As many of you know, Walpole Valley Farms is committed to promoting agricultural literacy through education. This is sometimes accomplished in little ways -- for example, a friendly chat with our store customers about how we raise their food and why we use the methods that we do, or through fun events hosted here on the farm. Other times, as in the case of our internship/apprenticeship program, it's a very extensive, hand-on process. Each year we take on 3-4 motivated, upbeat, bright-eyed-and-bushy-taled individuals to live and work on the farm as they learn the ins-and-outs of sustainable grass-farming. This week it is my distinct privilege to introduce the new team of apprentices that has joined us for the 2015 season. Be sure to stop in at the farm store and say hello!
The first arrival of the season, Rosemary did not have to travel far to make it to the farm. A native of New Hampshire, Rosemary has previous experience in the hospitality industry that she developed while working as an assistant inn keeper in Hillsboro. Here at the farm, Rosemary splits her time between caring for animals and helping out in our on-site Bed and Breakfast. In her free time, Rosemary enjoys swimming and honing her butt-kicking Kung Fu skills!
A graduate of Drexel University with a degree in electrical engineering, Travis has chosen to ply his trade with the portable electric fence system we use at the farm to rotationally graze our animals. Travis spends most of the work day caring for animals. though is also known to spend time whispering to plants in our vegetable garden. His favorite animals here are the cows, but he's advised me not to tell the pigs -- he doesn't like playing favorites! In his free time, Travis enjoys biking and exploring the hiking trails in and around Walpole.
After studying biology in college, Tina is all about the plants! On the farm, she fills the unique role of gardening apprentice. After lending a hand during daily animal chores, Tina splits off to plant seeds and do battle with weeds in our large herb and vegetable gardens. Thanks to her work, we'll be enjoying fresh, seasonal produce throughout the summer and fall. In her free time, Tina enjoys drawing and painting. She can often be found in the adirondack chairs near our farm store, drawing inspiration from the beautiful views.
Last but not least, Erica had the longest journey to arrive at WVF. A native of the Peach State, Erica studied business at Georgia Tech. After 3 years in the heart of Atlanta, Erica was ready for a change of scenery, and the opportunity to see the inner workings of a small, rural business. Here on the farm, Erica spends most of her day caring for animals. She has a soft spot for the cows, but also enjoys working with our baby chicks. She has recently taken up the hunt for a litter of kittens that one of our cats is hiding in the woods. In her free time, Erica enjoys swimming, reading, and writing.