THE FARM STAND AT VYCC
Written in part by Hanna Holcomb, 2016 & 2017 VYCC alumna
In 2020, alumna Hanna Holcomb spoke with fellow alumni to find out how young adults were impacted by, and coping with, the pandemic.
In her first summer as an Assistant Crew Leader at VYCC, Ariana Matthews-Salzman was tasked with managing the farm stand. “There wasn’t much of a farm stand, it was small and inside the farmhouse, so I kind of created it from scratch,” she said.
Ariana and Crew Members created the self-serve stand by cleaning up and utilizing items found in the farm barn. “It was really fun to work with what I had and make the best of it and slowly see it grow in infrastructure,” she said.
Ariana returned the following summer, eager to lead further development of the farm stand. She and fellow members painted signs and murals (spearheaded by Maggie Lynas) and added cut flower bouquets to the offerings. Ariana enjoyed getting to know other members working on the farm. “I grew up in Richmond and had not experienced a very diverse community,” she said. “There were students of many backgrounds participating from Burlington and Winooski, and this enhanced my learning. I loved making connections with crew members and building relationships.”
At the University of Vermont, Ariana majored in environmental studies and minored in ecological agriculture. Working on the farm helped to solidify her passion for food, farming, education, and the connection between the three.
“I love to teach about food and farming and agriculture – VYCC was a really great outlet to exercise that passion,” she said. After two seasons at VYCC, Ariana continued working in farming. She spent the winter after her time at VYCC traveling in Europe working on farms and in gardens, the following summer and winter working for The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT).
Meanwhile, in 2020, the farm stand moved out of the Farm Barn to a more convenient (and sunnier!) location right along Route 2 thanks to the efforts of Ariana’s successors.
Hannah Franchimont is one of four VYCC Corps Members who built VYCC’s charming roadside farm stand, right before the pandemic hit. “I remember seeing the trailer platform and asking, ‘how is this going to end up being a farmstand?’ I had no idea how we were going to make this happen,” Hannah recalls. Jacob Mushlin, Yestermorrow Instructor, guided the crew through the project. Hannah loved the experience. “Every day we got a lot done and learned a lot from Jacob at the same time. We built a pretty cool looking structure in a week.”
Now, under the red roof Hannah picked out, the farm stand is filled with cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchinis, eggplants, fresh herbs, and flowers. In the cooler and freezer attached to the outside, customers can find lettuce, green beans, eggs, whole chickens, and soups. The farm stand, open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., accepts cash, check, credit/debit.
Get the latest news on what is available at the farm stand on Instagram @thefarmatvycc.
Purchases at the VYCC farm stand directly support youth and young adults’ effort to increase food security for Vermont families through the Health Care Share project and to educate and empower local youth through farming.