Fledgling Farmstead is located on an historic 190-acre farm of fields and forest in Tunbridge, Vermont. We are working to reinvigorate diversity and productivity on the land through a collaboration of fledgling and experienced farmers, skills, and pursuits. Fledgling Farmstead offers a vegetable and herb CSA, a variety of fruit and meat. It is also an event space for workshops and other celebratory events that are nourished by the farm's produce and stunning landscape. Our farm's primary offerings include produce, meat, education, connection, and inspiration for visitors. In this way, we propagate greater sustainability in our local and regional community.
10 years ago Evan and Emily Reiss were set out on separate paths in their agricultural pursuits. After earning his degree in Ecological Agriculture from the University of Vermont, Evan dove right into 100% grass-based dairy farming. A founding member of Family Cow Farmstand in his home town of Hinesburg, Vermont and then of Mountain Home Farm in Tunbridge Vermont, brought Evan through 10 years of milking Guernsey cows and selling raw milk, butter and cheese. As economics intervened and Evan’s interests diverged from exclusively dairy farming, a new paradigm was in the works. Evan turned toward his longtime interest in fine woodworking and started his own company called Raven’s Rook Woodcraft. In a shop on the farm he builds cabinets and furniture for customers. With the birth of Fledgling Farmstead, Evan hopes to incorporate his experiences in dairy farming, woodworking and vegetable farming towards the farm's diverse profile. He also looks forward to providing delicious produce to customers and learning many new skills alongside community members.
Emily grew up on a diverse farm in Orange, Vermont where she received an intimate taste of homesteading skills and lifestyle at an early age. She grew up among cows, chickens, sheep, goats, horses and vegetables. Until heading off to college to study biology and environmental studies, Emily didn't realize how much this upbringing and lifestyle was a part of her being. She then spent the next decade or so exploring the intersection between organic farming, permaculture, herbalism, community resilience, and early education. She continued her arc of learning by formally studying herbalism under Annie McCleary and at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, working as a farm hand on vegetable and dairy farms, and pursuing a Master's Degree in Montessori Education. In addition to farmsteading, Emily guides a Montessori classroom for three to six year old children during the school year and co-teaches an herbal-themed summer camp for school-aged children. She is happiest digging in the dirt and cooking fresh food to share with friends and family, and loves facilitating that discovery for others, young and old, in her community.
In spring of 2020 we will be joined on the farm by Emily's parents, Lee and Dean Wheeler. These two have been farming for over 30 years raising beef, pork, lamb, poultry, milking cows and growing vegetables. It will be a wonderful joining of farm ventures, further adding to the agricultural diversity on our farm!
Our farm is also the home of a new goat dairy run by Lauren Gitlin; Villa Villekula Farm. Lauren is milking a handful of goats and plans to use the creamery on the farm to make cultured butter and skyr. We are excited to see her business grow!