Our position as Farm Apprentices and Cheese Makers
Our chicken coop out on pasture at dusk.
Mike's role on the farm gives him many of tasks in a day. He is always fixing equipment and tractors, working on pasture and fence maintenance, milking the cows, moving bales of hay and haylage, and helping with making hay. On Wednesdays, Mike is in the cheese room helping to make our fresh cheese and butter. Every once in a while he helps out making Tobasi and Maggie's round as well as cutting and wrapping cheese. For the first two months of our stay here, we were the only interns, so we spent a lot more time in the cheese room and learned how to make everything. On Thursday, Mike travels to Manchester, Vermont for their farmer's market to sell cheese, meat, and bread from our on-site bakery. On Saturdays, Mike travels to Troy, New York for their farmer's market to sell our farmstead, hand made, butter.
Mike milking the cows.......in his bathing suit!
We work long, hard days and eat really really well. We eat everything we cultivate on the farm, plus we have a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) share with Caretaker Farm right down the road for our vegetables and herbs. And we are growing a large garden this year for canning and food preservation. Mondays are our days off, and we look forward to that day every weeks as the day nears. We at times feel warn out, and at times feel ecstatic, but we are enjoying our experience here. This is the fifth farm we have worked at in the last three years, and it will be our longest farm job out of any. Our skill set so far includes raising, breeding, and learning how to maintain the health of dairy cows, meat cows, goats, chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, and pigs, especially heritage breeds. We also have the experience of cultivating the land up to a 1/2 acre, and growing a diversified array of fruits and vegetables. From here I still want to learn a larger scale of biodynamic vegetable production, holistic orcharding, natural hive beekeeping, and alternative techniques of all kinds including no-barn, no-hay farming with heritage breeds and grazing year round. We have aspirations of finding land to farm, and working in community, ideally finding an existing farm that is looking for a couple families to take it over.