We graze cattle on Robinson Hill Rd. in Calais, Vermont - in the eastern foothills of the Green Mountains. The land we graze is part of a larger 500 acre parcel in the Vermont Land Trust and is owned by multiple parties who allow us to keep animals on their land. This is a unique and beautiful area and we are grateful to have the opportunity to contribute towards creating a legacy and lived reality of more resilient and healthy waterways, ecosystems, economies, communities, and diets in central Vermont.
Robinson Hill Beef recognizes the violent colonial history and active current neocolonial subjugation of this land, Vermont, the greater United States, Canada, and the rest of the Americas and its indigenous peoples. It is a matter of historical fact that the land currently designated and governed as the "State of Vermont" and the aforementioned Nation State entities also currently extant are in fact to be "owned" and governed by the indigenous peoples of these places - whether due to agreed upon (under often the most ruthless of circumstances) treaty or acknowledgement of military and political coup and genocide. It is incumbent upon us to presence this truth, to work towards a just and democratic reparations process with these communities, to understand this history and seek its meaning in and through our lives and relationships, and to challenge and resist the many ongoing attacks on indigenous communities locally and globally. An excellent source regarding indigenous history in the Northeast is Lisa Brooks', "The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast"
Robinson Hill Beef has sourced cattle from two farms outside of our own over the years. The last two years, we have had a few cattle butchered who were born on our farm - the results of Angus / Holstein heifers and cows crossed with an American Devon bull. But most of our beef cattle the last two seasons are American Devons who have come from Royal Larocque. Royal owns the Royal Butcher (a USDA inspected processing facility in Braintree) and has been raising grass fed and finished beef himself for a number of years. Previously, we sourced animals from the Berway Farm and Creamery, about an hour southeast of Montpelier in the Connecticut River Valley. Shirley and Wayne Tullar raise Certified Organic Grass-Fed cattle on their family farm for milk and meat. They've historically raised Holsteins and Milking Shorthorns, but have in recent years begun to breed in Angus for beef production. The animals that we have most recently gotten from them are 1/2-3/4 Angus and 1/4 - 1/2 Holstein.
Graham grew up in East Montpelier and currently lives in Plainfield, VT. He has grazed and raised grass fed and finished beef cattle in different parts of central Vermont for more than 10 years. Graham has been operating Robinson Hill Beef in Calais, VT since 2013.
Graham has worked as a mentor with youth ages 6-18 at EarthWalk Vermont, the ROOTS School, other local schools and educational programs, and by private arrangement. He works with Aaron and other collaborators to offer adult education in the community as well. Graham is the Field Organizer at Rural Vermont - a small farm and economic justice advocacy organization. He served on the Rural Vermont Board from 2013 to 2016. Graham graduated from UVM with a degree in Religious Studies and Plant and Soil Science; has a Permaculture Design Certificate from Yestermorrow Design / Build School; and attended the 3 year clinical herbal training program at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Aaron received his permaculture design certificate at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, and has completed advanced design courses and his Teacher Training with Dave Jacke. Aaron fell in love with regenerative design the first time he saw an edible forest garden, and has been studying and creating them ever since. He lectures and offers educational events in Vermont and around the northeast. Aaron and his wife are based in Central Vermont, where they are searching for a permanent land base on which to grow a food forest and family.
Graham and Aaron provide garden-to-farm scale consulting and design / build services as Walking Onion LLC. Walking Onion also offers educational programming at workshops and conferences such as NOFA VT, NOFA MA, VT Grass Farmers and Beef Producers, as well as workshops at our pastures and in local community spaces.