The constant swish-swish of skis
My dog, trotting barefoot
Word spreads quickly
Hidden in the vines
of marshmallow snow
on a branch,
await the trigger of my hat
to melt their way down my back.
Deep in the tomato jungle
Fruits of yellow, purple and red
Tell of their readiness
To go to market.
Snowflakes hurry through my flashlight beam,
As my boots knead new snow with spring mud,
On my nightly Hajj to keep the boil alive,
For as long as possible until the dawn,
To match the power of the flowing sap,
With my meager evaporator and will.
The prize at the finish line are jars of syrup
be available for light labor and know-how.
Relieved of the major management decisions of the farm, the old farmers can now enjoy the rewards of the operating farm they created without the requirement to operate it themselves. They can putter on the farm and maybe travel to exotic places.
The entire process might take five to ten years and can be adjusted for differences in personalities, abilities, and needs to transfer farm management.
At several points in this multi-year program, there needs to be points at which either party can opt out, for whatever reason. Thus there is a possibility of several "false starts", although the likelihood of either a mentor or apprentice calling it quits is greater in the beginning than it is later.
Not every apprentice who starts the program will finish it, for a variety of reasons. Apprentices might begin the program while other apprentices are in an advanced stage. It is as though your apprentice had an apprentice, too. Variations on this plan are endless, and will ultimately be designed to suit the needs of the farm.
The number of people required to operate this farm is at least two, and preferably three or four, mostly during the May thru November season at the present time with our current set-up.
During the apprenticeship stage, the apprentices will be these third and fourth people, but later in the post-apprenticeship period when the old farmers wish to do less on the farm, or have passed on, a new pool of apprentices will probably have to be considered.
27 Organic Farm Road, Pittsfield Maine 04967
owned and operated by
Tom Roberts & Lois Labbe
Tom: Tom@snakeroot.net (cell) 207-416-5417
Lois: Lois@snakeroot.net (cell) 207-416-5418
Gardening for the public since 1995.
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