I spent my last morning in Vermont at North Branch Farm in Ripton, up the mountain from Middlebury and a few miles from Robert Frost’s log cabin. Frost moved to Vermont in 1920 to “seek a better place to farm and especially grow apples,” and stayed for the next forty years.

I’m not sure what else Frost grew besides apples. Kale? Chamomile? Elderberries? Garlic scapes? That’s some of what my friend Kate is growing at North Branch, in addition to raising pigs, chickens, ducks, and sheep. Kate and her partner Sebastian have been in business for around five years, selling their meat and sometimes produce at the local farmers’ markets as well as through online orders and local businesses.

Before leaving to head back to Brooklyn today, I made a date to have breakfast on the farm with Kate, Arianna, and her two-month-old son Rafa. Kate served us her own eggs and bacon and I brought a yummy olive and rosemary bread from Otter Creek Bakery, a Middlebury institution since 1986. (It was difficult passing up the orange almond croissants, blueberry scones, and olive pretzel twists, some of my favorites from my Middlebury days.)

After breaky we were given a tour of the farm, starting with veggies, then Pekin ducks, Cornish Cross hens, pigs, ducklings, chicks, and what Kate calls her “mowers”: two sheep, new members of the North Branch Farm who are definitely earning their keep in Ripton.