Muddy Boots CSA is a farm collaborative that sells fresh produce and flowers from farms across Vermont to Mad River Valley families.
This year, the Muddy Boots CSA will get its produce from two Valley farms -- Cloud Water Farm and Mountain Flower Farm. Outside The Valley, produce will come from Woods Market Garden in Brandon, Burnt Rock Farm just on the other side of the App Gap in Huntington, Trillium Hill Farm in Hinesburg and Tamarack Hollow Farm in Plainfield.
“Trillium Hill Farm is growing our salad greens again this year and adding peppers to their Muddy Boots offerings,” said Muddy Boots CSA coordinator Robin McDermott.
She also mentioned that Tamarack Hollow Farm in Plainfield is a new farm on the CSA list this year. “For the past 15 years their market has been the Union Square Farmers Market in New York City. But with COVID and their growing family making that weekly trip became too difficult. Lucky for them and us, they had the veggies and we have a market for them. We are very excited that they are joining us this year!” said McDermott.
The Muddy Boots CSA offers every Vermont-grown veggie one could think of: acorn squash, arugula, sugar snap peas, kale, garlic, beets, brussels sprouts, red onion, zucchini and more. It also offers a variety of fruit, from strawberries to watermelon.
Only in its ninth year of business, the summer 2021 Muddy Boots CSA is already sold out. “We are sold out for the summer with 175 memberships,” said McDermott. However, Muddy Boots still has some room for members in its eight-week fall CSA which, according to McDermott, many members say is the best Muddy Boots CSA of all.
“Because it starts in early September, we likely will still be getting tomatoes, maybe corn, and other typical summer veggies and then the yummy fall crops start and bags get heavier with winter squashes, root vegetables, sweet potatoes and hearty greens,” said McDermott.
Each year, Muddy Boots feeds about 225 families in The Valley between its summer, fall and full season CSA.
Even with coronavirus, Muddy Boots had a great season last year. “Our farmers did a great job producing lots of yummy veggies while keeping their crews safe from COVID-19,” said McDermott. “We made some changes in our pick-up procedures that worked so well we will keep using them after COVID is in our past.”
Muddy Boots did shorten its fall 2020 CSA, but this decision had nothing to do with coronavirus. “We cut our fall season back from 12 weeks to eight weeks and that seemed to work out really well for our members,” said McDermott. “As it gets colder, many of the veggies in the shares are winter storage vegetables and people leave each week with heavy bags. Some love it, but others don’t have good ways to store the vegetables and felt that 12 weeks was a lot of fall produce.”
For those interested in stocking up on vegetables, Muddy Boots offers an annual bulk winter veggie sale for members the week before Thanksgiving. “This gives those members who wanted extra produce to store for the winter months a way to stock up and save,” said McDermott.
Muddy Boots CSA members also have access to new produce this year, due to a farmer transition. Muddy Boots farmer Aaron Locker sold Kingsbury Farm to Joe Bossen, who owns Vermont Bean Crafters.
“For Muddy Boots it means we will be losing Aaron as one of our farmers, but we will be gaining Joe, who is already tilling the soil so he can grow veggies for the CSA,” said McDermott. Another benefit of this transition is that Muddy Boots CSA members will have access to dried beans from Vermont Bean Crafters, who source beans from Vermont and neighboring states. “When we have offered dried beans in the past, members have really enjoyed them,” said McDermott.
Moreover, Muddy Boots CSA plans to offer members additional items for sale from both of Bossen’s businesses, Vermont Bean Crafters and All Souls Tortilleria, so members will be able to pick up their weekly veggies and supplement them with tortillas and bean burgers.