A Farm That Does Things a Little Differently

By Cassie Wolfganger, Vermont Audubon Conservation Research Fellow with Lake Champlain Sea Grant
September 08, 2021

Audubon staff and a pollinator expert survey a farm that practices environmentally sustainable and wildlife-friendly agriculture.

This article was written collaboratively by Cassie Wolfanger, Audubon Vermont’s Conservation Research Fellow with Lake Champlain Sea Grant and Simran Padgett, Audubon Vermont Conservation Intern, and posted on the Audubon Vermont website July 19, 2021. 

It’s 6:00am and already it’s 82 degrees—the kind of day where the air feels thick and wet to breathe in. We assemble at Isham Farm in Williston to conduct a baseline survey for birds and pollinators and make bird-friendly farming recommendations to the landowners. Birds and bees typically go hand-in-hand and when you manage for one, you usually get the other. 

Audubon Vermont staff Margaret Fowle, Gwendolyn Causer, Simran Padgett, and I are joined by Jason Mazarowski. He’s an adjunct professor at the University of Vermont and a pollinator expert from the Gund Institute, which focuses research on climate solutions, health and well-being, sustainable agriculture, and resilient communities.

We’re all greeted by the warm and friendly smile of Helen Weston, one of the farm’s owners. Together with Mike Isham, she is the 5th generation to operate the farm. Originally a dairy farm purchased by the Isham family in 1871, it has had many different purposes through the years. Mike and Helen now grow market vegetables, blueberries, Christmas trees, and other crops, but this is not your typical farm. They focus on protecting the 4 B’s: birds, bees, butterflies, and bugs, and manage the land with conservation in mind....

Read the full story on the Audubon Vermont website.