Holidays in the Floating Bridge Food and Farm Cooperative

by Mari Omland

As we prepare for the holidays, we are amazed by abundance and warmed by traditions still within reach in our neck of the woods.  Pulling together this first collection of updates and stories we’ve delighted in the opportunity to chat with peers who are celebrating the best of Vermont.

Across our community we are busy finalizing harvests.  Angela reflected on the satisfaction of Thanksgiving at Brotherly Farm.  We “provided virtually every item on our table from our land.  We will never ever get rich (or make a penny it seems) raising turkeys - but it sure tastes good trying!” Green Mountain Girls Farm agree with her sentiment as did their guests the Kimballs, who took time out for a “farmer’s farmstay” while touring with Kristin’s new book, The Dirty Life, a memoir of a similar farm.

Brad and his family distributed all their turkeys.  What is special about All Together Farm’s processing is that they welcome customers to participate.  Hands-on experiences are central to the Floating Bridge Food and Farms Cooperative.  Media coverage of the Turducken cooking class at Turkey Hill Farm celebrates hands-on participation as well as Margaret and Stuart’s preoccupation with authentic local ingredients and fine finished foods.  See events for details on upcoming classes with Margaret as well as Chef Lee at Ariel’s.  Lee and Richard will be back from their Mexican travels in time to reopen Ariel’s on December 9th for their winter schedule, including Christmas eve and day.  Other learning adventures are being planned at Twin Ponds Retreat.

 “Hunkered down” is the report on the bees from Brookfield Bees co-owner Dan. This time of year he walks, skis or snowshoes out to put his ear on hive and ensure it is still thriving.  Partner Marda, is creating her own steady hum making soap and candles.  Fat Toad Farm has its own holiday buzz.  In the barn, breeding season is wrapping up.  In the office, they are fulfilling online orders and in the cheese room they are creating cheese and caramel, including the new hot-selling Toad-ly Cute Caramel.

Seizing the opportunity of longer nights and holidays to slow down to savor time with friends and family is another shared theme.  Ray answered his phone… Sweet Retreat Guesthouse and Sugarworks and launched into an update culminating in his encouragement to visit the two new calves who have joined his four handsome oxen. As we wrapped up our exchange it came out that he was high up on a mountain – hunting!  After a successful season our B&B friends are gearing up for the holidays and the new year.

Speaking with Leslie in her barn about winter offers at Rough Terrain Farm I committed to follow up with her to schedule a winter sleigh ride.  Then – a moment of discovery!  It dawned on me that I can match great gifts from the Floating Bridge coop for everyone on my holiday shopping list!  Try this at home and qualify for our gift basket.  To be eligible for the drawing you must purchase three or more holiday gifts from Floating Bridge Food and Farms Cooperative Members.  Visit our farmstores, browse this website and attend the December 11th Randolph School Farmers Market to make it easy!  Send an email with your name, telephone number and list of items purchased from the Cooperative to let us know of your success and eligibility!