Side Dishes: Cambridge Farm to Serve Burlington
Though her farm's address is in Lamoille County, Anne Tisbert, of Cambridge's certified organic Valley Dream Farm, considers her business a multi-county affair. One hundred and 50 acres of the preserved farmland she owns with her husband lie in Chittenden County.
After hearing about last year's shortage of community-supported-agriculture shares in the Burlington area, Tisbert decided to stretch her distribution area into the big city. "We have a 200-member CSA," she reports. "We offer 30 different vegetables, and there are many different varieties of each." She says her customers rave about her sweet corn and extra-flavorful strawberries. As of this week, Tisbert has about 100 shares remaining. Once she has a significant number of B-town clients, she'll seek a mutually beneficial pick-up point.
Like many farms, Valley Dream offers its customers the chance to include non-vegetable "add-ons" to enhance their produce offerings: goat cheese, local meat and organic bread can be had for an additional fee, as can the farm's own eggs. Flowers, fresh herbs and weekly recipes come free of charge.
"We purchased the farm in 1999 as a dairy, but we couldn't survive [on] dairy farming," Tisbert says. "We moved on to organic vegetables, and it all worked out." She's hoping her farm's expansion into a new urban market will work out, too.