Swaying Daisies Farmstand Market & Café Buzzes With Sweet Treats in Ferrisburgh | Food + Drink Features | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Food + Drink » Food + Drink Features

Swaying Daisies Farmstand Market & Café Buzzes With Sweet Treats in Ferrisburgh

By

Published August 16, 2022 at 2:32 p.m.
Updated August 17, 2022 at 10:04 a.m.


Swaying Daisies Farmstand Market & Café - DARIA BISHOP
  • Daria Bishop
  • Swaying Daisies Farmstand Market & Café

The four-mile stretch of Route 7 between Charlotte and Ferrisburgh is quickly becoming a farmstand hot spot. In 2021, both Sweet Roots Farm & Market and Head Over Fields set up shop, offering farm-grown specialties and a pantry's worth of local grocery staples.

This summer, Swaying Daisies Farmstand Market & Café joined the fun a bit farther south, at 5075 Ethan Allen Highway in Ferrisburgh. There, it's all about the honey.

The brown roadside stand with yellow trim is a market outpost for Karen and Gerald Posner's Swaying Daisies Honeybee Farm. Cheerful hand-painted signs along the road promise Vermont honey, pollinator plants, pies, baked goods and coffee, giving drivers enough warning to slow down and swing in for a sweet treat.

Karen and Gerald Posner - DARIA BISHOP
  • Daria Bishop
  • Karen and Gerald Posner

The Posners came to Vermont from Connecticut in 2020. Having often visited while their son was at the University of Vermont, they thought they'd get away from the surging pandemic for a few weeks.

"We came and never left," Karen said. Keeping bees had been the couple's hobby, but once settled in Vermont, they decided to go all in on their hives as a source of income.

Karen sold honey and honey-soaked treats at the Shelburne and Old North End farmers markets last summer. Her homemade honey lemonade was a big seller, as were the little honey pies and honey-cinnamon popcorn. This year, she was planning to repeat the market circuit when friends told the couple that the former Lamoille Woodcraft stand was available.

Honey lemonade - DARIA BISHOP
  • Daria Bishop
  • Honey lemonade

Now, herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, berries and flowers encircle the Posners' farmstand — all in biodegradable bags, growing in vermicompost. Some of the harvest ends up on the store's shelves, along with produce from other local farms.

When he's not off tending the apiary's 53 hives in Hinesburg and Morrisville, Gerald is usually puttering among the plants. When I stopped in last week, that's where I found him, eager to share his lifelong horticultural knowledge — developed at Cornell and Columbia universities — and to taste what's growing.

"There's a relationship between biodiversity and bees, right?" Gerald said in a thick New York accent, offering me a leaf of lemon verbena to smell. Walking among bags of peppers, he handed me a shishito and explained the symbiotic relationship between the bees and the plants. If customers want to buy the starts, he'll sell them. Otherwise, much of the harvest is destined for pickling — and the pollinators.

"Mostly," Gerald added with a laugh, pointing to a strawberry for me to try. "Some I just have because they're frickin' nice plants."

Honey and doughnut peaches - DARIA BISHOP
  • Daria Bishop
  • Honey and doughnut peaches

Inside the building — past the daisies, of course — customers are greeted by Karen's wide smile and a heck of a lot of honey in jarred, stick, pie, lemonade and baked good form. I immediately picked up a honey-drizzled doughnut ($3) and two "Ted Lasso"-inspired shortbread cookies ($2 each).

Karen bakes the treats — including the custard-like honey pie, which will be available regularly now that honey harvest is in full swing — and designed the stand and the farm's playful packaging.

"Gerald's the science, and I'm the art," she said.

The farmstand will be open year-round. Karen hopes to expand her offerings this fall, with savory dishes such as pulled pork with honey-mustard sauce, soups, and sweet-and-spicy chili. I left abuzz with bee knowledge and honey treats, taking a quick sip of honey lemonade before pulling back onto Route 7 and heading up the road to the next farmstand. 

Swaying Daisies Farmstand Market & Café, 5075 Ethan Allen Highway, Ferrisburgh, 375-7298, swayingdaisieshoneybeefarm.com

The original print version of this article was headlined "Oh, Honey"