Join the Rutland Area Shepards!

The Rutland Area Shepherds (RAS) supports, educates, and advocates for its members and promotes the value and sustainability of sheep, lamb, and wool.  Member farm are located around the Rutland area.  New members who are interested in sheep-related agriculture are always welcome to join! Dues are only $12 per year!

For over 20 years, RAS has sponsored and run the Pittsford Sheep Festival on Columbus Day weekend.  In addition to sheep dog demonstrations, shearing, and our new feature “Leaping of the Lambs,” the festival is a way to show the community what we do and provide an opportunity to sell our products. We also have member farm work parties at which we have put up fencing, cleared fields, and emptied barns!

RAS meets monthly at member farms where they discuss and help each other with sheep related problems, have occasional guest speakers, and plan for future events.  Find out more about RAS at: www.vermontshepards.com or contact us at: info@vermontshepards.com.

 

April Events @ Earthwise Farm & Forest!!

Check out these 2 upcoming events at Earthwise Farm & Forest in Randolph!

  • Dowsing and Agriculture: Saturday, April 18th, 2015. This workshop will show you how you can use dowsing in your farming and gardening endeavors: from garden layout and design, working with Nature Spirits, Garden Devas and earth energies, picking out your seeds, determining soil nutrient needs, and much more. You will come away with not only a sense of the vast potential of dowsing for agriculture, but for all aspects of you life. Cost: $40 per person. www.earthwisefarmandforest.com/dowsing-and-agriculture
  • Cheese, Butter and Yogurt Making: Sunday, April 26th, 2015. Learn how to make delicious soft cheeses, yogurt and butter in your own kitchen! Get acquainted with using butter molds and adding herbs, or other flavors to your final product. With simple instruction and good quality raw milk, it is an easy and exciting activity providing nutritious, quality food for your family. Cost: $40 per person or $70 for 2 people. www.earthwisefarmandforest.com/raw_dairy_processing.html

For more information, contact Lisa McCrory – Lmccrory@hughes.net OR 802-234-5524

Scale Testing

The following is information being circulated by the Agency of Ag about days they will be set up around the state for scale testing (it is REQUIRED and it is FREE).  Mark it on your calendars now- it’s an easy thing to check off your to-do list very early in the season.

————————-

Scale Testing

The Consumer Protection Section of The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets will be hosting multiple scale inspection events around the state during March and April for anyone who uses scale(s) at farmers’ markets or farm stands to sell produce or other commodities. This testing is required by law, and the Agency would like to encourage producers to take advantage of these testing dates as they will replace the Agency’s annual visits to Vermont farmers’ markets.  This will allow the Agency to perform these inspections in a more efficient manner in a way that creates less disruption to you and the farmers’ markets.

Please plan to attend one of the inspection events listed below.  Bring your legal for trade scale, and any accessories that you use with it for weighing items for sale.

The following is a list of dates and locations for the testing in our area. Most sites will be at Agency of Transportation (AOT) garage sites. Hours for each location will be 9:00am – 3:00pm. You can come anytime during our open hours. The test should take around 10 minutes per scale.

  • AOT – Bennington, 359 Bowen Rd. – Thursday, April 2, 2015
  • AOT – Clarendon, 1628 Route 7B – Tuesday, April 7, 2015
  • AOT – Middlebury, 341 Creek Rd. – Wednesday, April 8, 2015

 

 

Job Opportunity – Little Lake Orchard (Wells, VT)

Little Lake Orchard is diversified farm and orchard overlooking Little Lake in Wells, Vermont. Our young orchard will bear its first crop of heirloom and unique apples in the fall of 2015. In the spring and summer we raise organic strawberries, sweet corn, flowers, and maintain a passel of pastured, heritage breed hogs.  We market our products through a farm stand, on-farm events (like the annual Strawberry Festival), local farmers’ markets, and our pork through community-  supported agriculture (CSA). For more information about our farm, please visit littlelakeorchard.com.

Job Type:  Apprentice/Employee

Duration: early May through end of October, 2015

Job Description: We are seeking a part-time employee to work with us in several aspects of our crop production, marketing, and hog management. Our work changes as our season progresses:

 In the spring, we’ll be caring for piglets, seeding, transplanting and weeding field crops, opening our farm stand, and preparing for the annual Strawberry Festival.

 In the summer, we’ll be harvesting and maintaining fruits, vegetables, and flowers for our farm stand and farmers’ markets; as well as caring for hogs, and producing value-added products like strawberry jam.

 Fall work will include harvesting orchard crops and field crops for farm stand and markets, caring for hogs, and preparation for fall farm events.

 Other aspects: to some degree, the position can be tailored to an employee’s strengths and interests. The right candidate may be more or less involved in direct marketing through attending a farmer’s market or running the farm stand, OR may be more or less involved in other aspects of marketing like social media, the farm newsletter, or event planning.

Qualifications:

 Excellent work ethic and positive attitude

 Significant interest in sustainable agriculture—undergraduate agriculture major helpful, though not required

 Ability to lift 50 pounds from the ground repeatedly

 Previous farm experience required

Compensation: We offer a competitive hourly wage, depending on experience.

Housing: Not provided, but we can assist you in finding housing locally.

Hours: 20-25 hours per week.

For more information or to apply contact Jill & Rico at: littlelakeorchard@gmail.com or (802) 783-8097.

RAFFL Farmer Discussion & Potluck – Monday, 3/16

Join RAFFL, Evening Song Farm, Gildrien Farm, and Old Gates Farm for a lively and interesting discussion about farm scale then stay to share a meal and catch up with friends, old and new, before the season is fully upon us!

Deciding on Scale: What size farm is right for me?
March 16 – 5:00-7:30* @ Evening Song Farm, Shrewsbury
Facilitators:  Kara Fitzgerald & Ryan Wood Beauchamp, Evening Song Farm; Jeremy Gildrien, Gildrien Farm; Adam Stevenson & Kristin Jacoby-Stevenson, Old Gates Farm

Many factors go into the decision of desired farm size and what makes sense given the specific situation of each individual farmer.  Each of the farmers facilitating this discussion operates at a different scale and will share their stories of how their farm has evolved to the size at which it currently operates.  Join us to discuss how you decided on farm size and the questions you have about what size farm is right for you.

*This gathering will include a potluck dinner so bring a dish to share if you’d like!

Directions to Evening Song (from Rutland)
Take 103 south to the village of Cuttingsville, immediately after the Ford dealership make a left onto Town Hill Road.  Go 1/4 mile and make a right at the Fire Station onto Shunpike Road.  Go .7 miles up Shunpike and you’ll see a driveway on the right with a sign for Evening Song Farm.  If using GPS, punch in 680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT.

Questions?  Want to RSVP?  Contact Jen at jen@rutlandfarmandfood.org or 417-7096.
Hope to see you there!

Agritourism Conference – Apply for Scholarships by 3/15!

Join farmers, educators, and service providers in Rutland, Vermont for a two-day exploration of open farms!
More information at www.uvm.edu/vtagritourism

Register on-line at https://www.regonline.com/vtagritourism-apr2015-rutland by Monday, March 23.

Scholarships are available. Please contact Barbara Noyes Pulling at Barbara@rutlandrpc.org or 802-775-0871 x207 before you register if you would like to apply for a scholarship. Deadline is Sunday, March 15.

Record Keeping Systems: A farmer-to-farmer discussion

February 19 – 3:00-5:00 @ Castleton Community Center

Facilitator: Becky Maden, Singing Cedars Farmstead

What information do you record on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?  How do you decide what to track?  Are you using Excel or Quickbooks?  What could be done to make your record-keeping systems more efficient and useful?

Learn about the record-keeping systems that farmer Becky Maden developed and used while co-managing Intervale Community Farm and then join the discussion to share what systems have worked for you.  Walk away with a plethora of ideas about how to streamline your own record keeping systems for this upcoming season!