By Vera Moroney
Charlotte is blessed with dreamers and doers on the land. A visit to Stony Loam Farm on a cold dark evening confirms this.
In season, Stony Loam Farm offers a bountiful, community-supported agriculture share of fresh veggies and flowers. The name of the farm comes from stony loam, an agricultural designation for the type of soil on the farm: a mixture of clay, sand and shells.
Dave Quickel, the owner, is firm in his belief that folks should come to the farm to see and feel where the food comes from, so you need to pick up your CSA at the farm.
That said, Stony Loam is also a fixture at the Shelburne Saturday Farmers Market. Dave offers not only the finest veggies and flowers but an outrageously delicious and popular egg sandwich made of a grilled tortilla, scrambled eggs, and cheddar. A happy thought as we are nearing summer.
What is most interesting is how Dave came to do this. Originally from Pennsylvania, he attended UVM and was in the process of applying to law school when he had a summer job at Bingham Brook Farm. He felt a bond with the land and the work and decided to nix the family expectations and focus on the environment.
What he did next was what all young folks should do: become a ski bum in the west, in Montana and other parts unknown, and work the land in Vermont in the summers. He eventually became the production manager for Bingham Brook Farm. As that farm backed out of farming, he saw a need to create a CSA here. Land, a place to live, and CSA subscribers were needed to do this. In stepped a number of like-minded Charlotters who were CSA members in the past and wanted to support the new endeavor. Energized by this support, Dave set out to make it happen.
When asked the best and worst surprises on the farm, he said, “Clay makes for bad mud.” Oh, here in Charlotte we all share that thought.
That brings us to the future. Dave wants to grow (excuse the pun) the farm and make it available to more folks. He is very happy to be in Charlotte and the high retention rate of the CSA, and with the folks who find him at the farmers market.
In season you can find his produce at Shelburne Market, City Market, Archie’s Grill and A Single Pebble. The best way, though, is to sign up for the CSA and pick it up at the farm. A very happy thought.