Born on my parent’s farm in Vermont I am the child of two 1970’s back-to-the landers. My mother milked cows and made yogurt on our kitchen woodstove, delivering mason jars of yogurt for sale to stores and homes. My father fixed fences, turned the grassland to hay each summer and homeschooled his children. Our school year circled around the growing season. Food lay at the center of life. As a child this produced many discomforts. Mandatory chores, mulching, weeding, wood-hauling and putting hay in the barn made childhood more about labor than play. But the upbringing gave me absolute comfort in the kitchen and deep admiration for food craft. I have had the privilege of cooking in the kitchens of Chefs Renee Erickson and Matt Dillon. And after nine years on the west coast, spent in Los Angeles, Whidbey Island, and Seattle, I have returned home with my partner Amy to the farm in New Haven Vermont.
I started V Smiley Preserves in 2013 while working as a line cook in Seattle. V Smiley Preserves are honey sweetened jams and marmalades that emphasize aromatics like scented geranium, yarrow or lemon verbena grown on our family farm. We also grow fruit like currants, gooseberries, rhubarb and tomatoes and additionally source from local and regional growers.
The honey comes from Kirk Webster in New Haven, Vermont. Kirk produces some of the best honey. It is an honor to sweeten and preserve fruit with his honey.