Who's behind Hartshorn Farm?
Dave Hartshorn has been connected to the land all of his life. When he was young, he worked on his family’s dairy farm and in the maple syrup business. One day many years ago, Dave’s parents got a call from the local sheriff. He said he didn’t know how to tell them this, but one of their tractors was moving across the field all by itself. Turns out it was 6 year old Dave driving it. And, yes he was allowed to drive it. Vermont farm boys operate heavy equipment at a young age…
How Dave started growing veggies and fruits is almost a Jack & the Beanstalk story. In his twenties, he threw a handful of pumpkin seeds into the compost pile at the farm as he headed to feed the cows. In the Fall, after a frost and all of the weeds were dead on the pile, he noticed some beautiful large orange pumpkins. He picked them and put them on the front porch of his family’s farm house. People saw the pumpkins, wanted them, and knocked on the door to find out if they could buy them. A business opportunity was born. Dave financed his college education growing and selling pumpkins. He had always wanted to create a roadside vegetable and fruit stand, and now he had the incentive and some experience.
Dave operates the farm with the philosophy of sustainability and healthy stewardship–putting back what he takes out of the land. That’s why he chose to go the extra step and become certified organic over 20 years ago.
In addition to distributing his food to a number of schools and institutions through the Farm to Table Network, Dave has made connections with local area chefs. He provides food to a number of local restaurants, such as:
Round Barn Farm
The Big Picture Theater & Restaurant
The Pitcher Inn
The Wilder Farm B & B
The Waitsfield Inn
East Warren Community Store
Waitsfield Village Grocery
Dave is also an owner/partner of the year round, hydroponic greenhouse, Green Mountain Harvest Hydroponic, where he grows lettuces, basil, and watercress free of GMO’s and toxic synthetic chemicals.
Awards: 2009 Conservation Farm of the Year from the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District, Best Produce from the American Institute of Wine & Food, Best in Show for Maple Syrup from the Vermont Farm Show.
I’m Amy Todisco, Dave’s life partner, and the creator and writer of this website and all things marketing and event planning. Helping Dave build and market the farm is one of the hats that I wear. Mainly I’m a nationally recognized green living and wellness expert, life coach, massage therapist & healer, and the Creator/Director of Vermont Food & Farm Tours and the new Vermont Farm Immersion Programs (soon to be a 501c3 nonprofit.)
A little background about Amy…
Over 35 years of personal & spiritual growth research, and personal experience
25+ year nationally recognized green living expert & educator
Twice Certified Life Coach
Massage therapist & Healer
Organic gardener and farmer
Contacted by one of Oprah's producers to be on the show about 8 years ago
Interviewed by Rachel Ray Magazine
Conducted numerous TV, radio, and print interviews
Hired by Seventh Generation to lead a nonprofit (in 2002)
I was a former NYC private school girl who always wanted to live on a Vermont organic farm. I made that dream come true about 10 years ago.
Despite my city upbringing, I was living a green life long before it became trendy. Organic food was a staple in our house. I even worked at a couple of health food stores where I became well versed with vitamins, supplements, juice fasting, and more.
For the past 25+ years, I've advised, inspired, and encouraged clients to adopt a Green Living plan for their lives—eat organic whole foods; replace toxic cleaning, body care, and household products with safer, truly natural ones; become energy and water efficient; and how to introduce children to this way of life too.
In addition to my passion for green living, I've also been on a spiritual and personal growth path beginning with the very popular 1970's personal growth program called est, where I realized my life purpose of making a difference in other people's lives. I became a certified life coach and massage therapist & energy healer. I've been gardening organically for most of my adult life and have lived on an organic farm in Vermont for the past 10 years.
Four years ago I took all of my experiences over the years and distilled them into organic farm based, transformational wellness retreats for women seeking a profound shift in their lives. Then I took the next step to introducing more people to the wisdom and experience of growing and living on an organic farm with my Vermont Food & Farm Tours. New in 2019, we’re launching a new nonprofit, the Vermont Farm Immersion Program, a 28 residential experience with Dave and me on the farm, and around the Mad River Valley visiting other farms and food producers. (We’re awaiting our 501c3 designation.)
I have helped Dave build the organic farm business over the past 10 years, particularly all of the marketing and outreach, as well as the farm camps, farm to table dinners, food festivals, among other things.
For my green living biography, go here.