The FarmPlate Young Farmers Series: Jonny and Christopher Piana From Fable Farm
Jeff Gangemi Jun 05, 2012 Young Farmers 0 comments
NAMES: Jonny & Christopher Piana
FARM: Fable Farm
AGEs: 28 & 34
Can you provide some brief background information about your farm? In your opinion, what makes it special or unique?
Fable Farm is a 100-member CSA vegetable and herb farm in Barnard, Vermont. In addition to our regular season CSA, we offer winter shares of root cellar crops. We borrow and lease land peppered throughout our hillsides, and hold CSA pick-up gatherings at a village-center farmhouse that we rent. Soon we will begin growing more tree crops and perennials and work towards establishing processing facilities for value-added products. In collaboration with other local farmers, we are working towards developing a year round, full-diet CSA program.
We are among the new generation of farmers who are using the farm as a means to grow healthy soils and thriving communities. Our CSA pick-up is not just an exchange of vegetables, but a venue for the flowering of rural creativity and community connectedness. It’s a space for children to run free through the nooks and crannies of the U-pick garden, out from under the eye of their parents. It’s a place where people can relax with neighbors over a flatbread from our earth oven. It’s a place to gather and celebrate the harvest, one another, and the changing of the seasons to the sweet sound of music pouring out from under a far-branching apple tree beside the clay hearth. We host live music or other performance arts at every pick-up, providing a venue for local musicians and artists. During our weekly pick-ups, our backyard becomes a free market place where local people sell other agricultural goods such as butter, fresh pasta, fermented foods, bread and meats. During the pick-up days that we don’t bake flatbreads, we host community-wide potlucks, which go into the night and end around fire.
Why do you believe farming is important, particularly for the younger generation, and why did you decide to become a farmer?
We are among a fleet of youth returning to our nation’s small towns to build life-sustaining businesses and livelihoods. We started farming not only to feed ourselves and to live within our means, but also because we saw it as a grounded means of community service. Growing healthy food and building soil is just as important to us as building a creative venue for our community to celebrate and deepen relationships with one another. We strive to make farming fun.
This post is part of FarmPlate's new series about young farmers. If you want to be included, know someone we should profile or have comments/questions about our series, please contact Jeff Gangemi at firstname.lastname@example.org.