Locally Grown Organic Produce as part of Buy Local is one of the most important trends North West Vermont has to offer. Local Organic Grower, Tammy Hudson of Tajeanhus Herbs, Wild Edibles & Vegies, wanted to grow her own herbs and produce and believes others are looking for the same. Many of you will recall that for 10 years Downtown St. Albans, VT, had Tajeanhus Herb Shop. What many of you may not realize, is that Master Herbalist Tammy Hudson, owner of Tajeanhus Herbs, Wild Edible & Vegetable Farm, is the same business which merely relocated.
Tajeanhus Herb Shop is located at the farm and Tammy says she is happy to greet customers at the shop door or receive phone call orders to USPS tinctures for $6 shipping. Tammy had opened Tajeanhus Herb Shop in 2003, and for years had the goal of a having a certified organic farm. Four years ago she decided to make her business goal a reality.
With 200 feet of greenhouses and $20,000 invested in the structures, Tajeanhus has been diligently growing some of the most outstanding organic produce one can find. Tammy Hudson grows her seeds and vegetables with love; her passion is a contributor to the delicious flavor of her produce.
She says the secret to having a substantive and effective growing season – is all about timing. Mother Earth has scheduling demands which must be handled with artful precision. She looks to maximize growth on her small manageable piece of land, one fifth of an acre to be exact.
The 2015 growing season has been challenging – our county has faced intense moisture, intense heat and very cold temperatures. The hot/cold shifts stress many plants, particularly tomatoes. The woe has been “bottom rot”, the tomato looks great on the vine and during the final stage of ripening the bottom just begins to rot. Tammy lost lots of heirloom varieties this year, she says they just don’t do so well in the North country of Vermont since they are so sensitive to cold temperature changes and wetness. Last year she had 100 tomato plants with an incredible yield, this year she has 315 plants with far less yield.
Tammy Hudson discussed successes and challenges selling as a buy local or close to home vendor with organic produce to large supermarket chains. The foods need to be uniform in size and color, a bit of extra labor but easy enough to accommodate. Vendors need to provide a special sticker and barcode called a PLU (Price Look Up Code) which identifies variety, growing location and other info. Tammy expressed concern over the reaction from a large supermarket, who wants her to handle merchandising in addition to growing. Merchandising requires vendors manage their own displays and physical re-stocking, in addition to growing and delivering. She feels she has no room in her busy schedule for new and large tasks, like merchandising.
Tajeanhus, NOFA Certified Organic Farm, looks forward to selling shares for the 2016 growing season. Families can buy a share at the start of season and make a weekly pick up of produce for a total of 16 weeks. She feels the investment up front is an ideal way for consumers to demonstrate their Buy Local beliefs. Farms have a large investment up front, before growing even begins (soil, seeds, fertilizer, grow lights, growing tables, irrigation lines, help, etc.) Having customers pre-pay with shares, allows the farmer some necessary funds to begin the season, and provides consumers with delicious locally farmed produce for 4 months!
Tajeanhus Wild Edibles & Vegies
NOFA Certified Organic Farm Stand (during season) 7 Days a Week!
5914 Lower Newton Rd, St. Albans, VT 802-363-2676 AND
(St. Albans) Northwest Vermont Farmer’s Market at Taylor Park Saturdays 8am-2pm until 10/31/2015
Fresh Tomato Sauce with some Tajeanhus Organic Tomatoes
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