by: Emma Brandt
This past weekend was a wild ride from start to finish. The Arcadians embarked on an Adirondack adventure to the Champlain Valley Harvest Festival in Essex County, where we learned more about local food and farming. The festival hosted local vendors and demonstrations on topics ranging from baking with ancient grains to cultivating gourmet mushrooms. We split up to hunt down delicious food and explore opportunities for our capstone internships at the end of the semester. Our time at the festival culminated in a pig roast.
When we stopped for a swim on the way to our evening destination, our assistant director Kim’s dog, Scooter, made lots of friends by hurling himself into the water of Lake Champlain.
Saturday night we had the pleasure of camping out at North Country Creamery, the producers of the yogurt we eat daily at Arcadia. Owned and operated by Steven Googin and Ashlee Kleinhammer, the creamery has twenty-two milking cows, calves for veal, and four goats, with whom we all fell in love. That night Ali Kostick chose an unconventional sleeping arrangement in the pen with the goats.
Early the next morning, nine students and a smelly Ali piled into the cars to go to Reber Rock Farm. The farmers there walked us through a chicken slaughter and eight of us chose to participate. During the learning opportunity, we each slaughtered one of the chickens we were purchasing. The experience of converting an animal into food was eye-opening for all and prompted many of us to be more conscious of the source of our food. After debriefing, we toured the rest of the farm and helped corral two escaped pigs back into their pen. We headed back to Arcadia with a new respect for local food and coolers full of chicken.