Farm Businesses and Gardens
Of the 400 meat goats raised by Chuda and Gita Dhaurali, most are male. The Dhauralis buy the goats at two-months-old and feed them grain, hay, minerals, and vitamins for a balanced diet.
Before Pine Island Community Farm, many New American families imported frozen goat meat from New Zealand or visited the Boston area. Since the business started in 2013, the herd size has grown. Customers pick out their goat, which is then slaughtered on the farm.
In Bhutan, where the Dhaurali family is from, goats are used for everyday dishes, like curry and stews, and are roasted at celebrations. Chuda and Gita spent nearly 20 years in a refugee camp in Nepal before resettling in Burlington in 2009. The Dhauralis and their two children live on the farm.
Chuda is selling compost at $5 a bucket and $20 a tractor bucket. BYOB (bring your own buckets or bags). If you garden at Pine Island, Chuda can bring a bucket load to your plot. Contact Chuda (802) 825-6626 or come to the farm at 1029 Pine Island Road, Colchester.
Chickens & Vegetables
The farm hosts more than 3,000 chickens. Theogene and Hyacinthe Mahoro have looked after meat birds since starting the chicken operation in 2015. They now sell thousands of chickens each year.
Chickens are an important part of the Rwandan diet. The couple arrived from Rawanda under the refugee resettlement program in 2004 and now live on the farm with their children. Theogene and Hyacinthe buy chicks when they are a couple days old and raise them for a few months. Customers choose their chickens, and the birds are slaughtered on site. The pasture-raised birds require close attention. Fencing is important as the chickens are threatened by raccoons and owls.
Hyacinthe also runs a large, commercial vegetable plot in the community garden area. She grows produce and sells it to Burlington markets and restaurants.
There are seven acres of community gardens at the farm that are used by approximately 60 families from 10 countries. Each family manages a 1/8-acre garden plot; they use well water to irrigate and goat manure from the farm to fertilize.
Families grow produce and grains such as African corn and eggplant, a variety of hot peppers, amaranth, bitter melon, and greens.These plots help people save on grocery bills and offer a chance to socialize.
The gardens are organized by language or nationality to ease collaboration. There are Somali Bantu and Bhutanese groups, and a group that speaks Swahili and French. Garden leaders meet to plan, share updates, and address issues.