Featured Vendor: Flack Family Farm • Fairfield, VT
We are proud to share that our September Featured Vendor is Flack Family Farm from Fairfield, VT! Here Barbara Flack shares her perspective of farm life at Flack Family Farm.
Life on Flack Family Farm has a rhythm, beautiful repetition that expands and contracts with the seasons. Our main products – Sauerkraut, Yankee Kimchi, and Cultured Vegetables are good indicators of the passage of time. We begin the process by planting and tending the cabbage, carrots, daikon radish, onions, and garlic. In the fall, the crew harvests, chops, and packs the vegetables into barrels to ferment. After a minimum of six weeks of fermentation our products are ready for sale. Each week, orders are packed and delivered to stores and restaurants throughout central and northern Vermont. The dairy animals keep the rhythm steady. Mornings begin at 5:30, when our red, fat, and affectionate horned American Devon cows are milked. They are given fresh pasture three-to-five times daily, which leads to a diet of high-quality feed. Also on a regular basis, the other animals (steers, sheep, pigs, chickens, and turkeys) are moved to new pasture. A lovely note in the musical fugue of farm life is the food – the eggs and milk are fresh, the steak marbled with fat, the ferments nourishing, and the vegetables flavorful.
Our farm is centered on regeneration, inspired by Rudolf Steiner and more recent developments in the rebuilding of high-functioning soils and plants. We regard our farm as a self-contained entity, with its own character, complete with organ systems (microbes, fungi, cattle, etc.), and economic, social, and ecological life. The farm’s relation to the greater cosmos is important; we choose the times for planting and harvesting by the position (influences) of the sun, moon, planets, and constellations. The ebb and flow of the tides and swirls of currents are more overt examples of these influential forces.
We believe the nutrient density of food is a product of vibrant soil life, which is created through both re-mineralization and the rebuilding of a variety of complex soil carbon structures. Plant communities such as pasture and cover crops provide energy, carbon, and nutrients to soil organisms, which are central to the development of high-functioning soils. Higher-functioning soils result in food abundant in minerals, enzymes, and vitamins, along with masses of necessary bacteria.
Most of the vegetables used in the Flack ferments are grown on the farm (the ginger comes from a biodynamic farm in Hawaii). We make our products in September and October, and you are welcome to help with production. Production days and sign-up information can be found on our website. The workday, from 8am to 3pm, includes a farm-food luncheon and a lot of learning opportunities. Participants can take home a batch of vegetables to ferment for themselves.
Our products: grass-fed beef, raw milk, and fermented vegetables may be purchased at the farm. Sauerkraut, Kimchi, and Cultured Vegetables are available in natural food and co-op stores in central and northern Vermont.
The farm offers educational opportunities through organized farm visits, work exchanges, seminars on nutrition and in classes on growing and preparing nutrient dense food, diversified farming, fermentation, and medicinal plants.
Visit our website at FlackFamilyFarm.com.