Farm owners Will and Judy Stevens have been growing organic vegetables commercially since 1981, having started on a small plot of rented land in Monkton, VT. After growing their business and refining their techniques, all the while learning from other pioneers in the Vermont organic farming community, they determined it was time to expand their operation. In 1984 they purchased a former dairy farm with good soils in the agriculturally-rich town of Shoreham, VT, in the southwestern corner of Addison County—home to Golden Russet Farm.
The Stevens have always used exclusively organic production practices on their vegetable and greenhouse operations, and became certified organic by Vermont Organic Farmers in 1987. Among other things, this means they use crop rotation, cover crops, biological and naturally-derived pest controls, compost, animal manure, and naturally-derived fertilizers as standard management practices.
Golden Russet Farm starts off the season with vegetable and flower plant sales in the greenhouses and the Farm-to-Kitchen Connection CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. In addition to raising vegetables for market, they also grow flowers for cutting, which adds color to the fields and creates habitat for beneficial insects.
Since 2003, the farm’s focus has been on “hyper-local,” meaning that approximately 90% of their produce has been consumed within 20 miles of the farm. Their produce is available at the farm stand, their CSA, at food markets in Middlebury and Burlington, and at Addison County restaurants.
In April 2013, the Stevens put up five free-standing solar panels which provides them with all of their farm and personal electrical energy needs.