New Bristol farm celebrates harvest - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New Bristol farm celebrates harvest

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A small farm in Bristol celebrated the end of its growing season Sunday.

Veteran Jon Turner was deployed three times while in the Marines. In 2007 he was discharged, and ever since he's developed a passion for farming. "At the time I was transitioning out of military service, and gardening really helped with that transition, and since then our plots have doubled in size. We have a 2.5 acre forest farm where we do a lot of mushroom cultivation and educational workshops for college students and veterans," Turner said.

This April he and his wife started an organic farm in Bristol. On Sunday they celebrated the close of their first season with the community. 

"I think it's great what he's doing. I know he's working with veterans a lot and creating a safe space for that, and getting people to work with their bodies and hands, getting back into the earth.  I think it's a really -- it's a healthy thing to do," said Elizabeth Moniz with Yestermorrow Design & Build School.

While the summer's drought took a toll on many farms across the region, Turner says his unique regenerative practices kept the crops healthy. "A lot of times your incorporating organic matter and biomass into the soil bed, so your soil is always protected from wind or from water," he said. "Even during the driest time of the season I could reach underneath a couple inches of organic matter, pick up soil that was cool and moist."

Turner hopes to help more veterans like himself learn to farm. "Over 60-percent of our farmers are at or over retirement age, so it's really the next generation that needs to step up to the plate and say, I want to be able to grow food for my community. So farming for me--it's a very personal thing--It's helped with my transition back into civilian life," Turner said.

Inspiration for other to begin the work, while one harvest comes to an end.        

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