James Coe and Nella Cargioli Coe
West Glover, Vt.
Vermont equals maple syrup, right? The small state generates 40 percent of the country’s supply. Ledgenear Farm produces maple syrup and dairy (Vermont’s other famous farm product) while sticking with the in-house philosophy, “Give back to the land as much as we take from it.”
Why we chose this farm:
James works with a county forester to maintain the farm’s maple grove so that its density and biodiversity are preserved. As fuel for the fire to boil and process the syrup, he uses harvested wood from the forest instead of oil. Ledgenear’s 200 dairy cows, which enjoy a diet of hay that’s produced on the farm, also help contribute to the farm’s ecosystem. “Our waste products of manure and wash water, which can seem like liabilities to an industry, are really opportunities for us,” says James. “[We] convert them into fertilizers and put them back on the land, return them full circle.”
Making life a little sweeter for the next generation:
James grew up on this farm, left home, then came back to take it over and raise his own family here. “It’s slow, but rewarding. It’s kind of a life’s mission,” he says. “I think the kids will see the fruits of it more than we will, [but] I think that’s how farming goes.”