I have so much to report!
Last Saturday the farm crew went on a field trip to a creamery! I found the farm I’m currently working on through a website called Organic Growers School, who run this network called CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training). Farms in the region and interns join and have access to each other. They put out this big book every year that the farmers contribute to about how get your farm started, production models, business stuff, etc. They also put this farm tour together every year, where once month a farm gives a tour of their operation to the other farmers and interns and then we have a potluck dinner. A potluck made exclusively by farmers is an incredible potluck.
The June tour was at the Looking Glass Creamery, south of Asheville. They make mostly goat milk cheese, but some cows’ milk cheeses too. Most of you are probably overly aware of how much I love goat cheese and goats, and how I aspire to have goats. I wanted to make that point clear to anyone who I’ve failed to mention that to. In the farming world, I’m most interested in dairy goats and honey bees, and somehow I’ve always managed to work on farms that have neither. Someday.
The creamery does not raise their own goats for milk, but buy it from other near-by farms. They do have two nanny goats and two sheep, who are guarded by the fluffiest dog I’ve ever seen, named Moses! The goats are the largest I’ve come across, and Moses was about the same size. The sheep were unsociable.
Two of the other Interns and I took the Blue Ridge Parkway home. I take every opportunity to get on the parkway. We met this turtle on one of the overlooks. He could fit in your hands.
On Sunday, I played for a contra dance (with the same group, Out of the Woodwork) in a community north of Waynesville, called Fines Creek. The dance was held in a school gym built in the 1800s. The school closed in the 1960s and was vacant for years until they opened it as a community center. Stone and bead board!
On Tuesday, the weather was perfect. I understand the whole state felt great on Tuesday. Cool and dry after days of thick humidity! So at the end of the day I went on a trail off the Parkway, called Waterrock. Anyone who ventures up to visit me may be required to walk this trail, or at the very least have a picnic in the parking lot. I know it’s a lot to ask, but I just don’t see any way around it. You’ll just have to bear the burden of tremendous views.
The Warterrock overlook is the most deluxe I’ve seen on the Parkway. It has bathrooms, an information center and has open views to the East and West. The trail is about 2 miles to the summit and back down the same way. The whole way is pretty steep. The first quarter mile or so is paved.
I could not stop grinning the whole time I was on this trail. What a lucky dog I am.
I sat on the top of the summit for a while taking it all in, and I think I accidentally timed it perfectly. When I headed back down the sun was setting and the sky was turning orange.
The best part was when I got in view of the parking lot, I saw it was nearly full, and on the whole West-facing side was lined with people taking pictures of the setting sun.
One group kept singing the end of “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music. “Goodniiiiight!”
My camera stayed alive just long enough for me to catch the drop.
I’m curious if this conglomerate happens every clear evening.
I was so thrilled. I only wish that everyone I know could have been up there too. So, come and visit!
In other news, I learned how to use the tiller this week! I was very intimidated by the number of levers and switches, but I got it!
I’m now a member of the Western University Library, and I checked out the maximum 10 CDs I can get at a time!
I went to hear live Irish music and a beer tasting at one of the restaurants we sell to. All local beers! So good. The Irish music players sometimes play for the contra dances, and they asked me to join them on their next gig in Sylva. Goodness!
And here’s our tent at the Sylva market last Saturday:
It’s way past my bedtime!