Farming for more than just a Profit – Harvest Hill Farm

By Green Mountain Farm-to-School on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 in Uncategorized. No Comments


Press contact:
Shane Rogers
Communications, Outreach, and Development Associate
Green Mountain Farm-to-School
srogers@gmfts.org | 802-334-2044

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Farming for more than just a Profit – Harvest Hill Farm

“The mission of the farm is to grow high quality, organic vegetables at an affordable price,” says Bill Half, owner of Harvest Hill Farm in Walden, “We hope to increase awareness and accessibility of the vegetables by providing to schools, workplaces, and individuals who do not have easy access to fresh, organic vegetables.”

Half and his wife and co-owner, Ellen Gershun, purchased Harvest Hill Farm in 2002. Previously, Harvest Hill Farm was the home of a 256 acre dairy farm operation. Today, Half and Gershun grow 40 varieties of vegetables and small fruit, organically, on six acres of the land. Their produce includes berries, beans, leafy greens, root vegetables, and many more. The property also has three greenhouses to grow tomatoes, one greenhouse for seedlings and to cure onions and winter squash, and the hay fields are mowed by their neighbors and previous owners.

“Farming is an important part of a circle,” says Half, “I enjoy growing food for myself but I also enjoy getting food to other folks at an affordable cost.”

For Half and Gershun, Harvest Hill Farm isn’t just about the food. They both believe that education plays a key role in the world they have created for themselves. This includes educating school children, who he frequently has to his farm to plant crops and learn about farming, and the community as a whole.

“Eating organic, local food has a big educational component,” says Half, “It’s really important that Vermonters support local people and places instead of supporting industrial, commercial agriculture for example. We have to learn to start supporting each other in whatever we do.”

Half and Gershun have been farming since the 1990’s when they lived in New Hampshire. In order to stay viable for so long they have worked to foster many community partnerships. Harvest Hill Farm works with the Northeast Vermont Regional Hospital, numerous elementary schools, and relies heavily on Community Supported Agriculture shares. Harvest Hill is also a part of Farm Direct, a regional food hub ran by Green Mountain Farm-to-School, that works to strengthen the Northeast Kingdom economy while providing Vermonters with healthy, fresh, and local food.

“This is the third year I’ve been involved with Farm Direct. I really like their principle and value behind what they’re trying to do and I really support that mission,” says Half, “It’s obviously helpful to have another outlet for my produce, but it feels good to work with them because I like their philosophy.”

For more information about Bill Half, Ellen Gershun, and Harvest Hill Farm in Walden, Vt. visitwww.harvesthillfarmvt.com. Individuals who wish to purchase Harvest Hill Farm produce can do so through the website or visit them at the Hardwick Farmers’ Market between May and September.

Businesses, schools, hospitals, or other institutions who want to learn more about sourcing local food, including Harvest Hill Farm produce, for their place-of-work’s cafeterias and eateries, contact Farm Direct at orders@gmfts.org or 802-334-2044.


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