by Annie H.
Bonnie and Oliver Levis, creators of VT Goldburgers, and homesteaders of Earth Sky Time Farm, located in Manchester, VT, are no strangers to devotion, intention, and hard work. In fact, it is apparent in everything they do. No exceptions are made for their veggie burgers, which are made from local, organic ingredients (mostly grown on their farm), and provide a wheat-free, soy-free, vegan alternative to the highly-processed, mass-produced veggie burgers on the market.
Earth Sky Time Farm is a sustainable community with family at its center, often called home by up to 25 people. The farm thrives on help from Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF), a program which connects people interested in learning about organic farming with farms around the world that could use extra hands. These WWOOF-ers, who transform Earth Sky Time into a truly “people-powered farm,” get the chance to learn a wide range of skills, including harvesting, composting, food prep, and beekeeping, while also receiving a true communal-living experience.
It was the large amount of people working on the farm that led the Levis’ to their interest in a larger scale of food production. They served their family, housemates, and farmers dinner every night, consisting, in part, of non-sellable vegetables from the farm – perfectly edible produce with quirks. The idea of producing and selling a vegan burger made from those quirky vegetables was born one night around the dinner table, over a dish of funny-looking carrots. As this vision grew, they searched for ways to bake larger batches of the burgers at a steadier and drier temperature, and with the help of a grant from the Vermont Farm Visibility Program, traded in their old-style convection oven for a new wood-fired oven. This new oven, which has revolving racks, allows them to bake 200 patties at a time without manually rotating the trays.
With production up, the Levis’ started selling VT Goldburgers alongside their vegetables and fresh bread at farmer’s markets, and two years ago expanded to include 18 co-ops throughout Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York. VT Goldburgers, which can be found in the frozen aisle at the Co-op, are on sale for the month of July, so make some room on your grill for your Independence Day festivities! Swing by the Co-op between 11am-2pm on July 10th to sample this homegrown and homemade burger for yourself, and learn more about Earth Sky Time Farm at www.earthskytime.com.