1. How long have you been in farming?
Short answer: part time since 2007 and full time since 2016.
Long answer: I worked on a dairy farm through high school and college. I graduated with a degree in Animal Science with a double minor in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Tennessee in 2015. After graduating, I spent a bit of time working on farms in England (3 months), Ireland (1.5 months), Germany (3 months), and Israel (9 months). Right before coming to Carversville, I was helping a farm in Vermont with their lambing season.
2. What made you want to go into farming?
When I was in high school I had the opportunity to work on a friends’ dairy farm. It started by assisting with milking occasionally and hand-labeling thousands of pints of milk every Tuesday evening with the entire family (the processing plant didn’t have a labeling machine). During my summers off from college I was working farmers markets, leading farm tours, and helping run their business. It exposed me to a lot of the behind the scenes aspects of farming but those were truly what won me over. Going into college, I had always wanted to work with livestock but never really knew you could pursue farming actively without having been born into it. Some how I got this crazy idea that I wanted to be a farmer and that I was going to do whatever it took to get there. In summary, I like the lifestyle, I enjoy the hard work. The highs can be few and far between at times and the lows make you appreciate the successes. I like being outside and seeing progress and knowing that what you did that day matters.
3. What is something you have experienced here that you never expected?
A safety talk and emphasis on work-life balance.
4. What is your favorite season and why?
I like spring, it’s really cool to see the earth waking up. Even if mother nature seems to have been hitting the snooze button a few too many times this year…
5. What is your typical day for you at CFF?
Following our all farm meeting, we go off to accomplish whatever tasks we have been given for the day, and I trail after Kyle and Brian asking a lot of “but why…” and before we know it the day is over.
6. How do you unwind after a long day at the farm?
I enjoy reading, crocheting, yoga, and just spending time alone to reset.
7. What is something you can’t wait to make using ingredients from our farm?
A chunky red sauce with beets.
8. What’s a quote you live by?
“We had forgotten that the mountain still holds the master card, that it will grant success only in it’s own good time.” Eric Shipton Upon That Mountain. This is in reference to Mt. Everest/mountaineering but I tend to need a constant reminder that I can only do so much and that the universe has the final say.
9. What advice would you give to someone thinking about going into farming?
Work anywhere and with an emphasis on variety because you might think you like pigs and then you work with them. Read and ask questions. Find a good mentor, it can be life changing and learn from the not so good ones. Perseverance with a sprinkling of stubbornness does pay off.
10. If you had to pick, whats your favorite piece of equipment we have?
I really like the do-it-all capabilities of the skid loader, the wood chipper is a lot of fun, and the database of knowledge held within Brian and Kyle.
When people hear that we raise food to give away, they’re surprised. But perhaps most surprising of all is when they learn that the foods we donate include pork chops and hams. Meat is expensive – and rightly so. It takes months to raise an animal to slaughter weight, which is why people in poverty have historically not had much meat to eat. (And why splurging on tender cuts like pork chops came to be known as “eating high on the hog”.) These days, industrial scale farming has driven down both the price of meat, and the welfare of animals raised for cheap calories—but here at Carversville Farm Foundation we’re committed to raising both plants and animals in ways that are good for them, good for the soils, and good for the people we serve. That’s why this week we welcomed twenty-five new Berkshire piglets to the farm. They range from four to seven weeks old, in the ballpark of twenty pounds each, and are busy exploring their new home. In a couple weeks we’ll move them out to fresh pasture, and after that we’ll move them to new pasture every day. They’ll enjoy ample space, green grass, fresh air, certified organic grain, as well as delicious scraps from the vegetable fields, whey from our cheese-making (pigs love whey), and even the occasional cracked eggs from our pastured chickens (pigs love eggs too). Their manure will help build healthy soils and, come September when the pigs weigh about 250 pounds, they’ll become sausages, picnic roasts, hams and pork chops to feed families in need – for free. We take the same approach with our chickens, goats, sheep, and cows, raising all our livestock on fresh pasture. Giving meat away – especially such good meat – is an extraordinary thing. And by farming this way, the land, the eaters, and even the pigs themselves can all live high on the hog.
On May 4, 2018, CFF’s Co-Executive Director Tony Dorazio along with Chad Adams of Ground Plan Studio, Bio-Logical Capital will be presenting Carbon Farming: The Climatic, Social and Economic Implications of Regenerative Agriculture at the 2018 Sustainability Symposium hosted by Green Build United at Penn State at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia, PA from 9:00am-10:00am.
This session will be moderated by Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and will discuss Carbon Farming; farming in a way that reduces greenhouse gas emissions or captures and holds carbon in vegetation and soils. It is managing land, water, plants, and animals to restore ecosystems, ameliorate climate change, and provide nutrient dense food and educational opportunities. Also described as Regenerative Agriculture, these goals are achieved through a focus on lower-sequestration strategies like no-till organic annual cropping, perennial crops, and managed grazing. Attendees will learn the overall concepts and specific metrics of this emerging practice through four business case studies, and will come to understand the implications for communities on how and where these types of food production can fit.
For more information about the symposium or to register please click here: https://greenbuildingunited.org/events/2018-sustainability-symposium
Season meat with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper; set aside. In a shallow dish, mix flour with 1 teaspoon of the pepper. Place each steak in flour. Dip in beaten egg, then place in flour again.
Heat lard in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Fry steaks 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the flour into oil. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of skillet. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until thickened and bubbly. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons pepper.
In an effort to make warmer weather get here faster, we are bringing back our CFF t-shirts! Sizes range from Small to X-Large. Sweatshirts are $17.50 and we accept cash, check, or credit card. Merchandise can be purchased directly from the farm by contacting Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, 100% of the proceeds go to feed the needy in our own backyards.
By partnering with several Bucks County food pantries, Broad Street Ministry, Coalition Against Hunger, Cathedral Kitchen and Face to Face Germantown, people throughout the Philadelphia area are benefiting from our nutritious harvest.