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NODPA Events Calendar

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June 2017

June 12-16, 2017
The Art of Natural Cheesemaking

Phone: 802. 586. 7711
Contact Name: Lucy Hankison
Location: Craftsbury Common, VT
Web Address:

From culture propagation to rennet coagulation and on to affinage, this comprehensive and hands on course covers nearly all aspects and styles of farmhouse cheesemaking. Five days of learning allows students to prepare many styles of cheese and observe the stages of their evolution, providing insight into how many cheeses can evolve from the very same milk, with the same culture, and the same rennet. The course will focus on natural methods and a full circle approach to home and micro-scale cheesemaking. Class begins with a session on dairy fermentation, covering kefir, creme fraiche, cultured butter, yogurt, clabber, and quark. Next, we will explore fresh lactic cheeses such as cream cheese, chèvre, and geotrichum-candidum ripened lactic cheeses, including Crottin, Valencay and Saint Marcellin. We’ll deepen our study by looking at rennet cheeses: One morning, we’ll prepare a basic curd that can become many different styles of cheese. By the afternoon, the curd’s acidity will have developed, enabling us to stretch the cheese into mozzarella, burratta, and other pasta filata cheeses. We will then investigate blue cheeses and explore the different rind ecologies, including the white fungus of Camembert and the orange rinds of Limburger. Last, we make an Alpine Cheese and a Cheddar; with their leftover whey we prepare a batch of fresh, warm Ricotta. “The Art of Natural Cheesemaking” offers a well-rounded understanding of the opportunities available to safely and deliciously create value-added dairy products ecologically and without reliance on manufactured cultures.

June 19-23, 2017
Holistic Livestock Husbandry
Phone: 802-586-7711
Contact Name: Lucy Hankinson
Web Address:
Location: Sterling College, Craftsbury, VT

Holistic Livestock Husbandry both highlights tried and true management techniques and exploring new directions for managing the small diversified livestock farm for healthy, contented livestock. The course looks at how farm infrastructure, feeding regimens, animal handling, and management decisions impact the health of the whole system—livestock, landscape, people, markets, and community. For two days, we will study different types of animals and observe how they interact with the landscape and facilities, using the Sterling Farm and livestock systems as a case study. During another two of our days together, we will be joined by renowned holistic vet, Dr. Hubert Karreman, who will walk students through hands-on exercises, observations, and discussions, toward an in-depth understanding of how to build an effective and caring livestock health management system.

The class will also feature a single-day Master Class with Dr. Temple Grandin, animal scientist, researcher, and author, of several award-winning books on animal behavior and management, including the recently released, Temple Grandin’s Guide to Working with Farm Animals: Safe, Humane Livestock Handling Practices for the Small Farm. Grandin will apply her groundbreaking approach to decoding animal behavior to small farms, identifying and addressing the special needs and challenges of these livestock operations. Grandin’s fascinating explanations of how herd animals think—describing their senses, fears, instincts, and memories— and methods for analyzing their behavior will help you handle your livestock more safely and effectively.

This course offers an opportunity to learn from some of the most acclaimed figures in humane livestock management in an applied manner and small farm setting.

June 26-30, 2017
Grazing & Soil Building
Phone: 802-586-7711
Contact Name: Heather Jerrett
Web Address:
Location: Sterling College, Craftsbury, VT

Livestock, humans, and grasslands have co-evolved for more than 10,000 years. Modern farming techniques can capitalize on this relationship to feed our livestock, heal our landscapes, sequester carbon in our soils, and create ecologically sound, humane farming systems. Join Sterling Farm Manager Gwyneth Harris and the Vermont Pasture Network’s Jen Colby to explore grazing systems and techniques. Together, we will look at the ecology of grasslands, savannahs, and woodlands, and the place of livestock animals in their development and maintenance. Next, we will look at how farms can mimic natural patterns to develop effective on-farm grazing systems. To this end, the class includes a master class session, Developing the Graziers Toolbox, with independent grazing consultant and author Sarah Flack. We will focus on measuring and maintaining biodiversity in your pastures; matching animal numbers and types to grazed and browsed landscapes; varying grazing impact to match the needs of the season and your herd/flock; and discuss non-ruminant livestock on the grazing landscape. We will also take a wide-angle look at the role that grazing systems can play in positive global environmental change with Judith Schwartz.

Level: Beginner

Prerequisites: This course is targeted toward beginning graziers, and folks who want to brush up on their technical skills or adapt their grazing system to a more regenerative model. We will cover forage plant ID, types of grasses and how they grow, incorporating different types of livestock, and grazing planning and rationing tools.







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