Urban Farming, Vermont-Style
Nestled amongst city streets of Burlington is a 360-acre stretch of farmland and trails that wind along the Winooski River. This agricultural gem has been the home to the Intervale Center for over 30 years. Countless farmers and food producers have benefits from the Intervale’s focus on agricultural programs that build a sustainable food system.
What once was an informal dumping ground for discarded tires, furniture and garbage in the 1980s has resurrected into a fertile agricultural hot bed. Incubator farms as well as mentor farms dot the landscape of the Intervale Center working together to produce the majority of local produce found in restaurants and stores in and around Burlington.
Pitchfork Farm takes up 16 acres at the Intervale Center, and its founders have mentored new farmers on sustainable organic growing practices. Owners Rob Rock and Eric Seitz grow 80 different varieties of crops, including corn, garlic scapes, bok choy, sweet potatoes and melons. Their resilience has led them to launch the area’s first meal kit delivery service using only local produce.
Specializing in small, baby or unique varieties of crops, Half Pint Farm produce can be found on the menus at Hen of the Wood, Mirabelle’s Café and popular pizza joint Pizzeria Verita. Half Pint and Pitchfork Farms, along with nearly 30 additional farmers, also contribute fresh produce to the Intervale Center’s local food delivery and CSA program, the Intervale Food Hub. The Food Hub is one of the easiest and most delicious ways Burlingtonians get their local veggies, meats and cheeses delivered right to their homes, workplaces or community centers.
Photo Credit: Jessica Sipe