Growing Food With Love
It’s a small operation with a big heart.
On a hillside in Northfield, VT, owners Mari Omland and Laura Olsen of Green Mountain GirlsÂ use sustainable and organic practices to produce a range of foods, while also welcoming visitors with open arms. The two work hard to â€œgive people the opportunity to be deeply involvedâ€ in what they do, whether through regular, detailed blog posts or exciting hands-on activities.
Visitors to Green Mountain Girls can learn the tricks of the trade on a tour of the farm or in one of the workshops offered, such as cheese making, butchering and canning. They can also master how to milk the goats and enjoy a warm, foamy latte made as fresh as it comes. For those who wish to soak up the rural, farm-to-table lifestyle for more than a day, thereâ€™s even an on-site Barn Guesthouse that can accommodate up to six guests.
These experiences, Mari says, attract people young and old from all walks of life.
â€œSome of our [farm share program] members are talented musicians who used to perform at Carnegie Hall,â€ she explains. â€œThese are sophisticated people who travel around the world and are written up in The New York Times and theyâ€™re doubled over, laughing, giddy and just enjoying having a latte on the hoof. Then the next night I have an old, cranky dairy farmer over and heâ€™s giddy and laughing in the milking barn and having a latte on the hoof.â€
The care with which Mari and Laura welcome their diverse guests extends to the animals as well. As former vegetarians, the two believe in treating all their farm animals with respect, not only by allowing them to graze freely under the sunshine, but also by giving them names and even the occasional belly rub.
Mari explains: â€œI think it [naming the animals] echoes the respect and intimacy that we want to be as organic here as the organic growing processes.”
The fruits of Mari and Laura’s labor of love will be on display at the Boston Local Food Festival for the first time this year. The pair plans to bring fresh produce, plus frozen meats, stocks and some pantry items, such as their popular heirloom tomato Bloody Mary mix.
They also hope to inspire more people to visit them at Green Mountain Girls Farm, which is easily accessible from the Boston area.
â€œYou can see the highway from here and weâ€™re less than 2 miles from the exit,â€ Mari emphasizes. â€œPeople are tired and busy and itâ€™s hard to find time to do these things, but do it for yourself; plug into the countryside and get that deep refilling of your well. Itâ€™s not easy to jump out of our busy lives and do something different, but it is easy to get here.â€
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