Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Small Step Team

Small Step Past, Present and Future- our Seasonal Team!

I'm Jillian Abraham, and began the vision of Small Step Farm in the summer of 2009 with landowners Claudia Becker and Eugene Jarecki.  The vision and business plan is creative and sound which equated to a very successful first season.  The second season (last year) was on it's way to even greater success.. until Irene hit....and everyone knows that story!  So, thank you to all the non-profit help and those who donated, volunteered and continue to support.  And thank you to Eugene and Claudia who want to continue the vision even after such an extreme natural disaster to their property.  To 2012!

Amanda delivering in her Prius
The past two seasons have consisted of myself and many helpful and hard-working friends.  Amanda Mormile was the right-hand lady who now knows how all operates on the farm- working three to four days a week she did a bulk of the weeding, greenhouse seeding and the harvesting, washing and delivering!  This season, she will be around helping out in between rest and travel. 

Allyson and Alycia (work-trader)

I would like to welcome Allyson Lavit-  coming aboard as the co-farmer at Small Step!  Allyson will be at the farm full-time once the ground thaws and temperature remains high.  Once July and August arrives she will be replacing my presence and managing all farm duties while I bring a little baby into this world!  The vision is that we will both be running the farm part-time in this season is my time step back (a bit) and her time to learn and experience the farming world!

And helping out both Allyson and I will be my partner-in-crime Asa Twombly.  He will be around part-time to brew up magic potions for our plants, building relationship with the 'ol Oliver tractor, tidying every field and corner, and obtaining many hours with the stirup hoe!  

Once our work-traders are all settled in and on a definite schedule of sorts there will be introductions to them all....for now there is Ariadne Brancato who just arrived to Yestermorrow as this year's kitchen/garden intern.  This will be the third season partnering with Yestermorrow in mentoring their kitchen/garden intern and allowing them greenhouse space in exchange for their help once a week in the field.  So far, Ariadne has been a huge help in closing and opening the greenhouse so that I don't have to drive over the rollercoaster, mud-filled Roxbury Mtn Rd more than once a day!

Work-Trader Schedule Full!
Last year we had four work-traders at the farm who came each week for half a day and fed their families with Small Step veggies in exchange.  This year I decided to expand the program!  Why?  To decrease hourly labor, increase community involvement and to open the doors to feeding our local people and teaching interested folks a thing or two about growing veggies.  After a blog and facebook posting, and word-of-mouth, the schedule is full with 14 people!!  

That means, Small Step is feeding 14 families in addition to our wholesale restaurant and grocery store accounts in Waitsfield/Warren, Waterbury and Montpelier!  The schedule for all 14 work-traders is currently being finalized so that we have help each week with all farming tasks- weeding (please no knotweed), seeding, transplanting, and lots of harvesting and washing.   

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