The message from two local farms will be heard loud and clear this weekend — the door’s open, come on in.
Hidden View Farm in the town of Champlain and Dimock Farms in the town of Peru will be among farms offering guided tours of their operations during the second annual “Open Farm Sunday” this Sunday, Oct. 16.
The initiative is one started last year by Cabot Creamery, a 1,200-farm family dairy cooperative based in Montpelier, with members in New England and upstate New York like Hidden View Farm and Dimock Farms.
The idea behind the initiative, explained Hidden View Farm’s Dale Tetreault, is to get more people in the community thinking about where their food comes from and introducing them to the men and women who supply it.
“I thought it was a great idea,” said Tetreault, thinking back to when Hidden View was asked to participate. “This lets local people know where not only their cheese comes from, but other Cabot products we supply milk for like Greek yogurt, butter and others.”
Dimock Farms owner Don Dimock said this will also be his first year participating in the Cabot Creamery event.
“Sometimes people don’t stop in when they’re curious about how a farm works and where their food comes from,” said Dimock. “[Open Farm Sunday] is a good way to show people we want them to know where their food comes from; we want them to ask questions.”
Dimock Farms is a 270-cow dairy farm, established on 600 acres. The farm has grown quite a bit since it was established in 1971, said Dimock.
“Back then, when we moved here, we started with about 60 cows and only owned about 275 acres,” said Dimock.
In addition to growing in physical size, the Peru farm has grown in quality, earning the Empire State Milk Quality Council’s “Super Milk Award” for the past 20 years for its high quality of milk. The farm also won the “Overall Quality Award” from Agri-Mark in 2007 and was selected as the best farm out of approximately 1,300 farms in the Agri-Mark family for the quality of its milk.