The harvest of vegetables for donation to Vermont's food insecure started here yesterday. Volunteers from the VT Youth Conservation Corps and Salvation Farms spent a couple of hours picking 292 pounds of green beans. Those will be distributed to senior citizens and food shelves in northern VT.

Thousands of cabbages, three more plantings of beans, an acre of potatoes and two of winter squash are growing nicely.

We have planted several acres of cover crops in preparation for next year's plantings. The not-for-profit account is dwindling, and any help you could provide toward its replenishment will help our work go forward. Donate if you can at Thanks





We are now in our tenth year of giving away produce to Vermonters and in our first as a not-for-profit corporation. Any and all donations we receive go 100% to the purpose -- no salaries, no benefits.

Jean and I set out 2000 cabbages and 900 pepper plants on Saturday, those all being blessed by gentle rain today. Potatoes have been hilled for the first time and are emerging well. Winter squash rows, over a mile and a half in length, look strong and are showing true leaves. Here's hoping for a clement growing season and bountiful yields.

See the whole story at and help us if you're able. Thanks!


Getting busy!

First of the winter squash has emerged, buckwheat is starting to dot the fields where vegetables will grow next year. The first 4000 cabbages are thriving after two sessions of gentle rain bracketing five sunny days. Green beans -- first of eight plantings -- went in last week. Hoe, hoe hoe!

Spring planting, act of faith

Miracles. Everywhere, miracles and we anticipate thousands more.

A week ago, 1500 pounds of seed potatoes, five bushels of buckwheat, three pounds of winter squash seed and 2000 of cabbage were safe within their paper packaging. All are now entrusted to the earth and the light rain falling, calling them to life.

As a farmer I consider this a high point of the year. 
The crops exist in visions of freshly hilled potatoes in bright green rows; winter squash racing and running to cover all the ground with a full solar collector, inky green; buckwheat sprouts, silvery carpet for hundreds of thousands of square feet, then reaching waist high, clouded with white blooms, alive with bees.

It's all a dream that every year is realized. With so much help.

We have volunteers who plan to harvest all these crops so they might be donated to hungry Vermonters. We have financial supporters who help us buy the seed and fertilizer and fuel for the tractors. We are blessed beyond all reason.

And any help you could lend, in any form, will be appreciated deeply.


A fifth birthday present, a packet of Swiss Giant pansy seeds with growing mix and a clear dome, shaped me.  The sowing and sprouting, the growth and the planting out, the saturated primary colors complemented by black blotches and, oh my Lord, the fragrance, turned out to be intoxicating for a lifetime.

The plot thickened.  My father, fishing for matches to light the barrel full of paper trash, lost a Lincoln from his pocket; that drifted into the nearby vegetables, cash crop for a sharp-eyed kid and my first deposit at the Randolph National Bank.

After tutelage at home, I hired out at 25 cents an hour to weed and edge the neighbors’ beds of vegetables and flowers. The quarters in a Chock Full of Nuts accumulated to the cost of a three speed English bike, mail ordered and delivered on my tenth birthday, early in mud season.

The dream machine was assembled in the garage, waxed, greased, oiled and idle until the dirt road stiffened.  A week could be so long back then.

One aspect of an event decades past-- a fragrance or a snatch of song – can call up its entirety, the whole scene with vivid clarity

This year’s early mud season found me in a shed, again assembling machinery.  Bright paint, precisely fitting parts, lubricants and wrenches, and the anticipation of the day the rig will see first service.  Spring sun, the strongest in six months, raises smells of thawing earth where the new vegetable transplanting machine will be employed.

It’s good to be ten again, however briefly. 

For the vegetable starts this unit will install, I’m sowing seed today, blessed with same anticipation and wonder I had a fat half-century ago, living a dream. 

The need for a transplanting machine arises from another dream, reducing childhood hunger in Vermont.  We’ll be setting out several plantings of cabbage, 2000 at a whack, hundreds of winter squash, peppers and tomatoes.  A separate machine will install hundreds of pounds of potatoes, both early and late varieties.

It is our tenth year of growing food for donation and our first since incorporation as a non-profit, Barber Farm Inc.  We donate the use of our land, machinery and labor in hopes that good hearts will help to purchase seed, fertilizer and fuel.

Read the whole story at, and thanks for your support.



Barber Farm in Jericho has deepened its commitment to grow and donate vegetables to Vermonters who need them. A new transplanting machine will allow significant expansion of cabbage and winter squash plantings. Saving lots of stoop labor was also a significant consideration.

We‘re getting mechanized with a vacuum seeding apparatus that will cut the time sowing greenhouse flats to a fraction.
We have secured commitments for a regular schedule of harvest volunteers who will be picking succession plantings of 2000 cabbage made every other week from mid-May to mid-August. We’ll also be planting green beans with the same frequency, 500 row feet at a sowing.

Last year we planted 1500 pounds of seed potatoes and lost half to rot from May’s incessant rains. We intend to plant a ton this year and have a spot of high, dry ground to work.

The squash plantings will expand to an acre and a half, combined, of Butternut and Buttercup while the number of bell peppers and tomatoes will stay at 1000 and 500 respectively.
Fencing supplies to keep animals out of the field will be ordered this coming week, an electric system with enough zap to make it educational. It is going to be a busy spring! 

We are a non-profit and furnish our machinery, land and labor at no charge. We donate thousands of servings of organically grown vegetables each year to Salvation Farms, the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf and local food pantries as well. Any assistance you can provide for the project will be devoted 100% to crop-related expenses with our sincere gratitude. Thanks!





December 29, 2017

In this season of giving and new beginnings we ask your consideration of a donation to  We are a non-profit dedicated to feeding hungry Vermonters with organic produce from our farm in Jericho.

We provide the land, machinery, property taxes, production labor and all the rest of the overhead.  Every penny of your contribution goes toward seed, fertilizer and crop protection. 2018 we will continue to provide tens of thousands of servings of nutritious vegetables.

Please help if you can, secure in the knowledge that no charitable donation is used more effectively to achieve its goal.

Selecting Our Plants

Selection of varieties is critical to successful vegetable and fruit production. We have found the following to be of merit in our climate. ‘Multikeeper’ cabbage from Stokes Seeds is a reliable performer; heads hold well in the field up to a four pound size without splitting. It is suited for harvest from early August through mid-October and offers good disease resistance. Tastes good too.

Stokes is also the source of the bell pepper ‘Intruder.’ The stout plants tend toward multiple branching, making for an increased opportunity for fruit set – more flowers on more stems. The peppers are thick walled, blocky at three and one-half inches and mostly four lobed. They are excellent stuffed, fresh or from the freezer.

We now grow only one variety of raspberry, ‘Joan J’, sourced from Nourse Farms in Whatley, Mass. Our business association goes back to 1979 when we bought 40,000 strawberries and a transplanting machine from Tim Nourse. He is a man of integrity and a pioneer in the production of virus-free small fruits.

‘Joan J’ is an ever bearer that will give a summer crop on last year’s canes and a fall crop on this summer’s new canes. We grow for the fall crop only, culturing new canes from plants that were mown four inches high last November. They are heavy with promise. The berries are refreshing, lightly tart with complex flavors. They size well, big as the tip of a man’s ring finger, and make superb pies and jam even from frozen. This is our family’s favorite small fruit.

August 2017 Update


We got 400 pounds of cabbage to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf this week, our first donation of any size this summer. We have been furnishing the Richmond Food Shelf with potatoes and cucumbers since early August and dropping those also in the lobby of the Richmond senior housing.

We get into volume soon, with 400 tomatoes and 800 bell peppers poised to pop. Raspberry season is upon us, too, 100 plants set last year thick of cane and flower-laden. The half of the potato patch that survived May’s cold and wet looks good. The Kennebecs are the thriftier variety, Eva being a poor second that is, oddly, comingled with random hills of red potatoes. Of an acre and a half of buttercup squash, a third shows promise of good yields. May weather took the initial plantings of an acre and the late replacements are in need of some August weather.