Camp Notes Day 2 - Mapledale Farm

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Camp Notes Day 2 - Mapledale Farm

july 9 ffp camp day2h by Ellie MarkovitchHave you ever wondered what the world looks like to a cow? Today on our field trip to a dairy farm we explored taking photos from different perspectives and tried to imagine what things might look like on four legs (and with a reallllyy long tongue). Keep reading for more about our bovine adventures!
Photo by Ellie Markovitch.


Today we took a bus out of Troy into the lush hills of Berlin, where we visited Mapledale Farm, a beautiful Holstein dairy that produces and sells cheese. John Greene and his parents kindly hosted us and John gave us a great tour of the barns, explaining everything from cow nutrition to crop rotation and the importance of catering to the cows' needs when they're in the milking parlor.

Mapledale Farm 2

Before we started the tour, however, Ellie had a special lesson in store for us. With her portable iPod and speakers, she played Brazilian music while teaching us the ginga. The ginga is a part of Capoeira, the Brazilian martial arts and dance originally created by plantation slaves as a form of self expression and defense. Today, we were interested in how the body movements that go along with the ginga change your point of view and introduce your eyes to new lines of sight or frames of mind. The Capoeira places you at times on the ground, pretending to embody an animal, and even upside down! We tried to take this lesson with us as we walked around the farm, looking up into the cows' faces, envisioning ourselves as a butterfly when photographying flowers, and exploring many new ways to look at the world.

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Jinga 2

Where's the milk?Photo by Ellie Markovitch.

The cows on John's farm didn't seem to notice that we were seeing with new eyes, they were just wondering if we had brought them any milk or hay to eat. John explained that he is the seventh generation to operate Mapledale Farm, showing us old structures, such as the cheese and sugar houses, that had been there since the beginning. Like many farms, the Greene's farm used to be a diversified operation before focusing exclusively on dairy. In 2010, however, they brought back an old tradition when they began producing cheese. We got to taste some while we ate lunch and boy did it go well with Battenkill Valley Creamery chocolate milk. Mmmm.

LunchPhoto by Ellie Markovitch

Back at The Arts Center we wrapped up the day with a short documentary about the Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany and some of the people behind it. Then we talked about alternative ways of accessing and buying food, such as the food swap that the From Scratch Club holds where everyone brings something they have made and exchanges their goods instead of money for other people's creations!

Tomorrow we're looking forward to using some of the cheese we got from today's excursion for a macaroni and cheese adventure in the kitchen!


Photos in this post by Holly Rippon-Butler unless otherwise noted. Check out our Facebook page for more photos from the camp! Be sure to join us for the opening reception of the kids' photos. You can read more about The Arts Center on their website.


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