2010 Opportunities for Volunteers

2010 WWOOF Opportunities Update

We’ve been on the farm for over a year, and have learned a lot about growing food here. Last year was filled with experiments, this year we will pursue the most promising ones, and would like to add 1-2 WWOOFers for the growing season, ideally preparing you for the following year’s enterprise, either with us or elsewhere.

The average age of farmers in this valley is about 75. Many affordable farms will be coming available, and it is our hope that our valley can  become  a major local food provider.

We have the basic skills and equipment in place here, and hope to provide an opportunity for 1-2 WWOOFers to collaborate in several arenas:

Raising meat chickens in Salatin-style chicken tractors (Last year we qualified for the license to raise up to 1000 birds for on-farm sale. We raised, slaughtered, dressed and sold about 120 chickens in two batches, and turned a profit of about $700.) We have 3 ‘tractors,’ a ‘plucker,’ and all the necessary  equipment.  We have barely scratched the surface of the market.

Growing fruits and vegetables on about 2 acres of heavy rock-free soil. 2 donkeys and 18 goats provide lots of manure, which we compost. We have sold at the small farmers’ market in Raymond, and there are others in the area.  We have small informal farm events, and we eagerly feed our guests from the garden.

Wine-making. (Larry made 125 gallons of very good fruit wine. It is part of our farm hospitality.)

We will freshen four goats in April, and start making ricotta, chevre, and small batches of cheddared varieties to store as hard cheese. We plan to build a Grade A creamery kitchen within the next year, which will enable us to sell cheese to the public. Currently we consume all we make. We’ll freshen 6 more yearlings in August, and will be milking through October.

We still find time for playing Old Time Music and enjoying our farm lives. A few congenial collaborators would be most welcome, allowing us to help raise the next generation of farmers and perhaps even find time to pursue our passion for bicycling through farmlands and doing some WWOOFing again ourselves.

Get in touch, and if we feel like we’re a good match, come stay for 2 weeks so we can get to know each other. (That goes both ways, of course.) We’re eager to settle in for a productive season with compatible team mates. Come for two weeks, and we’ll see after that.

The donkeys, goats, chickens and pigs are part of our efforts to improve our soil. They are a major source of nutrition here, converting the countryside foliage into many forms of protein. Therefore, vegetarians are not a good fit for us.  The kitchen is part of the whole farm ecology.

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