OUR FAMILY FARM
Hey there friends, we’re Noah and Marlena Fishman, owners of Zenbarn Farms in Waterbury, Vermont. Our passion for building community and giving back to the land we love, informed the steps we’ve taken over the years, which have brought us here today. In 2008, we moved from D.C. to the land that Noah grew up on. It was a big move, especially for Marlena, who was not only making the transition out of the urban areas she’d known her whole life, but also the transition of moving to a largely white state as a black woman. Despite the challenges and growing pains, we had the farmland, the woods and rivers as our inspiration and guide. Noah’s career in international development and sustainable agriculture took him all over the world from Belize to Israel, and finally back home to Vermont. Those experiences ignited in him a desire to bring a sustainable, community based business to Waterbury, and thus our community-based vegetable farm was born. It became a place for neighbors to gather and enjoy working side by side while enjoying the fruits of their labor.
As visitors came and went at the farm, we let the land inform our choices at every step. As soon as Ari Fishman, Noah's brother, moved back into town, more land started calling our names. We joined forces to revitalize the dairy barn turned restaurant next to our farm. From this point on Zenbarn restaurant was born. The restaurant, yoga studio and event space was a community effort to build and design. Noah and Ari’s mom, Susan, and Dad, Stephen, designed the space and utilized arts and crafts from their 30-year strong interior design and craft gallery business in neighboring Stowe (Remarkable Things).
When in 2017 hemp was legalized we made the transition from veggies to farming hemp, and went on to pioneer the first CBD infused food and drink program in Vermont at Zenbarn, which quickly gained popularity. Beyond our menu, we also became a destination for 420 parties, and special Hemp and Hops dinners. We kept hearing from customers that they loved our CBD menu items, that they tasted good, while other products they had tried hadn’t. So we tried what was out there, and discovered that much of it was of dubious quality and really didn’t get the taste buds excited at all. With that in mind, we decided to formulate a line of CBD edibles with our kitchen team and a line of topicals with our herbalist friends, all while staying true to our sustainable farming values and using the latest CO2 extraction methods.
In 2020, with artist and designer Shawn Rice as part of the team, we launched our brand new CBD wellness products under the name Zenbarn Farms and opened a retail store where you can buy the best of Vermont hemp products under one roof. Our motto is feel good, do good, because when you feel good after using one of our CBD products, we do good by donating 1% of profits to social and environmental causes. By building our businesses and farm to fit the land, not the other way around, we’ve been able to create products and experiences that capture the community and magic of Vermont’s incredible natural beauty and resources. We hope you'll give us a try or come visit us and let us know what you think of our new CBD products!
CEO, Co-Owner. After a career in international development and nonprofit management, Noah co-founded Zenbarn Restaurant and Farms. A social entrepreneur, Noah's passion is at the confluence of activism and business, building sustainable and ethical business models. When not working he can be found on the soccer field, hanging out with his two kids and enjoying live music.
Chief Cannabis Guide, Co-Owner.
Marlena co-founded Zenbarn Farms and Zenbarn's yoga and wellness studio and can be found running the day-to-day of our retail cannabis experience store, guiding customers and our business toward their respective goals. A mother, entrepreneur, educator and activist Marlena is a driving force behind Zenbarn Farms.
Creative / Marketing Director, Co-Owner. Shawn is an our creative genius, artist and serial entrepreneur. He can be found working late nights perfecting new label designs and coming up with ideas that are just crazy enough to work. Shawn brings over 2 decades of experience building VT's craft beer industry and is a passionate advocate for cannabis normalization.