Brookfield Farmer Brings You Along On His Trip From Farm To Market

Jun 21, 2018

Anyone can roll out of bed on Saturday morning and stroll down to their local farmers market. But the farmers whose produce makes the market possible have to set their alarms for a bit earlier.

For Kyle Doda, who owns 1000 Stone Farm in Brookfield, market day means a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call to start his trip to the Burlington Farmers Market. It begins with loading up his truck.

Kyle Doda loads up his truck for the long drive to the Burlington Farmers Market.
Credit Ric Cengeri / VPR

"I'm not a morning person, actually," Doda said. After packing, he still faced an hour's drive before he could even set up his market stand.

While the average day for a farmer isn't exactly a walk in the park, market day presents its own set of challenges. Doda needed to load his truck so the produce wouldn't tip over; he had to worry about the truck's internal temperature, making sure it's not hot enough to wilt the produce or cold enough to freeze it; and he needed to leave for Burlington with time enough to set up.

Doda has an hour and a half to set up his farm stand before customers start arriving.
Credit Ric Cengeri / VPR

On the day Doda spoke with Vermont Edition he arrived in Burlington at 7 a.m. and had his stand ready by 8:30 a.m. "In reality, once we get more food, we'll need to be here at six," he said with a slight groan. "We get faster."

The early wake-up call, the long drive and the soft drizzle that fell during the day is simply a fact of life during Vermont's busy summers. "It's like a season-long sprint," said Doda. 

But the sprint does have its highlights. That Saturday, it was asparagus. The fur-topped crop takes years to produce the vegetable customers are familiar with. Doda said this was the first season he's been able to sell it at market. 

This is the first year that 1000 Stone Farm's asparagus plants have produced vegetables for market.
Credit Ric Cengeri / VPR

"Some of the CSA member that have been with us, you know, since the beginning have ... theoretically supported that crop and now have gotten it," he said. "Which is really cool."

Doda packs up his farm stand in the rain after the Burlington Farmers Market.
Credit Ric Cengeri / VPR

"It is extremely gratifying ... to be able to feed people high-quality food that's good for them and grown sustainably," he said, even as the rain continued to fall, and the work of packing up and driving home still lay ahead. 

Broadcast on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.