Jeremy recently was given a scrapbook of the farmers' market from a former market vendor. We were tickled to see that the first item was a newspaper article from 1979 featuring Alan Monroe, at that time the president of the market association, and at that time growing for the market on the land that we now farm. Alan and his wife Frances grew vegetables and raised beef cows (and their family) here for decades.
By all accounts, they were community leaders - there's a building at the Addison County Field Days named after Fran, who was also a 4-H leader and filled a few roles in Leicester's town offices.
Before the Monroes, the farm had been a dairy (the foundation of the silo still sits near our greenhouse, and the old milkhouse is our current wash station). Before that? Harder to say, though sheep is a good guess. A few stones from an old chimney lie in the tangle of brush where our woods start, near a 50-foot-tall apple tree with shockingly good fruit.
As we make our mark on this land - tilling the fields, digging a pond, building greenhouses - it's good to think about the folks who came before us, who cleared the trees and built the house we live in. We may be first generation farmers, but this land has a lot of experience to share.