WE THANK YOU! (Mark, Teresa, and Crema)
Everyone Who Helped Us Get the Farm Off the Ground
We began transforming the Middletown site of Chocolates and Tomatoes farm in early 2019. Our neighbors said they wondered about what would replace the hay and soybeans that had grown on the land before we moved in. Throughout 2109 and early 2020, we worked to prepare the land for new vegetables. Each year, we improve the soil, increase the variety of the plants, and collaborate with neighbors and others to support a vibrant, regenerative farm.
Many in the community helped us learn who to talk to and where to look for the materials and equipment we needed.
- Thank you Barry Schaffer! Barry lives next door, and he was the first to befriend us. He brought his tractors over to turn over the old soil and mix in nutrients. One of the first steps to getting ready for feeding the soil and getting ready for veggies. Next, he helped us learn about places to buy used farming equipment. And, then Barry introduced us to others in the community. Honestly, he helps us troubleshoot all the time.
- Thank you David. David has helped us bring materials and equipment to the farm. He also helped us keep the farm neat and clear out some trees.
- Thank you Peter Vorac of Vorac Suffolks (sheep). The soil needs lots of nutrition and sheep poo compost can deliver! Beyond providing some great compost, Peter has also helped us connect within the community.
- Thank you Nielson Family of Middle Ridge Animal Rescue. We appreciate the horse manure compost you periodically bring us. The soil needs constant renewal.
- Thank you Tyler Black. Tyler has helped us keep small engines of various farm equipment running. He is also very creative in helping us brainstorm solutions to farm challenges.
- Thank you Dan. Some of you may know Dan from Dan's Air, but he is branching into farming now too. He and Mark swap equipment and help each other out with some planting.
- Thank you Raffael, our very first intern, and the various volunteers who helped us plant and harvest so they could learn more about sustainable vegetable farming practices.
- Thank you to the various companies that have helped us build what we needed on the farm:
- The beautiful deer fence around our front field (Profence).
- The high tunnel where most of our tomatoes live (Happy Construction).
- The cold room in our basement that helps us keep the veggies fresh (John Connor).
Everyone Who Welcomed Us to Middletown and Those Who Visited for the First Time in 2021, 2022, or 2023
We have wonderful neighbors! We mostly wave across our fields and yards. Many of them have also bought veggies and chocolates from us. And, their dogs have come over to welcome our dog too.
We also want to give a shout out to the many folks from Hollow Road, Valley View Road, Pete Wiles Road, and beyond who visited our farm stand on many a Saturday. We enjoyed getting to meet and chat with you all, and to hear how you watched us and wondered what we were doing on the farm. The stories of the fence often made us smile.
We have enjoyed hearing the stories of your lives as you shop at our produce stand or come to our classes. Crema has enjoyed the little rubs and sometimes treats of our visitors. We appreciate you all sharing part of your Saturdays with us for markets and pick ups, and class sessions on various days of the week!