At the heart of what you’ll experience at Knoll Farm
Food is fundamental to everything we do at Knoll Farm.
Food is the common thread that runs through all aspects of our work: our practice of organic farming, our passion for bringing community together, and our belief in the power of radical hospitality.
Food does more than sustain life. It supports people emotionally, it represents heritage and culture, it brings people together across difference, and it has the power to to connect all of us to the land, to the people who care for the land, and to our ancestors.
Of course, food can also harm. It can be unhealthy, loaded with chemicals and toxins, be too scarce, and be manipulated to make whole peoples and societies ill. We commit ourselves to reclaiming the most positive, regenerative, body-and-soul nurturing power of food. We seek to grow food in a way that builds the health of our land as well as our bodies for the long haul. And we share good food, simply prepared, to bring people together, to nurture well being, and to practice generosity.
To us, food is ceremony. And food is gratitude.
Food at the Refuge Table
When we started holding retreats at Knoll Farm 15 years ago, we challenged ourselves to serve only food that was grown in Vermont. Back then, this was a HUGE challenge. It was one thing to make sure we featured local produce, but it was another to make granola with local oats and oil. So why, you might ask?
Because we get to support our farming neighbors. Our food has fewer miles to travel so it is fresher, and uses less fossil fuel. It keeps us creative. It tastes amazing.
Come to a workshop, retreat or fellowship at Knoll Farm, catered by our chefs, and you will experience meals at one big long banquet table that are delicious, creative, simple and healthy – featuring our own organic produce as well as local meats, cheeses, grains and fruit.
We are not esoteric about food. We believe in making beautiful, in-season versions of classic dishes from many cultures that anyone can make at home. We are also happy to accommodate special diets, and to share with our guests what we know about nutrition, medicinal herbs and organic growing.
Other Food Events
Most simply, almost every day in July and August, you can come to our farm and pick your own fruit. Being in the orchard with kids, elders and loved ones is an uplifting, peaceful and delicious way to spend part of a day. Some visitors say it’s the highlight of a stay in the valley.
On Sundays we make treats in the outdoor wood-fired oven, and on other occasions we offer pizza or simple picnics under the cottonwood tree. Finally, our Kebab Night dinners are a spectacular way to experience the variety of food that we grow right here on the farm– including Icelandic lamb, lots of produce and herbs and a variety of heirloom fruits – as well as our beautiful setting. Check our Public Events page for these offerings each summer.
Finally, you can plan your own dinner or special retreat! We have chefs who will help you make it extraordinary.
In the Heart of Food Tourism
The local food movement in Vermont has been a huge success. Just in our own rural valley we can buy cured butter, incredible cheese, cured meats, stone-ground tortillas, bread made with locally grown grains, cider vinegar, craft beer and countless other foods that we couldn’t find locally before. Small diversified farms are thriving, and Vermont is now known as a food destination.
Below we have put a little directory together of all the incredible places you can visit nearby if you come and stay with us. We are in the ideal location for a retreat that features local food, craft beer, and organic farms.
Recipe of the Week
Roasted Lamb with Citrus and Fennel
INGREDIENTS 6 servings
- 1 (3-4-lb.) lamb leg or shoulder (bone or boneless)
- Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, finely grated, plus 2 heads, halved crosswise
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary, plus more for serving
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 6–8 mixed small oranges (such as blood, mandarin, and navel), peeled, halved, sliced or torn into small sections
- 1 large fennel bulb with fronds, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Using a sharp knife, score fat across the top of lamb shoulder to create a crosshatch pattern, cutting about 1/4″ deep and spacing cuts about 3/4″ apart. Season generously all over with salt and pepper.
- Combine grated garlic, oil, red pepper flakes, grated zest, and 2 Tbsp. rosemary in a small bowl. Rub all over lamb, working into score marks and anywhere there is an opening. Place lamb in a large cast-iron skillet or baking dish. (At this point the lamb can be covered and chilled up to 1 day if you want to break up the prep.)
- Arrange garlic heads, cut side down, around lamb and add strip of zest. Add white wine and cover tightly with foil. Roast until meat is falling off the bone and fork-tender, about 2-2.5 hours. Keep covered and let rest 30 minutes.
- Gently toss orange pieces and fennel with lemon juice in a medium bowl; season lightly with salt.
- Tear or cut the meat into large pieces and mound on a platter. Arrange citrus and fennel salad around the edge.
- Heat pan juices in a small saucepan, and whisk in 1/2 cup orange marmalade. Whisk until well blended, and let reduce slightly. Drizzle over meat.
May be served at room temperature. Roasted veggies and couscous go very well with this meal, and a crusty baguette can be slathered with that roasted garlic from the pan. Adapted from Epicurious.
Create your own food tour
Some of the farms and food producers we most admire are doing incredible work right a few miles from us. You can take tours, learn about craft beer, sample local cheese, and eat at restaurants growing some of their own food. For local-food restaurants check out American Flatbread, Mad Taco, and Worthy Burger. At times you will see Knoll Farm lamb and berries on their menus.
Sample craft beer at Lawson’s Finest Liquids; taste award-winning cheeses and artisan meats at the Taste Place, take a tour of a hydroponic and organic farm at Hartshorn Farm and find many more incredible food creations at the Waitsfield Farmer’s Market every Saturday from May to October.
By joining our community, you become part of the story of this land.
Be the first to know when the berries are ripe, workshops are scheduled, or leadership fellowships are announced.