Signing up for any farm apprenticeship means taking on a season of challenges. Over the course of this agricultural season, our apprentices will be working hard, rain or shine, hurricane or heat wave. Having gone through the apprentice program myself, I can attest that on their long days, apprentices will be exposed to the elements, multiple types of animal poop, bugs, rotten tomatoes, hot-pepper eating contests, overly-long anecdotes from permanent staff, inexplicable crop failure, animal escape, mechanical malfunction… I could go on. Grit and good humor are as important tools as any other in a farmer’s arsenal. To those who become career farmers, the many challenges of the profession make the satisfaction of the lifestyle even sweeter.
We are thrilled to welcome five new apprentices for 2013. Bill, Christina, Jessica, Leanna, and Maddie have hit the ground running in the few weeks that they have been here. The livestock crew, Maddie and Leanna, have already seen their way through goat kidding season and learned to muck out a chicken coop or two. The vegetable crew, Jessica, Christina, and Bill, can already boast a greenhouse full of seedlings, peas in the ground, and an orchard of apple trees pruned in a foot of snow.
One of their first (albeit not exactly farm-related) challenges was to register their opinions on a number of improbable topics, from an imaginary vegetable boxing match, to life stranded on a desert/dessert island, to a rhyming challenge explaining their motivations as farmers. An introduction to each of our new apprentices and their responses follow.
Bill, Vegetable Apprentice
A bit about Bill: William Raymond Ladd-Cawthorne hails from Chicago via rural North Carolina, Maryland, California, Vietnam, and Russia. He and his wife were married at Glynwood (in the back yard of the Main House). They currently live in New Paltz, but Bill is thinking about squatting in the root cellar (don’t tell anyone…).
What are five words to describe your dream farm business? City folk sustainably feeding themselves
What book would you bring with you to a desert island? On a desert island, maybe I’d bring the complete works of Shakespeare because I could get a lot of mileage out of it. On the other hand, maybe a book about boat making and survival skills would be the way to go.
What would you hope to find on a dessert island? On a dessert island, I would hope to find ice cream. Ice cream is delicious and infinitely variable.
What vegetables would you pit against each other in a veggie boxing match? I guess if I wanted to make veggies fight (which I don’t), I’d pit a bitter melon against a pumpkin, because I’m pretty sure the pumpkin would squash the bitter melon, which would almost certainly have it coming.
Maddie, Livestock Apprentice
A bit about Maddie: Born in Chicago, raised in Indiana, and schooled at the University of Michigan, Maddie Morley is a Midwesterner at heart who very recently moved to the Northeast from California. Having spent the past two years farming mixed veggies and fruit at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Maddie is psyched to be broadening her farming knowledge by working with livestock at Glynwood.
What are five words to describe your dream farm business? Rosaceae. Chenopodaceae. Solanaceae. Alliums. Pigs.
What would you hope to discover on a dessert island? If I were stranded on a dessert island, I would be absolutely relieved to find Old Tyme Vanilla milkshakes with homemade whipped cream on top.
What vegetables would you pit against each other in a veggie boxing match? Onion vs. potato. I’m a bit biased, but my guess is the onion would win since it would cause the eyes of the potato to tear up.
Fun Fact: I am a fraternal twin and a British citizen.
Jessica, Vegetable Apprentice
A bit about Jessica: Jessica O’Callahan is originally from Floral Park, Long Island. She studied Chinese and Anthropology at Bennington College. After graduation, she worked as an arts administrator for a modern dance company and is happy to begin a new career as a farmer!
What book would you bring with you to a desert island? Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities.
What would you hope to discover on a dessert island? Anything chocolate.
What vegetables would you pit against each other in a veggie boxing match? Dinosaur Kale v. Elephant Garlic. I think the elephant garlic has a stealth advantage over the dinosaur kale.
Fun Fact: I’ve been playing the flute for a really long time and now I’m planning to teach myself the banjo.
Christina, Vegetable Apprentice
A bit about Christina: Christina Pellegrini was born in Rochester, NY, spent her childhood years in Hummelstown, PA, went to middle and high school in Maryland, and spent her college years in NH studying environmental studies. After working at a lodge in the White Mountains and doing some Farm-to-School and environmental education, she spent nine months in Italy at Slow Food’s university as part of a master’s degree program in sustainable food systems. Just prior to arriving at Glynwood Christina was living in Oregon and interning with a non-profit organization that is in the early phases of establishing a community-scale food hub.
What are five words to describe your dream farm business? Diversified, whole-diet, community-based, educational farm.
What book would you bring with you to a desert island? The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
What would you hope to discover on a dessert island? The island equivalent to a wild fiddlehead fern.
Fill in the blank: Growing up my parents refused to let me eat: butter, red meat, too much cholesterol or fat, and nothing other than skim milk. Now I thoroughly enjoy: my pasture raised meats, bright orange egg yolks, ghee, raw goat’s milk kefir, and basically everything I grew up being told wasn’t “healthy.”
What vegetables would you pit against each other in a veggie boxing match? Stinging Nettle vs. Reckless Rhubarb. Who thinks a battle between fierce stinging prickles and wickedly puckering acids wouldn’t be riveting?
Rhyme: Creating healthier environments and communities is what I aspire to do,
By reconnecting us to our food, land, neighbors, and, oh…ourselves too.
Fun Fact: I almost made it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (before food poisoning took hold of me 2 hours from the top).
Leanna, Livestock Apprentice
A bit about Leanna: Leanna Mulvihill is from New Paltz, NY and is thrilled to be farming in the Hudson Valley. After completing a summer at a veggie CSA in Michigan and a compost apprenticeship at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture she is rounding out her farm experience by getting elbow deep in livestock with Glynwood.
What are five words to describe your dream farm business? Agroforestry for profit, food and smiles.
What would you hope to discover on a dessert island? If I were stranded on a dessert island, I would be relieved to find hazelnuts, cacao and honey among the local flora and proceed to make a very rough approximation of Nutella to keep myself occupied and fed.
Fill in the blank: Growing up my parents never: had beets, kale or arugula. Now I: add olive oil, vinegar and eat with gusto.
What vegetables would you pit against each other in a veggie boxing match? I would most likely set up a boxing match between one bunch of watermelon radishes and one watermelon. The watermelon was miffed that the radishes were stealing his style.