Isle)
We are excited to share NOFA-VT's Member of the Month for February! In this monthly feature, we choose a member to recognize each month as a way to celebrate all the wonderful people that make up the NOFA-VT community. Thank you for being a part of it!
Christine Bourque and Adam Farris have been running Blue Heron Farm in Grand Isle since 2004. Blue Heron is a diversified, certified organic farm producing vegetables, grazing sheep for fiber and meat, raising sweet cows for raw milk and beef, and poultry for eggs and meat. From Blue Heron's website: "We both believe deeply that it is important for our world to have an organic, local food system, and we know working with your hands and seeing the fruits of your labor is profoundly good for the spirit. Another aspect of our farm is the attempt to make organic affordable, and to give back." To that end, Christine and Adam have long participated in NOFA-VT's Farm Share and Senior Farm Share Programs, offering supported CSA shares to limited income Vermonters in their community.
Why are you a NOFA-VT member?
We are NOFA-VT members because we believe in affordable local organic food for all, community, and organic farming and how they are all important to a sustainable now and future.
What do you value most about NOFA-VT’s work?
We value the advocacy for the small organic diversified farmers. That organic food is within everyone's reach here in Vermont thanks to all the work that NOFA-VT and its community have done over the last few decades.
How long have you been a member?
Wow, I think we have members since 2001 - before we even started farming in 2004. That's a long time now.
Do you identify as a…. (eater, gardener, homesteader, farmer, etc.)?
We identify as homesteading farmers who love to eat delicious local food and love to find local food where ever we travel within the state or afar. That's why we love the NOFA-VT winter conference - something for us all!
How have you been involved with NOFA-VT in the last year?
We've participated in the Winter Conference, volunteering, Senior Farm Share Program, Farm Share Program, and Crop Cash.
What's the best garden/farm experiment you did this year?
For the last few years, using large reusable tarps (feed bunker covers) to cover whole patches of land to plant crops into to make the worms happy, little weeding, less soil erosion, less tilling, permanent season beds, moisture control. Also, finally putting our own town water line into our veggie farm. And working on getting more markets for our organic wool.
Why does organic matter to you?
Our daughters. Their friends. our community. our lake. our stewardship of this land. To be able to grow good nutritious clean food - that nourishes our bodies, our minds and enriches the soil - where life is. Our daughters can tell a dead carrot from a live carrot - one that has trucked here thousands of miles and one that was out of good organic local soils. I wish sometimes we could back in time, before chemicals were introduced to farmers - imagine what a world would be like now? What if we tried to feed our community - instead of millions? What if we were the norm instead of that "odd farm that does a little bit of everything" - go big or go home is not sustainable for farmers, for their livelihood and their family life.
What's your number one priority for NOFA-VT this year?
Keep supporting and advocating for small organic farmers and food programs that help get affordable local food out to all folks in Vermont. Organic is soil.