A Vermont Gravel Ride Farm Tour & Barn Dinner
August 20, 2022
Experience the beauty of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom as you bike the quiet back roads and visit area farms. You’ll meet Zach, who raises pigs, sheep and chickens; Heidi and Evan who grow glorious greens — and many other crops — atop a windswept hillside; Elizabeth and Peter, who have an incredibly diversified mix of offerings, including wool, hay, vegetables, cider, sweet corn and homemade preserves; and Eric and Mary, who specialize in a wide array of vegetables plus plump, sweet strawberries, grown on the banks of a winding brook. The ride is meant to celebrate the farmers and their products, learn a bit about sustainable food production, and enjoy some of the best back road cycling the planet has to offer.
If you haven’t ridden gravel in Vermont before, this will be a beautiful introduction. Though the pace will be reasonable, expect a significant amount of climbing and minimal pavement. The ride will be guided, and we’ll be equipped for minor repairs, adjustments, etc. both before and during the ride.
At the end of the day, join your fellow riders and guides — as well as all of the farmers you met throughout the day — for a seasonal, five-course dinner in a rustic barn. The meal will feature food from all of the farms you visited, and will be prepared by a local chef (who is also a farmer herself). Dinner will be served in the Joe’s Brook Farm barn. The meal will be five courses, and will be presented family style, so each person can sate their own level of post-biking hunger. The offerings will include a chilled soup, a salad/veggie course, a meat course (with vegetarian alternatives available), a cheese course, and dessert. The majority of the dishes will be gluten-free. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions you may have, so that we can accommodate them!
Price: $200 per person
Your Guide: Fritz Fay
Fritz was born on a Jericho, Vermont dairy farm and has lived in the Saint Johnsbury area for nearly three decades. He has been an avid cyclist for 15 years and has first-hand knowledge of the countless miles of back roads and trails in this area of the state. From almost daily gravel rides and fat bike adventures, to multiday bikepacking trips visiting Vermont’s stunning state parks, Fritz is happiest in the saddle. Immersed in agriculture from birth, he has a profound interest in the sustainability of local farms and the promotion of their products. There could hardly be a better combination of interests for living in Vermont, where our commitment to maintaining a working landscape means rugged beauty awaits around each bend in the road. When not on his bike, Fritz works with a program that supports affordable housing providers in improving the energy efficiency of their buildings.
Your Chef: Suzanne Podhaizer
Suzanne Podhaizer was born in Brooklyn, NY, but grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. As a youngster, who was already a cooking enthusiast, she read the book My Side of the Mountain, about a boy who runs away from home and lives on what he can find in the woods. That book, and others, turned her into an avid forager. She owned her first restaurant, Salt Café in Montpelier, VT, from 2010 to 2015. There, she crafted themed menus that made use of whatever was seasonal and local. These days, she is a freelance chef and farmer. She and her partner, Jack — an ultra-runner, software engineer, and budding homesteader — grow vegetables, orchard crops, and mushrooms, and she spends as much time as she can finding food in the woods and fields. (IG:@havenhearthandhomestead)