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Our First Farm Heartbreak

Ok, maybe the heartbreaking cheese graphic is a little overboard, but still!

As we’ve posted about previously, the biggest update in our farming adventure thus far was an apprenticeship for Sweetbreads at Sprout Creek Farm starting this January and ending next June. We were planning to pick up our lives in Brooklyn and head out to Poughkeepsie to lay down some cheesemaking roots. Sweetbreads would say farewell to her office life and spend her days over the vat. I would keep my job in the city so we could pay our bills and continue to save. This was a big step for us and we were fully committed. We spent two full days at Sprout Creek this spring. One day visiting the farm, meeting the team and watching the goings-on from afar, and another day getting our hands dirty, milking the animals and actually making some cheese. We had been hashing out the details since early March and in June we got final confirmation about the apprenticeship. We were very excited and started to make plans for our new lives. We told our families and friends and I even made arrangements with my employer to commute four days per week and work one day per week from the new home. Everything was looking up!

That was until we recently got word that the terms of the apprenticeship were changing. Sweetbreads' involvement was going to be meaningfully less than originally expected. After some discussion it became clear that our expectations and those of the farm were very different, and it was better to move on. It’s unfortunate that we weren't able to work something out, but it’s far better that we came to this conslusion now rather than after we actually moved up there.

Of course it was (and still is) pretty tough for us to stomach. We had such good experiences at Sprout in recent months and we were really looking forward to getting our feet wet. We know that a much more difficult road lies ahead and we'll probably look back on this and realize that it pales in comparison, but for now it's heartbreaking. The good thing about New York is that there's many opportunities. Stay tuned.


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