FOOD COMMUNITY HEALTH
Our Farm Philosophy
FOOD COMMUNITY HEALTH
Strafford Village Farm is a small, diversified family farm tucked along the winding West Branch of the Ompomponussac River in Strafford, Vermont. We raise vegetables, flowers, and herbs as well as beef, lamb, and pork on 178 acres of pristine Vermont countryside. Using a management-intensive, grass-based system, we raise and sell heritage breed pork, grassfed beef, pastured broilers (seasonally), and grassfed lamb. We also raise beautiful, homegrown heirloom and hybrid vegetables, flowers, and herbs that have been naturally grown (without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers) and we market these through our small CSA (community supported agriculture) group and eventually, at our on-farm market. The farm is currently awaiting a conservation easement on one hundred acres through the Vermont Land Trust.
We are committed to the practice of growing great, tasty food for the local community, nourishing and building healthy soil with responsible, sustainable farm practices, and creating a space that we live and work in that contributes to the overall well-being of our community.
The place in life you are called to "is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet..." ~ Frederick Buechner
The farm always been about tying our love of great food, people, work, and land together in a one big bundle. We've been in this for over 13 years and we can't think of a more perfect living and working platform to meet the community, social, environmental, and personal needs that we find most important -- the only path that has allowed us to eat well, take care of the people around us, treasure the land, protect water, love animals, and build the soil is to grow food. Growing food lets us wrap our arms around really big, important issues in the most tangible and basic way. It forces us to start right at the bottom, literally and figuratively - in the soil, with each other, one-on-one, within a community, and as the tiniest part of the much larger world.
We have spent many years working non-farm jobs to move us closer to farm and land ownership with a lot of start and stops in Maryland and Vermont. In December of 2014, after landing on what we considered to be the last stop on our farm ownership journey in Knoxville, Maryland, we lost our home to a fire. This event set the course for our departure from Maryland and a community we loved and cherished, to our return to Strafford, VT, a community and landscape that we love and cherish, and the acquisition of the beautiful farm we now own.
Thank you for being a part of this with us.
And thank you to all of you that have supported us along the way.
If you would like to read more about us and our story, please visit:
BJ Miller & Shannon Varley most recently operated Bella Terra Family Farm, their family farm in Maryland, where they ran a vegetable, flower, and herb CSA and vended their pastured meats at DC farmers markets. During their transition to the new farm, they have continued to sell pork, beef, and lamb wholesale directly to a handful of loyal customers.
BJ, jack of all trades, heavy-lifter, farm powerhouse extraordinaire is an experienced builder, timber framer, and former U.S. Marine. In addition to the farm, he enjoys high-fives with the teachers and kids at The Newton School as facilities manager.
Shannon has worked for Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA), the Rodale Institute, Malabar Farm State Park (home of author and farmer, Louis Bromfield), Red Wiggler Community Farm, and previously owned and operated Silver Tale Farm and Bella Terra Family Farm. Shannon holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Denison University and a Masters in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School.