Gardening

About

Kingsbury Market Garden has been growing high quality produce in the Mad River Valley of Vermont since 2010.  The main farm is comprised of 6 tillable acres of sandy soils of Kingsbury Farm on Route 100 in Warren. This property is owned by the Vermont Food Bank and is leased to us in exchange for produce.  We grow primarily direct seeded crops like greens and carrots at this location.

More About our Farm—the partners,  the produce, the work.

We lease an additional two ;acres from our friends Seth Hanselmann and Serena Fox on the upland plateau along the East Warren Road in Waitsfield. The rich soils and excellent air drainage there are perfect for longer season, heavy feeding crops like onions and winter squash.

Our focus is on leafy greens, storage veggies and hot weather crops like tomatoes and peppers. Our produce is marketed primarily through several group CSA projects, local retailers, local restaurants and through processors at the Mad River Food Hub. A large chunk of our crops make their way to food shelves and meal sites via the Vermont Food Bank. Most of these businesses are owned by friends. It’s not uncommon to see chefs and business owners pitching in for a day of planting onions or harvesting carrots with us.

We strive for both simplicity and efficiency; Each season we try to figure out what the weakest links are in the chain we have designed and make them stronger. We love the sight of a clean field or a stack of bins filled with crops but what really makes us grin is knowing that meeting that end took a little less time than the last time we did it or that the crop was of higher quality or better yielding.

Gardening

The Farm

 The 22 acre Kingsbury Farm was bought and conserved by the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) in November of 2007. The property was subsequently sold to the Vermont Foodbank (VFB) during the following year. The conditions of the sale were the following: the owners would grant public access along the property to the Mad River Path, they would protect permanent riparian buffers through no-till practice, and the remaining acreage would be used to produce food in an ecologically responsible manner. In the fall of 2009, the VFB put out a call to farmers to submit proposals for the use of the farm. In late December, our proposal was accepted.

Under its current structure, Kingsbury Farm offers approximately 7 tillable acres upon which to grow food. Each year, we will commit a portion of this acreage to growing storage crops for the VFB. We will also be working directly with ten regional food shelves to meet their ongoing needs for fresh produce throughout the growing season. Our lease requires us to provide the VFB with 35,000 pounds of produce annually in exchange for the use of the farm land and the infrastructure. Once these terms have been met, we can use the remaining acreage to grow food to be sold “for profit”.

The Kingsbury Market Garden is managed naturally; that is without the use of synthetic inputs. We employ crop rotation, green manures, compost application, beneficial insect attraction and close observation to keep the land healthy and productive. We have constructed four movable unheated hoop houses which will enable us to significantly extend the Northern Vermont growing season.  We offer early spring strawberries, early tomatoes & late autumn raspberries.

We will be harvesting cold hardy salad greens throughout most of the year.

Gardening

The Basics of Gardening

a woman gardening in her garden
Gardens can bring us a refreshing feeling and inner joy. Try looking at the Kingsbury Market Garden in Warren, Vermont. The greens and produce would make you want to have your own farm and garden.

Gardening is one of the wonderful hobbies anyone can have. Young and old can benefit from the gentle physical activity especially those with degenerative conditions as it can make them healthy. Even busy and already active people will be de-stressed when they take some time to be in touch with nature. As a family activity, gardening is a great way to bond while teaching the kids about the wonders of nature.

Natural miracles happen in the garden. Things grow, prosper and become part of the biosphere. Who do not want to watch flowers bloom and plants grow then bear fruit which we can use or even eat?

We can learn valuable skills from gardening, such as patience and making decisions. If you never have gardened before, gardening can be challenging and overwhelming. However, once you get the hang of it, you will realize that it is really not that difficult. Besides, there is a lot of information you can learn from the many available basics of gardening in the internet. Also, it is fine to make mistakes since there is no exact science involved.

Planning Process in Gardening

Just like any endeavor, planning your garden is essential for success. In fact, planning is already half the fun. Many avid gardeners have an entire year planning for their next year’s garden. Imagine a big picture of your garden before even digging. You do not need to dream of a Kingsbury Market Garden, but a realistic and doable one. Arrange and re-arrange plants until you are happy with their placement.

Planning includes choosing the right plants for your soil since plants grow better in one type of soil than the other. Is your soil clay, heavy, light or sandy? To be sure, check out the plants that grow well in your neighbor’s garden.

Setting Up Your Garden Plants

After setting up the soil, buy enough plants. Then thoroughly soak the roots of the new plants before putting them in the soil. In planting, make sure to have a hole that is bigger than the root ball since the roots need to spread to absorb the nutrients of the soil. Give the plants enough space instead of being too close to each other or just a few of them will survive. Crowded plants tend to need more fertilizer and watering. They are likewise vulnerable to disease.

Since gardeners can easily forget what they have planted, it is suggested you write plant labels next to your bulbs and seeds.

Handling Plants with Care

Be gentle especially with new plants. If you want to separate a plant from a pot, squeeze the sides of the pot then turn it upside down. Catch the plant with your hand when it slides out. Do this instead of pulling the stems as you may break the plant.

Be also mindful when watering. Check out the soil around the plant, poking your fingers about two inches into it. Add water if it is very dry. Plants are created to live outside and get natural moisture from the soil. Unless there is a drought or there are a lot of them in a container, plants do not need constant watering.