On July 16th, 2020, the NOFA-VT mobile pizza oven traveled south to share our gratitude with a pizza lunch for the hardworking farm crew at Walker Farm in Dummerston. Operated by generations of the same family since 1770, the farm draws plant enthusiasts from all over New England and New York to their well-known plant nursery and well-stocked farm stand. Jack and Karen Manix, along with their children, Kristin and Dustin, run the day-to-day operations. The Manix family are well known as members of the old guard - long-time certified organic growers in Vermont, that helped to build the movement from its infancy.
The farm consists of 23 greenhouses overflowing with flowers, plants and certified organic vegetables, as well as 30 acres of certified organic vegetables and small fruits. Each season, the farm hires 25 to 30 local employees to make the magic happen. All the crops grown at the farm are marketed directly through the farm stand or through their robust CSA, which has innovated to a to-go pick up program since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2014, the Manix’s expanded their farm with the purchase of the nearby Elysian Hills Tree Farm, and in 2017 became “the first certified organic tree farm of our size in Vermont.” They grow 20 acres of certified organic Christmas trees,host on-farm events and maintain walking trails open to the public.
Walker Farm prides itself on having a wide variety of beautiful produce in their farm stand, the “friendliest staff on the planet,” and a strong vision for how local food makes it to everyone’s plates. Since 2007, Walker Farm has participated in two core NOFA-VT community food access programs, Farm Share and Senior Farm Share, to increase food access for low-income households and seniors in their community. Since they began participating, they have provided shares to 260 seniors and 65 households in their community.
We are grateful for the skill, vision, and inclusivity that the team at Walker Farm showcase, and how they invite us all to participate in the joys of the organic agriculture movement.