Living Off the Land: Boutin Family Farm - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Living Off the Land: Boutin Family Farm

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WILLISTON, Vt. -

Lisa Boutin starts every summer day bright and early, spending at least six hours a day picking blueberries, raspberries and black raspberries.

"I've got free labor today!"

She married into the farm life, and it's a life she has embraced.

"Yes, I was a city girl, yes. When I first moved here it was so dark, and so quiet, I couldn't sleep at night and my husband said, 'OK, you can turn the radio on.' I learned to live here and love it. I wouldn't change it for anything."

And now she spends her summer days picking berries, bringing her products to the farmers markets, and making more jams and pickles long after dark.  She's quick to give credit to her family members for what's she knows.

"I had a good teacher, my mother-in-law, taught me how to pick and now I can keep up with her. She taught me how to do blackberry picking and if you can survive blackberry picking, you can survive anything."

And as for the pickles, relishes and jellies?

"I've always cooked; my grandmother and aunts taught me a lot."

And she's learned that the secret to success at the farmers market is to have products you won't find on a grocery store shelf.

"I made a dandelion jelly this year!"

"Oh no kidding!"

"And it tastes a little bit like honey. I'm always experimenting with new things and we make squash pickles, zucchini pickles, this year I made a jalapeno bread and butter pickle. "

"The spicy ones are popular..."

What's the best part of the farmers market?

"I try to get there two hours early to visit with the other vendors, so I like to get set up, get organized and nice looking and then saying hi."

"It's a lot of fun; we do a lot of bartering, so that's fun too... trading dinner for jam or a box of berries or something.

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