Fable Farm Hosts Wine Release Open House
Celebrating 10 years in Barnard
photo by Andrew White
This Saturday, May 5th from 2-6 PM, Fable Farm celebrates 10 years with a wine release and open house at the Rumney Barn. The event will feature tours of the facilities and tastings of wines, (including grape wine), and culinary delights, including wood-fired pizzas from the beautiful stone masonry oven. Music by Elemeno-Pea (Justin Park and Chloe Powell).
Tickets will be available at the door, but to ensure your spot, you can get tickets online or email firstname.lastname@example.org with an RSVP. Fable Farm and Fermentory is located at 1525 Royalton Turnpike.
A LITTLE HISTORY
From vegetable farm to a winery and event catering business, the barefoot brothers, Chris and Jon Piana have come a long way. 10 years ago this spring, the two launched Fable Farm, the first CSA vegetable farm in Barnard. At the time I was living in Burlington and I remember excited rumors when I came back to my hometown about young people moving to town to farm. I remember finding their pamphlet at the store with a grainy photo, and knowing that they would be my friends. I had no way to know how much their friendship would mean, and how much their presence in little Barnard would change the fabric of the town and area and the trajectory of my own life.
The first year, their gardens were at Bowman Road Farm, and CSA customers made their way down a bumpy farm road to pick up their vegetables. By year two, Jonny and his partner Jesy Joy had moved into the farmhouse in the village, which became the site for the famous CSA pick-ups. Musicians played for a pass of the hat under a beautiful old apple tree, dubbed “the Mamma Apple.” A cob oven was built, and pizzas were slung and potlucks were had. Temporary dwellings for farm workers popped up in the backyard including teepees, yurts and tents. It was in that backyard that many new friendships were formed and new Barnard residents and people who have lived here for ages got to know each-other.
A GROWING COMMUNITY
Each year, new young people joined the mix on the farm, and many started to stick around through the winter and went on to influence our community in immeasurably valuable ways. It was there that Justin Park, (Fable’s first intern, and now owner of Heartwood Farm) encouraged me to play music and to pick up the violin again. (Justin and I will be providing tunes this Saturday at the open house.) It was in that backyard that I met Jarvis Green, who after coming to Barnard to work with Fable Farm, went on to start BarnArts, and recently launched JAG Productions, an award-winning regional theater company focusing on sharing African-American stories. It was thanks to the presence of a growing community that I began to see myself in Barnard year-round.
Photo by Seth Butler. Square Dancing at Feast and Field to music by Tumbling Bones.
MOVING TO NEW PASTURES:
Fable Farm and their weekly gatherings outgrew the village center, and at that same time an opportunity arose out of tragedy. When a Barnard farmer Dwight Clark died tragically caring for his cattle, the land at the Clark Farm, which was held in trust, was suddenly available. Rather than one farm taking over a 500-acre property, Fable Farm joined with Kiss the Cow (then Hawke’s Hill Farm), Eastman Farm and Heartwood Farm in a shared lease with the Vermont Land Trust on the former Clark Farm. The Thursday gatherings and a pop-up market moved to the Clark Commons on Royalton Turnpike, and in the first year, Fable Farm and Heartwood Farm’s vegetable operations merged briefly before Heartwood took on the vegetables, and Fable moved on to focus on their ferments and their catering business. Each Thursday during the summer and fall at Feast and Field, Fable sells tacos, salads, rice beans and specials along with their ciders, wines and other brews and beers. Farmers' market vendors include the Feast and Field Member farms, Eastman Farm (beef and pork, Heartwood Farm (veggies, CSA and a la carte) and Kiss the Cow Farm (dairy, poultry, and Ice Cream).
When the Thursday Gatherings moved to the Clark Commons and became Feast and Field Market, I volunteered myself to put together a music schedule, work which I was able to make into a part-time job for myself thanks to the presence of this community. Now through BarnArts Center For the Arts, we present a full music series at markets featuring a range of acclaimed local, national and international artists. (Read about this year's calendar here.)