In an effort to increase awareness about the variety of farms located in town, the Goshen Agriculture Council sponsored the second annual Goshen Open Farm Tour on Saturday and Sunday.
Nine different farms were featured on the tour and showcased a variety of organic vegetables, bison meat, goat's milk, specialty artisanal chocolates from dairy cows, grass-fed beef, blueberries, and chickens and eggs. Miranda Vineyard and Sunset Meadow Vineyards offer unique wines at their farms.
According to its mission statement, “The Goshen Agriculture Council was created in 2011 to preserve, protect and promote the abundant agriculture which is woven throughout the fields and pastures of this beautiful and historic town.”
The farms on the tour included West Street Farm, which is owned by Laurie Szpak and her husband Dexter Kinsella. A wide variety of vegetables are grown and over 80 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members support the operation.
West Street Farm
Thorncrest Farm is a dairy operation that has expanded into artisanal chocolates using an old European style process to create very special and unique items. Milk is also exported to Cabot in Vermont for specialty cheeses. A sawmill and a furniture-making operation also take place at the farm.
Clint Thorn - Thorncrest Farm
Miranda Vineyard began as a hobby for Maria and Manny Miranda after Maria retired as a school principal and Manny retired from his construction business. Their Portuguese backgrounds inspire a European old-world flavor to their wines. They first began making wine in 2007 after 5 years of growing and developing a variety of grapes on their 30-acre farm. They now produce up to nine different wines using a variety of hybrid grapes.
Maria and Manny Miranda
Old Barn Farm is all about blueberries. Owner Carl Contadini planted a variety of blueberry bushes in 2005. They first were made available to the public in 2008 on eight acres of Contadini's 110-acre property. A farm store is open from mid-July until mid-August. Signs in the store describe the qualities of the different types of blueberries available for picking.
Old Barn Farm
Ivy Mountain Farm is all about goats. Owner Mary Tracy specializes in raising goats for purchase by individual families. Goat's milk can be used for ice cream, cheese, soap, and of course milk.
Ivy Mountain Farm
Break Hill Farm features grass-fed naturally lean Piedmontese beef cattle. They also have free range chickens and sheep.
Break Hill Farm
Mohawk Bison offers bison meat at their newly opened farm store.
Sunset Meadow Vineyards opened in 2008 after 13 years of growing and cultivating a wide variety of grapes.