Introducing new Vermont Fresh Network (VFN) member Fat Sheep Farm and Cabins! Todd Heyman and Suzy Kaplan manage a diversified farm featuring brand new visitor rental cabins in Windsor, Vermont. VFN caught up with them last week for a little Q&A about who they are and what they do.
Tell us a little about your farm...
We grow vegetables and berries; have laying hens, and a small dairy sheep flock (next year, we'll breed them and make cheese). We sell to local restaurants, at the Market on the Green in Woodstock, and occasionally at the Hartland Farmer's Market. We are in Hartland, right next to Woodstock and Quechee, and we also operate 5 rental cabins on the farm for people wanting to stay on a working farm while visiting the area.
How did you get into farming?
After quitting his city job, Todd volunteered at a small organic farm in Austin, Texas while taking culinary classes, and eventually decided to do the University of Vermont Farmer Training program. He then spent a couple years working on farms in Massachusetts while looking for land in Vermont. Suzy manages all the animals. She was an animal science major at UVM, and has worked with big cats in Arkansas and with all kinds of animals at various zoos. She also grew up riding horses and was on the UVM equestrian team. She now makes cheese at Cobb Hill and is looking forward to making our own cheese here next year.
What do you like most about what you do?
We love eating our own food all year and sharing our farm with guests.
What do you like the least?
That our main growing field takes a long time to dry out at the bottom of a hill...
What is one of the most popular products that you grow/raise on your farm?
We grow a lot of shishito peppers and delicata squash that were real popular with restaurants. Our chickens live a spoiled life and their eggs sell out in the first hour of the farmers market every time. And we grow about 20 kinds of tomatoes that are by far our biggest sellers.
What do you wish people were more into?
Greens---we scaled back what we grow this year as we found people are far less interested in our arugula, lettuce mixes and heads, kale, etc.
What's special about your farm?
Definitely our rental cabins. They are on a ridge overlooking our growing area and lots of forested hills. They are in the final month of construction and are beautiful. Our guests can enjoy our produce and eggs as each cabin has its own kitchen. We don't have interior pictures yet but will shortly.