Local Purveyors’ Blog Post Series: Elmer Farm

Swift House Inn, Middlebury, Vermont. Caleb Kenna Photography

Here at the Swift House Inn we love to buy local so that we can use the freshest ingredients possible for both breakfast for our lodging guests as well as dinner at our on-site restaurant, Jessica’s. Elmer Farm in East Middlebury is so local that Chef Rob stops by on his way to work to pick up fresh vegetables during their harvest season, June through October.

Elmer Farm had belonged to the Elmer family, beginning in the early 1800s. The receding glaciers left the farm with a wonderful mix of fertile soils, including almost thirty acres of sandy loam, excellent for growing vegetables and grains. The current owners, Spencer and Jennifer Blackwell, purchased the farm in 2006, and, along with their three children, have continued the proud tradition of growing vegetables for the community. Along with their Elmer Farm Share Program, they participate in multiple farm to school efforts and gathering programs for local food agencies.

Elmer Farm grows over 200 different varieties (including many heirlooms) of grains, flowers, culinary herbs, and more than 35 different vegetables on 8 of their 90 acres. The farm is inspected and certified by Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF). The crops are grown responsibly and safely without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.

Interested in participating in the Elmer Farm Share Program? As a member you would receive fresh vegetables, flowers, and herbs each week from mid-June through the end of October for a total of 20 weeks. Members must sign a contract for the season and agree to pay in advance or in installments for their share. With three different share sizes, there is something to meet each family’s needs and affordability. They also accept tax deductible donations for share program scholarships.

Pick up for the share program is on Wednesdays, conveniently located at the farm on route 116 in East Middlebury. Along with picking out your vegetables for your share, members have the opportunity to harvest herbs, cut flowers, and on occasion participate in special events like taste testing and purchasing from local guest vendors.

Visit Elmer Farm’s website for more information on the farm and how to begin your membership for the Elmer Farm Share Program. Contact Information: 802-388-3848, elmer.farm@yahoo.com.

Make a reservation at Jessica’s Restaurant to enjoy some of Chef Rob’s farm to table dishes. Jessica’s will be open Thursday through Sundays, seating from 5:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., until the end of May. Starting June 6th, we will be open Wednesday through Sunday evenings, seating the same hours.

Photos credited to and taken from Elmer Farm’s website.

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