Growing Food for Vermont's Hungry
Please help us grow even more food for the VT Foodbank and Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf!
Since 2009, we have grown and given away a diverse and ample array of produce - such as strawberries, raspberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, winter squash and potatoes - to help feed hungry Vermonters.
We want to grow even more in 2017 and we need your help!
Video from our first food bank harvest
"While the Siegchrists have been donating to us for years, with this campaign Barber Farm has rededicated itself to the mission that no one in Vermont goes hungry. We are grateful to Barber Farm for this new level of partnership and support."
- John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO
Who We Are:
We are Jean and Charlie Siegchrist, owners of the Barber Farm. We ran a fruit and vegetable business from 1979 - 1989. Now we're using the farm to grow food for people who need it the most.
Public radio story about growing for the food bank
What We Are Asking For:
We are asking for contributions to help purchase seed and fertilizer to grow potatoes, winter squash and cabbage.
We also need seed and fertilizer for soil improvement of acreage for use in future years.
We are donating the use of our land, machinery and time toward the project.
How We Grow:
The crop will be organically grown, with no synthetic fertilizer, weed or pest control. Healthy crops come from healthy soil, which gives sustainability to the farm. We are committed to long-term farm improvements and a long-term plan of growing for the hungry.
We prepare ground for ensuing years by sowing and incorporating successive plantings of buckwheat. This crop smothers weeds, adds tons of organic matter and has the capability of unlocking nutrients in the soil for use by food crops next year. As a side benefit, buckwheat is a favored crop for honeybees.
We will work with Salvation Farms to help harvest and distribute the food. "It inspires us at Salvation Farms to see Charlie maintaining a century old legacy of producing food at Barber Farm to feed those in its extended community. It is an honor for us to be associated with this historic farm and to be a part of the writing of its newest history,” said Salvaltion Farms director Theresa Snow.
In 2016 we donated 13,000 pounds of food; this coming summer we expect to surpass that with increased acreage and, hopefully, more normal rainfall.
Your contribution will go directly toward helping feed some of the 24,000 Vermont children classed as food insecure.
What You'll Get:
The joy of supporting a project that feeds community members in need.
Follow us on Facebook to see our progress through the seasons.
Thank you so much.
Charlie & Jean Siegchrist
The Barber Farm grew and donated 48,000 vegetable servings in 2016. That’s a large number but sadly only two portions for each food-insecure child in Vermont. Planting an additional 500 pounds of potatoes and a small increase in the cabbage, winter squash and bell peppers will help provide a few more servings in 2017.
A well-nourished body grows better and stronger, it houses a brain that expands during the critical years. The teacher’s voice is weak competition to a growling stomach.
Please consider donating to help us grow more food .
Thank you for helping.
On PBS 33-1 Jan. 16 @ 8:30 pm
33-2, Jan 21 @ 2:30 pm
33-2, Jan. 26 @ 9:00 pm
Hope you can find time to view the film.
Our daughter, Gretchen Siegchrist, has finished a new film called the Barber Farm Project, detailing our efforts to save the farm from development and dedicate it to feeding Vermonters in need. The film wil be broadcast on Vermont PBS at 7 pm Tues. January 10. See a preview of the film at www.facebook.com/BarberFarmProject
Nephew Jamie Hill and bride, Shannon Curtis, of their own volition, raised more than $700 to fund crops this coming summer. That will provide more than half a ton of seed potatoes to be cultivated for the benefit of hungry kids in Vermont on 2017.
Happy New Year to all, in hopes it will be a time of peace and compassion.
Of the $9275 raised all but $1000 (for organic fertilizer) went toward the purchase of equipment to plant, care for and harvest crops. These implements will be of service for years to come and are capable of enabling even greater production.
And that’s what we’d like to do.
In preparation for 2017 we plowed six additional acres and seeded it twice to green manure crops of buckwheat and a cover crop to hold the soil through the winter and add even more organic matter. That ground is now mellow and set for excellent production in 2017.
To harvest this year’s approximately six tons of produce we had significant help from friends, family and the organization Salvation Farms, which also provided the services of packaging and distributing the vegetables.
Between the soil improvement crops, fertilizer, fuel, beetle controls and the tractor hours spent in production, our contribution equals a large fraction of the Gofundme campaign.
Going forward, we have the six acres all prepared for next year and in 2018 a much larger tract will be available.
The 40,000 servings mentioned above are but a small comfort to the 24,000 Vermont children classed as food insecure.
Thank you so much for all your help to make this possible. Check our facebook page as we approach spring to see what is planned for another season.