Thursday, October 28, 2010

Farm School!

This month, I was invited to attend the Quillisascut Farm School of the Domestic Arts, located in Rice, Washington. Quillisascut (Quil-li-sas-cut) is a school that teaches students, chefs, people in the food industry, and anyone interested in where food come from about the farm to table connection. We had several excellent discussions about sustainability, food distribution, and how to re-educate people about the need for nutritious whole foods. The small and intimate campus has a impressive organic garden, a small herd of goats, and a cozy lodge with a professional kitchen and plenty of warm beds. But wait, there's more, the group of people I went with were all chefs! While at the school, we cooked all of our meals from the food grown on the farm, and everything was mouth wateringly delicious!

During my four day stay I learned to milk goats, make four different kinds of cheeses, how to process walnuts to extract the oil, and how to respectfully butcher a goat. There were many other lessons that I learned and I'm happy feel a more enriched and deep connection to my small urban farm.  Thank you Rick and Lora Lea Misterly for providing such a beautiful environment for the rest of us to learn.I'll be doing several postings of my adventures at the Quillisascut Farm School, be sure to stay tuned.

We arrived at the school on a crisp, sunny day, with the smell of the first frost still in the air. The main building is built out of straw bales which makes a sturdy, well insulated structure.

This alpha male is busy breeding with the females this time of year. He is incredibly friendly and oh so smelly!  I've never really known the smell of a male goat, but the musty, pungent, kinda sweet smell is now forever etched into my nose cells. The milk from this herd is the key ingredient for making the wonderful cheeses at Rick and Lora Lea's business, the Quillisascut Cheese Company, located on the property just steps away from the school.

Rick, Lora Lea, and a couple of the chefs.

All our meals were a group effort and everybody shared in the cooking and cleaning.

This is Libby the Komondor guard dog. She protects the livestock and her dreadlocks are a great natural coat of armor.

A mother duck had 13 ducklings while we were at the farm, a very unusual time of year for babies to be hatched.  The family was gathered into a stall where they would be safe from the weather and predators. Seeing these little fluffy babies makes me think of spring!

The Thanksgiving turkey, the one with the blue face.

That's me in the purple coat.


  1. So envious! I love, love, love their book! Hope you enjoyed your stay. It sounds like you learned lots.
    xo, Sustainable Eats

  2. It was fun Annette, if you get a chance to go I highly recommend that you do! You will love it.