August 15, 2019 - Farm Event

Black Dirt Farm is excited to be participating in both the Kingdom Farm and Food Days and Vermont Open Farm Week.

When and Where
Thursday, August 15, 2019
3:00 PM 8:00 PM
Black Dirt Farm, 393 Stannard Mountain Rd. Greensboro Bend, VT 05842

Join us at Black Dirt Farm for an afternoon of educational workshops and a farm tour. Here’s the full schedule:

  • 3:00pm Join us for a Worm Castings 101 Workshop, led by Tom Gilbert, owner of Black Dirt Farm and Brenden Beer, co-owner of Wilson Herb Farm and Cannabis Consultant at Ecopoesis LLC.

  • 4:00pm Get your hands dirty at a Compost Tea Workshop, led by Brenden.

  • 5:00pm take an evening stroll on our Farm Tour with Tom and learn about our approach to resources conservation and regenerative agriculture!

  • 6:00pm Join us in the backyard for live music, readings, and tacos!
    Local authors JC Myers and Ben Hewitt will read selected words; JC from his new novel, Junkyard at No Town and Ben, well, he’ll surprise us! Live music will be performed by our own Jim Daniels, David Hall, JC Myers, and other friends. Tacos will be available for purchase from the best taco truck around, Caja Madera. BYOB. Please bring some cash for the musicians hats.

RSVP to info@blackdirtfarm.com appreciated but not required. Bring your own container if you'd like to take some worm casting tea home with you at the end of the night. Please, no pets.

Black Dirt Farm is a 240-acre diversified family farm in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. We collect food scraps from our community for feeding hens, make compost and worm castings with the excess food and manure, and use them to nourish our soils and crops. Our farm is firmly based in regenerative agricultural practices and the creation of sustainable food systems.

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What sets BDF Castings and Compost Apart?

Approved for use on organic farms by Vermont Organic Farmers.


VOC certification is indicative of our commitment to the health of our customers, our community, our employees, and the planet.

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We're serious about sourcing.


We take significant measures to prevent herbicides, plastics, and other contaminants from entering our process to ensure the cleanest possible product for your plants.



Weed seed and pathogen free.


All materials are pre-composted at thermophilic temperatures to inactivate weed seeds and pathogens.

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Our products have a solid track record.


We perform regular testing and trials and the results are clear; Black Dirt Farm Castings and Compost Products support high-performance soils, boosting crop yields while building soil health.



Findings from our USDA SARE grant study on the practice of feeding food scraps to hens in an active composting system

Hey everybody, we are so pleased to share this manual on feeding food scraps to laying hens in an active composting system! This project was funded by USDA SARE. We hope this contributes to a growing knowledge base on the practice and are excited to be working with some of you on new projects building off of this. This is a practice with proven promise, as shown by our data and supported by our technical advisor, Dr. Michael Darre, UConn Poultry Specialist. There's plenty left to do in terms of refining and optimizing it, but this project has at the very least validated it.  

Download here: Feeding Food Scraps To Hens In An Active Composting System
 

Nothing says "I love you" like a dirt bag

This Valentines Day, pick up a bag of High Potency Worm Castings and give your houseplants some love, get your seedlings started, make some seed bombs, or let your imagination run wild with the endless possibilities of microbial action! Pick some up at our farmstand, the Craftsbury General Store, The Flower Basket, Menard's Agway, Buffalo Mountain Coop, Hunger Mountain Coop, or Willey's Store.

Preorder Meat Birds & Save 10-15% On Retail Price!

Black Dirt Farm's chickens and turkeys are rotationally pastured, raised on forage and organic grain. No hormones, no antibiotics - raised in accordance with organic standards. We raise a variety of breeds for size and flavor. Order before November 1st and receive a 10% discount on your turkey and 15% on chicken!

Chicken $5/lb preorder or $6/lb off the farm

Turkey $4.50/lb preorder or $5/lb off the farm

To Order: 
Contact Tom Gilbert (802) 745-8006 or  tom@blackdirtfarm.com

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Poultry Growers Field Day 10/21 - Feeding Food Scraps to Laying Hens Management Practices Discussion with Farm Tours at Black Dirt Farm & Vermont Compost Co.

We are excited to announce our upcoming field day for poultry growers interested in feeding food scraps to laying hens.  We are in the process of wrapping up a year and a half of SARE funded research evaluating the efficacy and viability of feeding laying hens on a ration of compost made with locally available food scraps.  We've been gathering data on productivity, egg nutrition, pathogens, and labor and cost requirements, while also looking at best management practices and scalable infrastructure.  In addition to feeding operations, we will cover food scrap collection systems. 

The event will be held October 21st from 10am-3pm and will include a tour of operations at Black Dirt Farm and Vermont Compost Company, as well as discussion on the practice and our findings.  Download a poster for the event here >

Black Dirt Farm, in Stannard, operates a commercial food scrap collection route collecting 20 tons of discarded food weekly.  Approximately 15 tons are delivered to other farms while 5 tons per week are brought back to the farm for blending into a compost mix and fed to laying hens.  What the hens do not consume is composted and either spread on the farm or sold in bulk.  A small percentage is removed from the composting process and made into worm castings for retail sales.  We also raise broiler chickens, turkeys, make hay, and log with our draft horses.  Vermont Compost Company, in Montpelier, has been a pioneer in the practice of feeding food scraps and compost to hens.  VCC is a commercial compost producer specializing in potting mixes and specialty compost products.  They receive food scraps from the Central Vermont Solid Waste District and integrate hens into their composting operations. It is estimated that Vermont's food scraps could feed over 500,000 laying hens.  With Vermont's Universal Recycling Law now in place, there is an opportunity for poultry farmers to be an important part of this statewide infrastructure and recycling system, and benefit from this abundant resource. 

Please share this event widely with anyone you know interested in poultry or organics management.