Cedar Circle Farm & Education Center is a flower and certified organic vegetable and berry farm located off U.S. Route 5, along the Connecticut River, in East Thetford, Vermont, on land conserved by the Vermont Land Trust. In addition to 40 acres of cropland, 6 greenhouses and 5 hoophouses, we also house a farmstand, coffee shop, and a licensed commercial kitchen. We are open from May through October.
Most of our produce and flowers are sold in our farmstand; we also participate regularly in farmers’ markets in Norwich, Vermont, and Lebanon and Hanover, New Hampshire. Vegetables are also sold to several area restaurants, local businesses, and schools. Cedar Circle Farm operates a thriving community supported agriculture (CSA) program.
The on-site commercial kitchen produces a variety of small-batch fruit preserves, pickles, pestos, and traditional cultured krauts as well as prepared foods and baked goods. We use ingredients grown on the farm, high- quality grains, local eggs and dairy, and organic herbs and spices.
Cedar Circle Farm also has an explicit and important non-business mission: education. In the fall of 2000, Will Allen and Kate Duesterberg were hired as managers, responsible for both the conduct of the farm business and the development and provision of high-quality education programs at the farm.
The goal for the farm was to establish an agricultural education center along with a model organic farming operation. During the third year of operation of the farm, we began to institute the educational programs, the goals of which are four-fold:
- to raise public awareness about the importance of locally grown, organic produce;
- to train young and aspiring farmers;
- to increase access of organically grown produce in low-income communities; and
- to create models for farm-appropriate alternative energy strategies.
A Little History
The previous owners, Robert and Marilyn Stone, owned the farm for approximately 22 years. Under their tenure, the farm focused on conventionally grown vegetables, flowers, and strawberries, with both wholesale and retail sales; the Stones opened a farmstand for the latter. They sold the development rights on the farm to the Vermont Land Trust in 1990. Prior to the Stones, Cedar Circle Farm had been a horse farm and a dairy farm.