Trying to do everything

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.

Big Goats!

Moses!

Hey Lady!

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!

1800s school gym

The former school I suppose

the view from the gym

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 think this is from a different overlook…

The Blue Ridge Parkway from above!

Half moon rising in the early evening

Trail

I stopped approximately every 5 feet to take pictures. I’m out of control. I’m only posting a small fraction.

Rock!

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.

I need to work on not getting those sun spots.

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.

The audience

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!

The Tiller!

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:

My previous perspective of farmers markets

My new perspective from the other side of the table. Check out that cloud sitting on that mountain.

It’s way past my bedtime!

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This entry was published on June 29, 2012 at 12:19 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Trying to do everything

  1. Jane on said:

    Your pictures are amazing. I want to go to the Blue Ridge Parkway with you!
    mom

  2. Wallerrooo! –Dad

  3. Becky Price on said:

    I taught at Stoneville HS and McMichael HS with your Dad and he has shared your blog and pictures. They are awesome! I have about 100 acres with my sister and daughters just south of Madison and we raise lots of garden. At my age (retired) and my husband is disabled, we rent most of the land out in pasture to our neighbor for his beef cattle and another neighbor who grows grains and soybeans and some tobacco. You are having a an incredible experience. Enjoy and hope you someday have your goats! Becky Price

    • Thank you for reading, Becky! I’m so glad you like the blog and photos. Sounds like you have a wonderful family garden. It is a wonderful experience to grow things. I’m learning a lot.

  4. Tiffany King on said:

    WNC is one of the most beautiful places to live! I’m so glad you are enjoying it. Matthew and I have 9 acres and planted over 500 blueberry bushes last year. We still have another year before we can reap the rewards but I think it will be worth the wait.
    I hope you get to have goats one day! Get some chickens, too, because they are a lot of fun. I miss our chickens. There is nothing like a fresh egg.
    Once word gets out that there is a talented new bass player in town, you might get all kinds of gigs!

    • Blueberries! I’ll have to come out and see your place sometime. I’ve yet to work anywhere that actively grows any fruit. They’ve all had wild berries, which are wonderful, but I’d like to know more about growing them on purpose.
      Chickens are funny creatures, to be sure. And there’s no going back to store-bought eggs.
      I feel really lucky to be in WNC.
      Thank you for reading and for your compliments!

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