Around Town with Edd Merritt

A Mt. Philo Road sunrise over Camel’s Hump. “A chilly Monday morning from my backyard. It reminds me of why I live in Vermont and especially Charlotte.” Photo Mark Cole.

What is in Nordic Farms’ Future?
As most of you know, the iconic landmark Nordic Farm on Route 7 in Charlotte lost its dairy owner through bankruptcy recently. Mike LeClair, who since 2014 when he bought and ran what was the state’s first robotic milking parlor, discovered that the price for his product had not produced the income over those years that he needed to pay his creditors, and he could no longer stay as the owner.

While LeClair owned the herd and the dairy machinery, the property, main barn and subsidiary structures are still owned by Clark Hinsdale III. Speaking with him the other day, he said that because the majority of the property was conserved and, thus, available only for agricultural uses, he hopes to make it available to local businesses that deal in agricultural products. He is talking with individuals and the director of the Vermont Mediation Program to determine how Nordic will move into the future. Hinsdale said that he has a special interest in maintaining a strong agricultural presence in Charlotte and that Nordic Farm would remain a visible element of that focus. The property is available for crops as well as cattle. Depending on the ability to find an interested buyer, it may or may not revert to robotic milking, however. Clark feels the low price of milk over an extended period of time makes dairy farming a difficult, if not impossible, business to maintain, even with advanced technology.

By the way, according to an article in the last Seven Days, hemp may be the crop of the future – that is if you’re feeling groovy. Ever Green Capital Management partner Dan Chang and Gardner Supplies’ founder from Charlotte, Will Raap, have planted many acres of hemp in town for research purposes. And if growing hemp isn’t controversial enough, there are always hops.

Congratulations to Andrew and Briana Volk of Portland, Maine on the birth of their son Rockwell (Rocky) Volk who was born April 26. To compliment their new family arrival, the Volks also opened a new restaurant, Little Giant, in Portland. Andrew is the son of Tim and Mary Volk of Charlotte.

Congratulations to Charlotte Central School, its students, parents and Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) who sponsored an Open House for the new school year on September 14. This annual event allows the students to show off their work, which they regularly do with enthusiasm.