They have been farming for 23 years. They started small and have added new things as the years have gone by. Their farming has been a way of life rather than a “business”. While homeschooling their two children they lived off the products of their farm, bartered some and sold some to neighbours and friends. They have transitioned from that “way of life” farming to more of a business – now that both kids are not living at their home. They will work this spring and through the summer on various ways to increase the business of meat sales, creamery sales, catering sales: working on a business plan, developing new and improved recipes and marketing ideas. They love farming, love their lifestyle and absolutely love sharing their passion with others. They have had apprentices in the past (more short term) and are excited about the possibility of having someone for a longer time period, someone who can really get a feel for the life, the job, the fun!
They raise humanely-grown organic livestock and a large family garden. Livestock: dairy sheep & goats, sheep & lambs, pigs, turkeys, broilers and laying hens and also are a licensed creamery & catering business.
Spring: birthing animals (kids, lambs), tending to baby animals (disbudding, castration, feeding, selling & general care) milking, seed starting, garden prep work, general farm maintenance (cleaning up from winter, setting summer systems up), fence building/repair, building projects (outhouse down @ cabin), cheese cave (in basement), cutting firewood, advertising for CSA,
Summer: milking, cheese making, cheese selling (most likely through various CSA’s), raise broilers, turkeys, start piglets, garden work (vegetable & flower), drying of herbs, food preservation as needed, prep of sheepskins (to send for tanning), soap making, building projects, stone wall work, general farm maintenance
Fall: Continuation of cheese making, animal care, common ground country fair kitchen work, food preservation, mushroom collecting, and continuation of general farm work as listed above, taking animals to slaughter
They expect apprentices to work 5 days a week. The work is physical. They work hard on their farm and would expect the apprentice to work hard as well yet they are open to flexible schedules. They have high expectations for themselves – and those who work with them. They cannot pay the apprentice but would offer room & board along with great learning opportunities.
Their intention is to work alongside or at least at the same time as the apprentice. Their “job” is the farm & creamery and would work with the apprentice sharing all of their experience, knowledge, passion & enthusiasm. Their hope is that by working with them the apprentice would gain valuable knowledge and experience in farming, cheese making & general homesteading skills. They also have access to other farms in the area for the apprentice to work with.
The apprentice would live in a cabin. It is small and lovely with a sleeping loft. There is no running water or cooking area. The apprentice would eat with us up at the house. They plan to build an outhouse and outdoor shower area for the apprentice down at the cabin. In the meantime you would have access to the house. They are not vegetarian but are fine with having vegetarians. They mainly eat the organic food they grow with assorted bits thrown in to the menu. Absolutely no smoking or drugs.