FEAST Farm is a collaborative program of the City of Montpelier’s Community Services divisions: Parks, Recreation, and the Montpelier Senior Activity Center (MSAC). FEAST Farm was launched early in 2020 and provides nutritious, local food to our aging population through the FEAST Senior meals program. Additionally, we endeavor to bring people of all ages to the farm in order to provide them with meaningful work and volunteer experiences and to educate them about sustainable agriculture.
In its first year, FEAST Farm grew over 1,000 pounds of fresh produce specifically to provide the FEAST Senior Meals kitchen with organic, local ingredients.
FEAST Farm captured by Times Argus Photographer Jeb Wallace Brodeur. Used with permission.
FEAST Farm Journal
Submitted by Jacqueline Huettenmoser, Parks Supervisor and FEAST Farm Manager: Montpelier's Community Services staff gathered early on Monday morning at the FEAST Farm to prepare for the farm tour. We spent the morning tidying up the space, even though we were expecting fewer than ten participants. The busy season has come and gone, and in its wake were scattered tools, tarps lain out and forgotten, and materials cluttered beneath the shed roof for protection from the recent rain. It wasn't long before the farm looked tidier than it had in months. While staff put things in order, our high school crew, the Montpelier Youth Conservation Corps, was busy planting garlic. Mid-October is the perfect time to tuck cloves of garlic into the soil. These won't be harvested until mid-summer next year, exemplifying our dedication to the farm for another growing season. By 10 am all the garlic was in the ground and people began to arrive for the farm tour... and more and more kept arriving! We were elated to greet a total of thirty people who were interested in learning more about what we were up to at FEAST Farm. It was such a joy to share the season's journey with these folks, and I look forward to hosting more community events there.
by Leila Faulstich, Farm Staff: The light has changed at the farm. When previously it was sticky, thick with heat, it’s now that clear and wondrous fall slant that lays shadows across the land. We wear our masks, trudge around in sweaters and boots, and hold mugs of tea as we work. But there’s not too much work. As Vermont goes, it’s the time of dying and drying for winter. The tomatoes are off their vines, the pumpkin patch leaves have shriveled. It’s always a little strange to see things settle down for their seasons. Another season is also ending - the NCCC Americorps crew has their last day tomorrow. We will bid them farewell with cookies and gratitudes and lots of pictures. Still, a lot remains. We’ll harvest kale’s leathery and fearless leaves into the winter. A big garlic planting day is scheduled for Monday. And right next to all the garden plots, the new hoop-house structure is coming into form. It is a ribcage in the sky. Clouds pass between its bones. What a sight.
by Leila Faulstich, Farm Staff: Looking at the fresh blanket of snow at Feast Farm, you might not know it’s a farm at all. You can no longer see the be-headed cabbage stalks, the frost-bitten kale, or the mulched garlic beds, tucked in for the long winter. You might not be able to tell how much of an impact that small plot of land had on our community this summer. It was about a year ago that Montpelier’s Community Services Department started scheming and dreaming about starting a farm that would feed the FEAST Meals Program. We envisioned the farm as an outdoor hub for community, powered by sunlight and volunteers. The food would be grown by community volunteers of all ages and abilities, and then delivered to MSAC’s kitchen (less than two miles away!) to be incorporated into nourishing meals for seniors. When the pandemic hit, it felt all the more important to grow nutritious food for our neighbors. We had a strong group of volunteers of all ages from the community who came week after week to water, weed, and harvest. We want to thank everyone who had a hand in starting and supporting Feast Farm this season. We are so grateful for the community support! Seniors, we want to hear your thoughts about the project and your ideas for how it can better serve our senior community