One year in, Dan and Elyse Wolfkuhle predict a great summer at Wood’s Market in Brandon


ELYSE AND DAN Wulfkuhle stand in front of the iconic roadside sign on Route 7 in Brandon, overlooking Jones Pond. Behind them is a new seating area where patrons can enjoy coffee and ice cream. Elyse is hoping to offer maple sundaes this summer.

BRANDON—The tables out front are laden with flowers, a dazzling array of colors in the bright spring sun. There are baby vegetables in tiny pots just waiting to go home with their adoptive parents, who will nurture them to maturity and then enjoy one of the delights of summer: fresh veggies straight from the backyard garden. The growing season in Vermont is short and people are eager to take advantage of it. And Dan and Elyse Wolfkuhle are just as eager to help them do so.

The Wolfkuhles took over Wood’s Market last year, after the sudden passing of its previous owner Jon Satz. The iconic farm and farmstand have been summer staples in Brandon since the Wood family ran the property as a cabin resort decades ago. Now, after the first frenzied year, Dan and Elyse have found their sea (farm?) legs and are raring to go for another summer.

“We’ve had a super successful greenhouse season,” said Dan at the stand recently. And the proof of that statement is in the pudding: there’s a kaleidoscopic array of potted and hanging flowers all about. “We’ve got oddballs you can’t find anywhere else. We grow everything ourselves.”

This summer, Wood’s will offer strawberries once again. The berry fields had lain fallow for a few years when the Wolfkuhles took over, so the strawberry plants had to be started again from scratch, taking two years to produce fruit.  

And last year’s extreme rain was not easy on the young plants.

“I’ve got a bit of strawberry anxiety,” Dan laughed. “But the plants are looking good and I’m expecting a good season.”

In fact, summer of 2023 was so dismal for growers across Vermont, that the UVM extension vegetable agent told Dan that he’d never seen worse growing conditions, with relentless rain and relatively few sunny days.

Nevertheless, the Wolfkuhles had a good first summer in Brandon.

“It’s a testament to this being a good farm,” said Dan.  

 “We learned a lot our first year,” added Elyse.

TABLE AFTER TABLE of beautiful flowers, plants, and vegetables. Whether you’re looking for something ornamental or edible, Wood’s has a terrific selection of high-quality organic botanicals that they grow themselves.

One of their most successful endeavors last year was their CSA program. Short for “Community Supported Agriculture,” a CSA program allows community members to pre-pay for vegetables and plants at the beginning of the season, to provide the farm with working capital upfront and to guarantee access to fresh produce for the buyer.

Wood’s offers an “open” CSA that’s essentially a gift card that can be used to purchase anything at the stand. They also offer a CSA specifically for flowers and one specifically for vegetables. The veggie CSA will operate bit differently this year, with Dan acting more as a curator, assembling boxes of vegetables that “make sense” together and including suggested recipes for them.

The stand also offers meats, baked goods, and cheeses from local producers, such as Blue Ledge Farm of Salisbury, renowned for their excellent goat cheese.

You can follow Wood’s on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website to sign up for their newsletter to purchase a CSA card.

If you’re still not sure what to plant this year, head down to Wood’s and wander among the tables out front . . . you’re guaranteed to find inspiration.

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