About vermont food & farm tours with
Green living & Wellness expert &
tour guide, Amy Todisco
ABOUT ThE Tours
Guided, memorable, behind the scenes, hands on food and farm tour/inspiring workshop experiences on authentic working farms around the Mad River Valley of Vermont for foodies and foodie wannabees. While spending time in nature on farms, you'll learn green living tips on healthy cooking, eating, and growing that will inspire you to change the way you look at food. Mainstream conventional food growing and eating isn't working. Vibrant healthy food truly can be our medicine. Find out how.
Organic Farm/Hydroponic Greenhouse/Backyard Garden
Pluck a pea off the vine as you learn about organic agriculture and the history of Hartshorn Farm, where your tour guide, Amy, lives.
Amy's organic farmer life partner, Dave, is also a fifth generation sugarmaker. Check out the maple sugarhouse. Find out how maple syrup was discovered.
Pop a sweet cherry tomato into your mouth. Pick some blueberries. Put your hands in the warm soil and plant something. Harvest some veggies for your lunch time salad in the farmstand. We will enjoy a home made mostly organic and hydroponic greens filled lunch. Other offerings may include farm made pesto with watercress and basil, fresh bread, soup, and more.
Visit the cutting edge, Green Mountain Harvest Hydroponic greenhouse where sustainability meets delicious year round in Vermont. Their motto is "Going green growing greens." Find out how they do this. Taste tender delicious basil, watercress and lettuce greens.
Looking to create your own beautiful and productive veggie, herb and flower garden? Check out Amy's backyard circular garden for inspiration. See where the wild stinging nettle is growing nearby and why it's such a superfood. Discover what might also be growing in your yard that you can use to heal. You'll also have an opportunity to feed Amy's horses, Koko and Amigo, some carrots and learn a little about horses.
Each tour is customized to meet the needs and interests of the group that shows up, which means each tour/workshop will be slightly different.
Medicinal Healing Herbs
Step into a magical world of herbs and flowers at Heidi's Tea House. You won't find totally manicured garden beds but instead a wonderful intentional wildness to Heidi's gardens. This woman knows plants. She used to own an herbal store on Martha's Vineyard Island and lovingly incorporates them into her every day life. The plants look happy, as though they are smiling. It smells fresh, clean, and beautifully aromatic-especially in her apothecary loaded with all kinds of herbs, teas, tinctures, balms, essential oils and flower essences. It feels like you are stepping back in time to visit a wise woman's healing space.
After arriving, we will sip some herbal tea together and get to know each other a bit, then wander through Heidi's medicinal herb garden and sample various plants. Find out what healing they offer. Your senses will come alive as you smell, taste, touch, look and listen. Learn how to make an herbal product or food dish. Take something home. The food that Heidi creates with herbs, such as goat cheese rolled in herbs, and a rose geranium cake, will make your taste buds dance. Besides being delicious they are also healing. An herbal inspired mostly organic lunch is provided.
Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms
Some years ago my organic farmer life partner, Dave, and I had the opportunity to learn from Nick how to inject shiitake mushrooms spawn into logs and then fruit them when we got home to initiate the growing process of these tasty medicinal mushrooms. It's exciting to see them start popping out on the logs. Sauteing them in butter and garlic and eating them was even more fun and delicious when you grow them yourself. On our tour, we will hike through the beautiful Vermont woods, breathe the fresh air, and learn to identify which mushrooms are growing in the wild, if they are safe to eat, and what they taste like. Learn how to grown your own shiitake mushrooms and take home your own log infused with shitake to "fruit" at home. Enjoy a mostly organic and hydroponic lunch.
Come with your curiosity and ask questions. Eat, Play, Learn.
Heidi LaLiberte—Medicinal Herbs
Nicholas Peter Laskovski—Wild & Cultivated Mushrooms.
Amy Todisco & Dave Hartshorn—Organic farmers & Hydroponic Growers.
Amy grew up in Manhattan with two foodie parents (before the word "foodie" was even a thing)—a chef Stepfather, Ron, and a mom, Alexandra, who was into organic and natural foods in the 1970's. Her great Aunt Jojo, who lived in West Virginia, was an early inspiration for Amy and her mom. Jojo grew the best organic beefsteak tomatoes, delectable vegetables, made her own soap, grew herbs and dried them in the cool basement. Sunday dinners at Jojo and Harry's was a treat to be savored.
Back at home, no sugary cereals, soft drinks, or junk food entered Amy's NYC apartment. Rarely did she even go to a McDonald's or other fast food restaurant—and that was only when visiting with her dad and stepmother. It was there that she sampled TV dinners (yuck) and some strange custard like concoction called Junket. among other food like substances.
Eating healthy, vibrant, made from scratch food from such a young age created some very discerning sophisticated taste buds. She does have a sweet tooth and isn't a total purist, but the majority of her diet is farm fresh organic foods.
Amy's passion for good food and gardening was further inspired when Ron (after he and her mom divorced) moved to Connecticut and started a backyard garden. It was there that she got to put her hands in the dirt, and pick fresh plucked produce to help Ron prepare his culinary creations.
Once on her own (first in Massachusetts, then Vermont) Amy started planting veggies, herbs, and flowers in pots on decks, and finally got her first big real garden in the ground when her daughter, Diana, was about 5. Bliss! So beautiful and productive, she was totally hooked on growing.
Fast forward to 2009, when Amy met Dave (on Match.com of all places). Nationally recognized green living expert meets organic farmer and maple sugarmaker. Match made in heaven. Kinda of like the 1960's TV show, Green Acres, although she never loved the city like Eva Gabor did. Together they have grown Dave's farm, Hartshorn Certified Organic Farm, in Waitsfield, into an educational & experiential center with farm camps for kids, 4 annual food festivals, farm to table dinners, special events, workshops, personal growth & wellness retreats, and now FOOD AND FARM TOURS. Amy created the website, Facebook page, and all other social media and online listings and is largely responsible for the event planning and promotion.
As a highly sought after Green Living & Wellness expert, Amy has frequently appeared in the media, including WCAX News, Vermont Public Television (VPT), Rachel Ray Every Day Magazine, Seven Days (Vermont’s Independent Voice Newspaper) Christian Science Monitor, and In With Skin, among others.
Early Green Living Expert Work
Amy’s early work in green living led to opportunities including acting as the technical editor for the Green Living for Dummies book, appearing in Vermont Life and Farm & Ranch magazines, authoring the Greener Life Guides ebook series, and co-authoring the Amazon best seller You Make A Difference: 50 Heart Centered Entrepreneurs Share Their Stories of Inspiration and Transformation. She even got a call from one of Oprah's producers some years ago.
Hartshorn Organic Farm
She handles the marketing, promotions and event planning at Hartshorn Organic Farm. She also runs the summer kid's farm camp, leadership retreats with Janis Cooper, and some new educational programs on the farm (soon to be released.)
Growing Economic Vitality in her community
Amy is passionate about her community, and has been devoted to improving the economic vitality of the Mad River valley, She served as a very active Board Chair of her local Chamber of Commerce where she led the positive transformation in turning the Chamber around. It's now on it's way to becoming a community asset and much needed direct marketing organization for her community. She's also the Founder and former Chair of the the Mad River Valley Wellness Alliance (a nonprofit collaborative of business owners who are committed to helping residents and visitors invest in themselves and enhance their journey of health and well being.)
Personal Growth & Wellness Retreats
In 2014, Amy created a unique and transformational personal growth and wellness retreat that earned the interest of Bernie Sanders, the Veterans Administration, WCAX news in Vermont, among others. She weaves some of the features of these retreats in to her farm camps, food & farm tours, and other on farm programs.