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Larkhaven Farm

2012 March 12
by Aurora

In April I will be leaving Portland to begin my six-month internship at Larkhaven Farm, a small cheese-making sheep dairy in Tonasket, WA. This has me all kinds of excited.

beautiful

Larkhaven

A lot of people have asked me why I’m going up to Tonasket (which is really far from anywhere) to do this. Well, here are a few reasons:

parker

Parker, the Bernese mountain dog

Who wouldn’t want to hang out with this guy? He reminds me of Wrolf, except white.

intern cabin

the intern cabin

Who wouldn’t want to see this view every day when they step outside their front door? This is the little cabin that will be my living quarters, situated above the dairy on the slope leading up to a flat-topped mountain behind us. Took my breath away. Wikipedia tells me it is high desert (arid, not actual desert), and my eyes told me it is just to the east of the Cascade Range, in some foothills. The Okanagan River goes by not too far away.

yet more sheep eating

sheep eating

Sheep. They may not be nature’s smartest beasts, but they are clever enough in their own way, and I am excited to get to know ours and learn their ideosyncracies.

BABY SHEEP! I will hopefully get to help with the tail-end of lambing (depending on the willingness of a few ewes to hold off on popping them out until I get there). So. Awesome.

Canada is only twenty or so highway miles away from where I’ll be, so I’m getting my passport renewed in anticipation of some exploring. If only I had the time to get all the way over to the east to visit some relatives… But that will have to be another time.

amazing

another great view

Making cheese! Not only will I have the opportunity to learn to make different kinds of sheep cheeses — hard and soft — I will probably get to know the process pretty darn well. And I will be learning the marketing/sales aspects of it too, making sales calls, filling orders, taking orders, all of that. This is extremely appealing as I have no business experience of this nature.

pastures with irrigation spigots

pastures with irrigation spigots

Appealing to my DIY side, the internship will give me the chance to learn to fix fences, irrigation, you name it. I will be helping make lambing ‘jugs’ for newborn lamb and mama ewe to chill out in for the first 24 hours together. I will be working with bees again, hopefully. I will be helping in the garden, and with the family’s chickens. I will be learning to can and do other types of food preservation hitherto unknown to me.

Other fun things I am planning on doing: going to a rodeo, going to barter fair, hiking the flat-topped mountain behind my cabin a lot, finding somewhere to go dancing in Tonasket, and reclaiming my farmer’s tan.

I am hoping to do epistolary installments of my life at Larkhaven during the six months I will be there. I will have intermittent email access and no cell phone. Look for posts from Alice of my letters to her, with pictures I’ve managed to get up on our Flickr account.

7 Responses Post a comment
  1. Priscilla permalink
    March 12, 2012

    Aurora, this sounds so amazing! I’ve been wanting to take a little trip up to the northwest… I hope to see some pics of your new farming adventures!

    • March 12, 2012

      Come and visit! =D It’s a bit of a drive whether you’re coming from Portland or from Seattle, but SO BEAUTIFUL the whole way. And for those unable to visit I will definitely be putting up lots of pictures. =D

  2. Irene Richard permalink
    March 12, 2012

    Sounds lovely! I’ll keep looking out for your updates :)

    • March 12, 2012

      Great! And if you are going to be over in BC at all let me know…. =D

  3. Alice permalink*
    March 12, 2012

    I can’t wait to come visit. You’ll be a cheese whiz before long! Ha. Ha.

    • March 12, 2012

      Hee hee! I love it. I’m so looking forward to showing you around!

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