Mari Omland and Laura Olsen of Green Mountain Girl Farm would count it significant that Vermont chose Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, to overlook Montpelier’s statehouse and surrounding hills. Ceres holds a shock of grain in her arms.
Since the 1700s, Vermonters have been wresting agricultural livelihoods from hilltops and riverine environments. The first farms were self-sufficient and farming families lived on what they raised. Later, sheep farming changed the landscape to open fields of pasture. And now, a new wave of farmers is investing in restoration of the state’s working lands.
Omland and Olsen bought their 40-acre farm in 2007. Nestled atop the hills just south of Paine Mountain in Northfield—and within two miles of I-89, not far from Ceres in Montpelier—the undulating farm and its land is part of 110-acres originally donated to the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) by Thomas and Thelma Osgood in 1993.