Purchased by the Emmons family in 1908, Cloudland Farm is working farmland in Pomfret, VT with cows, horses, chickens and more. Also on the property is a restaurant, using meats and other ingredients from Cloudland Farm and nearby farms for a true farm-to-table experience. Cathy Emmons married into the family, with her husband working on the property for much of his life, taking over the management of the farm at the age of 30. The couple has been married for 24 years now and expanded the farm's original offerings.
"My husband was running the farm even before we got married," Emmons said. "He raised beef cattle and harvested lots of hay before we got married, but since then we have diversified into raising pastured pigs, pastured poultry, laying hens, growing lots of vegetables, added a farm store where we sell our beef and pork and other farm products, as well as continuing our black Angus beef cattle herd."
The restaurant opened in 2010 and features a menu that changes on a nightly basis. Each meal is designed as a three-course experience that is made from scratch in the Cloudland Farm kitchen. That includes all breads, desserts and sauces that are served. Since the restaurant is only open certain days of the week, Thursday through Saturday from mid-June to mid-October, and Friday and Saturday all other months, dining is based on reservation only. Menus are posted online every Wednesday.
Emmons said one of her favorites is the chef's braised pork, served with a maple mustard sauce or a blueberry gastrique. Beef short ribs topped with a maple-balsamic sauce are also a popular dish when available. House-made pastas sometimes appear on the ever-changing menus, including a roasted squash cannelloni appetizer.
"Chef Ira plans our menus around the ingredients that are currently available to us," Emmons said. "We do our best to raise healthy, wholesome food because it's good for us, good for our guests and best for the land."
The restaurant does not serve alcohol, however, guests are welcome to bring their own to enjoy on the property. Emmons said during the summer they invite guests to arrive early to their reservation and enjoy a glass of wine outside. The livestock and garden are near the restaurant, so guests are able to watch horses and cattle graze, and take in the view of the garden. Part of the experience at Cloudland Farm is the environment.
"We are located four miles up a very scenic dirt road which we may take for granted, but our guests are always stunned by the beauty of the area," Emmons said. "[My husband and I love] sharing this life with the guests who dine at our restaurant throughout the year."
Cloudland Farm products are also available for purchase at the Cloudland Farm Market, located in the restaurant building and open year-round. Cloudland also wholesales its beef to a few local restaurants and the Woodstock Elementary school cafeteria.