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V Smiley Preserves
City: New Haven, VT,
Email Address: grow@oldfriendsfarm.com
About Us
Born on my parents’ farm in Vermont I am the child of two 1970’s back-to-the landers.

My mother milked cows and made yogurt on our kitchen woodstove, delivering mason jars of yogurt for sale to stores and homes. My father fixed fences, turned the grassland to hay each summer and homeschooled his children. Our school year circled around the growing season. Food lay at the center of life. As a child this produced many discomforts. Mandatory chores, mulching, weeding, wood-hauling and putting hay in the barn made childhood more about labor than play. But the upbringing gave me absolute comfort in the kitchen and deep admiration for food craft. I had the privilege of cooking in the kitchens of Chefs Renee Erickson and Matt Dillon. After nine years on the west coast, spent in Los Angeles, Whidbey Island, and Seattle, I returned home with my partner Amy to the farm in New Haven Vermont. Here, with my mother and Amy, we are finding our way into the next, productive iteration of this farm

Preserves start with fruit, knowing when to order it, who to order it from, learning the eccentricities of each supplier and planning accordingly. The first decision made as fruit comes in the kitchen door is whether it heads into the walk-in cooler or stays out at room temperature to ripen for a day or three. Sometimes there just isn’t any room in the walk-in and then triage starts. What can hang out at room temp for a day while the raspberries get processed into jam? Thank goodness for stone and pome fruits which are less perishable than soft berries.