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SLT Hosts Panel of Stowe Farmers

Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2022
— News

From top: Audrey & Lew Coty, Andrew & Annie Paradee, Ryan & Paul Percy, Molly Pindell

You love the beauty of Stowe’s open farmland; being able to find local produce, maple syrup, cheeses and meats at the Stowe Farmer’s Market; and the sight of cows out on pasture around town. But do you know what it takes to run a farm? Have you met the people and families who make all this possible? Stowe’s farmers and farm workers are the folks who do the hard work, day in and day out, of planting, tending, harvesting, processing, and distributing food for our community. At Stowe Land Trust’s 35th Annual Meeting & Celebration, you’ll have the chance to hear from a few of Stowe’s farmers about the history and day-to-day operations of their farms, as well as what challenges and opportunities they see for the future of farming in our community. Register for the event here.

Lew & Audrey Coty, Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm

Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm is owned and operated by Lew and Audrey Coty who have sugared in Stowe’s Nebraska Valley since 1980. Learn more on their website.  

Annie & Andrew Paradee, Long Winter Farm

Long Winter Farm is a small-scale diversified vegetable and livestock operation located on 49 acres of conserved farmland in Stowe’s Nebraska Valley. Long Winter Farm began in 2016 when a partnership between retiring farmer Christine Kaiser, aspiring farmers Andrew and Annie Paradee, the Stowe Land Trust and the Vermont Land Trust resulted in the permanent conservation of the Kaiser farmland. Andrew and Annie then purchased the conserved farm to begin their family business. They are driven by the principles of sound land stewardship, environmentally sustainable farming practices, and supporting our community by growing nourishing food. Sons, Oliver and Elliot, joined the family in 2019 and 2022, adding to the diversity of the Annie & Andrew’s work on the farm. They run a seasonal CSA and their certified organic produce is for sale at an on-site self-service farm stand. More information can be found on their website. 

Paul Percy, Percy Dairy Farm

Paul Percy was born in Stowe in 19040 where he grew up on and eventually took over his family’s mid-sized dairy farm located at the corner of Weeks and Percy Hill Roads.  Today, Paul’s son, Ryan, manages much of the operations for the dairy farm and currently lives with his wife, Courtney and two daughters, Lydia and Louisa, on the farm. Paul and his wife, Lee, still live in the old farmhouse on the farm and now focus their efforts on the Percy Farm Corn Maze in the summer and fall located on the Bouchard Farm next to the Stowe Rec Path, and on maple sugaring operations in the spring.  The Percy Farm is part of the Agrimark/Cabot Co-operative, and Paul served on the Agri-Mark’s Board of Directors for 37 years until last December. Earlier this year, Paul received a national honor from the National Council on Farmers Cooperatives with the Farmer Cooperative Director of the Year Award. Most of the Percy Farm’s milk goes into cultured products such a cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese made in the Cabot plant in Cabot, VT. Learn more at their website.

Molly Pindell, Sage Farm Goat Dairy

Sage Farm Goat Dairy has been a small, family-run farm located on West Hill in Stowe since 2007. Molly and her sister, Katie, manage the farm with their partners, Dave Wilkens, and Bob Sabolefski. They milk a herd of registered Alpine goats and produce small-batch artisanal cheeses. Katie runs the milking operation and has developed a highly productive herd with genetics selected from farms across the country. Molly is the head cheesemaker, crafting their milk into a variety of award-winning cheeses. Bob has added a small maple production to the property and Dave manages the farm's finances. The Pindells are first generation farmers and cheesemakers who intend their operation to stay small — choosing thoughtful intention and quality over scale. And they hope that small-scale cheese operations like theirs will continue to pop up across the country as part of a return to a more localized food system. Their products can be found at local stores and restaurants, as well as at three local farmer’s markets. Learn more at their website.