Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Signage at Pine Island Community Farm

It's hard to sit idle in the summer!  Most every day, I have a paintbrush in my hand for something or other, whether it's to make a watercolor or repaint a bookshelf. But this year I have a particularly fun gig painting signage for Pine Island Community Farm.

My sign frankly pales in comparison to the burgeoning crops behind it.
 As a member worker at City Market Co-op in Burlington, there are lots of great ways that people can connect with the food and farming community in Vermont.  Pine Island is an especially amazing farm, the product of a partnership between the Vermont Land Trust and Association for Africans Living In Vermont. Farm project manager Karen Freudenberger has helped create amazing programs, including the Vermont Goat Collaborative, and more recently, chicken and bee-keeping operations.  Volunteers can also help feed baby goats. You read the correctly. You can help feed baby goats, and play with them. I recommend it.

The Gathering Space
I've been given broad creative license in making signage for the farm, and I loved making this seven foot Welcome sign for the Gathering Space, which gets used by the farm members for community dinners and events.

The reality of the farm's work is not lost on me- their mission is to supply food, and to allow people to farm their own plots with native crops such as amaranth, spicy peppers, and eggplants.  Part of that mission means that the animals they raise are going to be eaten as well, hence this sign:

That's right. A community slaughter room. It's a DIY operation, and not for the faint of heart, to select and butcher your own goat when you visit the farm.  The awesome part is that these goats are castoffs from goat dairy operations, and instead of being killed immediately following their birth, are not wasted but instead raised to adulthood on the pastures next to the Winooski River, and are used to feed members of the new American community in Vermont. And, very importantly, this marvelous farm allows new Vermont refugee families the chance to continue their family traditions of gardening and farming traditional foods.

Even if you are not a co-op member, you should consider a visit sometime to this pastoral beauty. You'll know just where to leave your car.

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