Montpelier, VT–The 2021 Eric Rozendaal Memorial Award was given to Christine Bourque of Blue Heron Farm. Bourque will receive a $5,000 award in recognition of outstanding service to community, land stewardship, and innovation.
Christine Bourque, along with her husband Adam Farris and their two daughters Sadie and Delia, have been running Blue Heron Farm in Grande Isle for 17 years, building it up from a derelict hay field into a certified organic diversified farm that they conserved with VLT in 2012.
“They are deeply committed to serving their community,” said VLT’s Maggie Donin. “Christine was selected from a number of excellent applicants because of her stellar community involvement, creative response to the pandemic that prioritized those in need, consistent and unwavering investment in her community, and diverse farming system.”
Bourque and her family offer subsidized CSAs serving 85 families, donate plants and produce, run a summer food program for Grand Isle County, and provide senior shares to senior housing in the area. They also support the farming community, having been instrumental in establishing the Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market and offering apprenticeships each year. To care for their land and improve soil health, they practice rotational grazing, minimal tilling, and cover cropping and crop rotation.
Bourque said “We were amazed, and very humbled, to be chosen for the award because what we do is just what we do — farm, feed people, build community, build resilience, and also be hopeful. Small farms like ours are making a difference in our communities, building soil, building a food web, rebuilding community.”
The Eric Rozendaal Memorial Award is given annually to a farmer who honors the legacy of Eric Rozendaal — a thoughtful, creative, and entrepreneurial farmer. The award fund was created through contributions from Eric’s family and friends and is managed by the Vermont Land Trust.