This month’s vendor spotlight is Hill Top Farm so we interviewed Crystal Gardner about their family-run farm. In addition to all they do as farmers, Crystal is an active Bennington Farmers’ Market board member who has dedicated countless hours to the success of the market. Check out the Q & A below.
Tell us a little about yourselves – who are you? Who makes up Hill Top Farm?
Crystal Gardner part of Hill Top Farm, also known as the Gardner Farm. I’m married to Marc Gardner. We have three kids – Tristan, Gwen, & Kendal. I have my own bookkeeping service, coach basketball, raise the beef and help when needed on the farm. The farm is run by Mike and Marylin Gardner my in-laws and Matt (my brother in-law) and Marc my husband. Tristan our 15 year old son, Gwen 13 & Kendal 12 (daughters). We have been an organic dairy farm for 16 years. We ship our milk to Horizon Organic.
Why did you go into farming?
I married Marc 17 years ago and had no idea what I was getting myself into (hahaha). Marc wanted to stay on the farm, he loved being outside and work with the animals.
What inspires you – or keeps you going – on the long and hard days?
We don’t want to see any more family farms go out, so we keep trying to diversify to keep it going. That’s why we went organic. It was go really go big or go organic. We love the way we run the farm. Six years ago I added selling beef because we needed to find more ways to feed 3 families from the one farm.
Among the many delicious products you sell, what are one or two of your favorites?
We love our burger!!!! Many things you can do with it. Kendal loves to make munchie meat balls and Gwen loves to cook fresh garlic burgers.
What do you enjoy most about Saturday at the Bennington Farmers’ Market?
I enjoy getting out and seeing the people. We wanted to sell a good product at a reasonable price to the local families.
What are some products we can look forward to at your vendor booth this season?
Fresh in Montreal beef sausage!
Stop by the Hill Top Farm vendor booth this summer to say hello to Crystal & her children!