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Huntington farm gets a helping hand - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Huntington farm gets a helping hand

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HUNTINGTON, Vt. - It's a flashback to the early 20th century -- a community farming effort that brings together local growers.

In Huntington, Vermont, a town where the population barely passes 2,000 people, it seems like everybody knows everybody. It's a "wave as you pass by" kind of town.  In the center of the valley sits Jubilee Farm and the historic barn that has sat on the property since 1895.

Sarah Jane Williamson runs the farm and she's quite trusting of her customers. "They leave my cash right in the honor system cash box. They can write it down or not, they can leave me a note or we also have an IOU box," Williamson said.

Williamson runs a farmstand out of the old barn.  Customers come and take whatever they like.  Three to four different farms contribute and Williamson wants to expand more. By working with other local farmers she is turning back the clock on this community -- back to the days when Huntington's whole economy was built on farming. "There was an incredibly vibrant agriculture economy going on back then," she said. "It really does tie the community together."

Williamson doesn't ask for much help. She does most of the work herself and she doesn't even have a staff. But in order to sell more expensive products, she knows eventually she'll need some assistance. Which is why her friend, Patti Delaney, decided to lend a hand.  Delaney and her husband are avid bikers. They ride all over Addison County.  "We say to each other, we should do this in Huntington," Delaney said.

So Delaney gathered up her friends and many of the farm's customers and organized a bike ride to raise money for Williamson to hire a staff and expand the farm. So as these bike wheels hit the pavement, they're helping to keep this 119 year-old piece of history alive.  The riders stop at several businesses along the way -- all are new partner's of the Jubilee Farmstand.

And the riders will keep alive the Williamson family dream.  It started with Sarah Jane's father and lives on in her. "He was so excited when I decided to become a farmer," Williamson said. "He is really the patron saint of Jubilee Farm. He helped me a lot when he was still alive working on the farm, and I wish he could see it now."

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