Schoolhouse Farm came to be after several years of searching for farmland had proven unsuccessful. With two small children and many years of farming experience under our belts, we were ready to start our farm business even without the land that we had been looking for. We purchased a renovated schoolhouse in central Vermont and with the kindness of neighbors, were able to graze our first herd of beef on neighboring land. That marked the first few grazing seasons of Schoolhouse Farm and with our recent purchase of a 130 acre farm through the Vermont Land Trust, they were hopefully the first of many!
The coming 2019 growing season brings our first flock of 1500 laying hens. They will be out on pasture, pecking away, moved to new grass daily, and fed organic feed, which in our opinion makes for the best eggs. In the colder months they will live in spacious greenhouses with access to the outdoors when weather allows. The hens arrival in May has Schoolhouse Farm eggs in Vermont stores sometime in June, so keep an eye out!
After attending Clark University in Worcester, for history, Sam began his career in farming at The Essex Farm in Essex, NY, with no previous agricultural experience. What was supposed to be a 1 year stint turned into 2, and what Sam once thought would be a side adventure became what he wanted to spend his life doing. He fell in love with working with the different livestock groups, as well as working in, and soon managing, the on-farm butcher shop. From there, he went on to manage livestock at farms in both VT and NY, as well as work all across the Vermont meat industry, from multiple slaughterhouses to retail work with some of Vermont’s most acclaimed butchers. After a long farm search with Brooke and their two small children, he is very excited to finally have a piece of land to call his own.
Also, he is from New Jersey. Please don’t hold that against him.
Brooke grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and began her adventures in agriculture when she moved to northern Vermont in 2003. She attended the University of Vermont for Anthropology and Psychology, with a spattering of Plant and Soil Science, and with a few farming experiences eventually decided that livestock farming had crept it’s way in to her heart permanently. In the coming years she would find that Sam had also crept his way in to her heart, although at a decidedly faster pace than her love of farming. Brooke, Sam, Lizzie the dog, and their 30ft Airstream Land Yacht trailer moved to central NY to live and work on a friend’s farm. Over the course of several years there, Brooke worked milking a flock of 120 sheep for cheese production, milking a small herd of Brown Swiss for a raw milk dairy, helped manage a diverse livestock operation for a full diet CSA, and honed her rotational grazing and on-farm butchery skills. At the end of 2018, Brooke and Sam bought their very own farm in East Calais, VT and Brooke is excited for this next chapter in her life in farming.
In her spare time, when she’s not fetching endless snacks for her two young children, she loves sewing, and true crime podcasts.
Meet Frances, Fern, Lizzie and Butter
Fern, Lizzie, and Butter would not hold still for a photo, so here is one of Franny. Franny and Fern are the resident 3 and 5 year olds of Schoolhouse Farm. They enjoy moving the beef cows and are very enthusiastic about the possibility of getting a guard donkey for the chickens. As of now they are a net labor loss, but we have high hopes for the future.
Lizzie and Butter are the dogs of Schoolhouse Farm. Neither are actual farm dogs aside from the fact they live on a farm. Lizzie eats a lot of compost.
Thanks for reading about us!