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5:00 to 6:00PM–Grange Program via Zoom: Back to the Land–Again–recorded!
February 6 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Title: Back to the Land Again—at Hollister Hill Farm in Marshfield
Description: Neal and Catherine Dunlop left their home in Washington, D.C. with their four kids to take over Hollister Hill Farm in Marshfield, Vermont. Their previous farming experiencing consisted of being guests at the Hollister Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast. Neil says his life reminds him of the Chevy Chase movie “Funny Farm.” They’ll talk about their reasons for wanting to get back to the land, how they were inspired by previous generations of back-to-the-landers, and what they’ve found since they took over in November 2020.
This popular program–39 folks joined us on Zoom!–was recorded; see below to watch and hear the recorded Zoom session:
Neil and Catherine Dunlop of Hollister Hill Farm
Capital City Grange lecture
Saturday, February 6, 2021
This recording began after the Dunlops had explained how they came to Hollister Hill Farm. Neil, as a travel writer, came to Vermont with his family on assignment 12 years ago, and they stayed at the Hollister Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast. Bob and Lee Light, a pair of back-to-the-landers who came to Vermont in 1973, had bought the farm in the 1980s; they got along well with the Dunlops and suggested the Dunlops buy the farm. The Dunlops just laughed and drove back to D.C. But last fall they came to visit again, and again the Lights offered to sell the farm—and this time the Dunlops said yes.
After the presentation, there were a lot of questions for Dunlops, lessons for them on how to make fermented milk products like yogurt and kefir and skyr, plus discussions of farm justice issues. Check out the transcript of the Chat for even more interesting discussion!
Here’s the Chat transcript, as usual, it makes more sense if you also watch the video/audio recording:
17:19:20 From Tim Swartz : You are special, you said yes! 17:24:48 From Tim Swartz : Farmers end up doing anything, in my experience. 17:26:05 From Lewis Franco : you did manghi their name. ;o) 17:27:28 From Tim Swartz : Canada is a LOT bigger! 17:27:50 From Tim Swartz : The strategic syrup reserve! 17:29:58 From Tim Swartz : This is Vermont culture! 17:30:23 From Mark, Vermont, USA : We, too, make yogurt from your milk. 17:31:41 From Mark, Vermont, USA : It also makes great chocolate pudding :) 17:32:21 From iPad : We make kefir from your milk too 17:32:31 From Paul Haskell : One can use an instant pot to make yogurt 17:32:53 From Lesley Bean : I've made skyr in my instapot - it's excellent 17:32:59 From Tim Swartz : In Vermont, there are lots of old lightbulbs... 17:33:50 From Merry Shernock : How many Vermonters does it take to change a light bulb? 17:34:24 From Merry Shernock : 10. One changes the bulb, and the other nine stand around talking about how good the old one used to be. 17:38:21 From Carl Etnier : Clabbered milk 17:38:30 From lindaketterer : What did you do before you moved to the farm? 17:39:40 From Tim Swartz : Neil & Catherine--when will you start raising goats? 17:40:20 From Andrew Christiansen : It's a comfort to know the farm will continue and as one who fought many battles with Bob and Lee for fair milk prices, I was wondering if you are going to be involved at all with groups like Rural Vermont. Back in the 80s, when my daughter was about 2 years old, she had her first political milk dumping action at your farm. 17:40:42 From Barbara Bruno : I make greek yogurt from your milk. I heat to cow temperature, pour into qt jars, place in a cooler with towel wrapped hot water overnight. For greek I strain it. 17:40:59 From zoechristiansen : Andrew's daughter seconds his question. 17:41:13 From Paul & Jeanne Haskell : Can you now sell quarts? 17:41:20 From Patrick Pfeifer - he/him : what is your daily milk production? 17:41:22 From Will Anderson : We have a friend in Maine with surplus goats, if you are interested 17:41:45 From Barbara Bruno : Will you be making raw butter? IT was always a treat to find some in the cooler. 17:43:41 From Merry Shernock : 39 people are participating today. Welcome! Help us stay in touch. Please go to Capitalcitygrange.org and sign up for the GRANGE NOTES email newsletter; just scroll down to the bottom of the homepage. 17:44:30 From Tim Swartz : or send me a message: firstname.lastname@example.org 17:44:33 From Merry Shernock : Can Rural VT help you monetize these value-added farm products? 17:45:46 From terry allen : kittens! more kittens! 17:47:05 From PMcAleer : yes, more kittens! will you continue the cat tradition on the farm? 17:48:28 From PMcAleer : we call him Pork Chop. 17:49:17 From zoechristiansen : I think you might be interested to learn more about the injustice of the dairy economy. “Forgotten Farms” is a great documentary about New England farms that explains, to some extent, how the global milk economy is destroying Vermont's small farms. 17:49:49 From zoechristiansen : Having a fairy regulated milk price would hardly be a charity, it would just be not a monopoly. 17:49:52 From Tim Swartz : I think you could make money to let people see you (trying to) milk cats.... 17:49:58 From Mark, Vermont, USA : Thoughts on sheep? Especially as you're so close to the Marshfield School of Weaving? 17:53:28 From Tim Swartz : Montpelier used goats to get rid of some at least of the poison ivy on the Bike Path by the high school. 17:55:42 From zoechristiansen : Struggling dairy farmers do not have the opportunity to create new ventures to generate income to help the farm survive. That's why, in order to stop the dramatic number of farms that are collapsing in our state, involvement in political action is so important. Not that this should matter, but as a 9th generation Vermonter who grew up on a struggling farm that did not make it, I can say that a positive change in policy would not be charity, it would be, rather, a move away from criminal corporate activity. 17:56:05 From zoechristiansen : This is all to say why Rural Vermont is important. 17:57:00 From Andrew Christiansen : Thanks very much for your interest in learning more about dairy and farm politics. Zoe hit the nail on the head. The price with manipulation of Minnesota-Wisconsin pricing mechanism and monopoly production by Danone of organic milk in violation of all the regulations have had more to do with destroying small family farms than anything else. I'd love to visit once the pandemic is over. 17:58:16 From Mark, Vermont, USA : Do you have questions for us about the area? 17:59:11 From terry allen : love to visit the farm, and have photographed it for years. are there things you want and don't want visitors to do? 18:00:18 From Paul & Jeanne Haskell : Phone: might have to do with your calling a cell phone or landline. 18:01:45 From Lesley Bean : Calais has 9 zipcodes. It's ridiculous! And the poor UPS and Fedex folks get very mixed up 18:01:49 From zoechristiansen : Thank you for words. I think what I'd really like to try to get across, is that creating a beneficial economic model for small farmers would not be charity, and rather, a cessation of, truly law-breaking violations which benefit large corporations. 18:02:53 From zoechristiansen : “Forgotten Farms” :) I really recommend this film 18:03:57 From Merry Shernock : With a "C" or a "K"? 18:04:55 From Neil Dunlop : Catherine Parsons Dunlop 18:07:58 From Gaia : Where are you planning to get the trees for your orchard this spring? 18:08:37 From Merry Shernock : We also invite you to join us for Community Potluck as soon as this !@#$%^&* Pandemic is over. We have DELICIOUS POTLUCK and we enjoy conversation. The Grange Hall is right on RT12 just past the I89 overpass. You do not have to be a member to participate. 18:09:05 From Stephen : Did you read about the goats that are rented out to drop in on Zoom calls? 18:11:09 From Neil Dunlop : if you want to be added to our email list email us at email@example.com 18:11:10 From Alison Forrest : Thank you for giving this presentation tonight! Good luck with all your endeavors! 18:11:38 From Liz Benjamin (Adamant, Vermont) she/her : Thank you! We're glad you're here! 18:11:58 From Mark and Teegan, East Calais : Thank you so much! I'll send the pudding recipe. 18:12:04 From Stephen : Thank you! Most enjoyable. 18:12:15 From zoechristiansen : Thank you for talking! 18:12:31 From Jill Muhr : Thank you so much! 18:12:46 From PMcAleer : thank you! see you at the farm soon! 18:12:49 From Martine Bisagni : Welcome! Nice to see you on zoom! 18:12:55 From lindaketterer : Great program! Thanks! 18:13:00 From charlesbateman : Thank You! 18:13:09 From terry allen : thanks. welcome. 18:13:39 From Andrew Christiansen : Thanks for this wonderful evening. So interesting to hear what's happening over the hill. 18:14:05 From Jennifer : Thanks for sharing!