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Farm Fresh

Side Dishes: Localvore In The Barnyard


Published July 11, 2007 at 8:54 p.m.

Wanna dine at Shelburne Farms but can't get a reservation at the Inn's restaurant? Now you can find exciting edibles at a new food stand called The Farm Cart, located in the courtyard of the majestic farm barn.

At the cart, sandwiches and salads are as local as it gets. In the best-selling turkey, bacon and cheddar panini with herbed aioli, the fresh-baked bread comes from O'Bread Bakery, just a few steps away. The cheese is award-winning Shelburne Farms cheddar, made in another part of the same building. Veggies and herbs are plucked from the farm's "market garden." Other popular items are the greens and roasted beet salad with Vermont Butter and Cheese goat cheese and local berry smoothies made with Butterworks Farm yogurt. Phoebe Garfinkel, the nonprofit's food systems coordinator, explains that the idea is to allow visitors to "taste the edible landscape."

Garfinkel, 24, says the menu will continue to expand as the season wends on. Gazpacho and chilled cucumber soup are on the horizon, as is a chopped veggie plate with pita chips and fresh hummus.

The stand offers welcome amenities, like places to sit after a hike on the grounds. Even the furniture fits the foundation's mission of "cultivating a conservation ethic." Benches and tables were made on site by Beeken Parsons from wood harvested on the farm. Garfinkel's father retrofitted an old washing machine to create a combo water fountain and hand-washing station - a must for patrons who've been petting the baby goats in the children's farmyard.

Is the concept a hit with visitors? So far, the stand is "totally busy," exclaims Garfinkel, "The demand has far surpassed what I originally imagined it would be."