We are a small family operation here in Walden Heights. The fields contain a myriad of species in nursery beds abutting the orchards, along with chickens and the occasional pig in the background. This is not a large fossil fuel mitigated endeavor (we have yet to purchase a tractor). Beds are prepared by hoes and muscle and stock is hand dug, sometimes with the help of a friend or a 6 year old boy. Our use of organic growing methods and hand tools is sometimes difficult, but always rewarding...and important. One of the most fulfilling, healthy and independent acts we can perform is to grow our own food. We are firmly committed to helping our neighbors and customers grow organic fruit, and to truly enjoy that very act.
Walden Heights is so named because it was the the highest point of elevation of the Lamoille Valley Railroad back in its hayday. At just above 1700 feet we are perched high above the countryside on a northwest slope. The nearby town of Hardwick is 800 feet below. What does this mean? It means snow, and high winds, and cold...and some more snow. We have seen -38 F on the thermometer (not that wind chill stuff, whatever that is), and the old timers talk of some significantly colder nights of the past. What we grow here has to be able to take or it soon relegates itelf to the compost pile. Soil conditions here seem to evade similarities to anything we often hear about, ie: loams and such. The descriptor best used here might be rocks. In between this stone matrix there is some dirt, and with some determination and I hope alittle intelligence, we have been able to grow quite a bit.
When we first arrived here we thought maybe it wasn't the best of choices of land for a farming endeavor, being heavily wooded and even more heavily sloped. Then I read about the indigenous peoples of South America growing potatoes on Andean cliffsides, and I mean cliffs...the kind that in a distracted moment of hoeing you could fall to your violent and unexpected death. So, with some perspective we have pressed on and persevered, and found actually, that it isn't that hard to grow things in an inhospitable place, it just takes patience. The satisfaction of overcoming an obstacle makes pale the rewards of an easy existence.
Thursday, Sep 2, 2021 at 4:00pm Eastern Time
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