Attempting to live a hand-made life
Years ago, I used to drive a forklift in a Hudson Valley warehouse.
Then later on I somehow got the chance to live in Stavanger, Norway and work in marketing.
Somewhere in between the warehouse and the executive washroom, I built a chicken coop and raised some chicks.
Just 25 hens and I sold their deliciously fresh eggs to friends, family, and colleagues to rave reviews.
I’ve traveled around Europe and Asia.
I’ve volunteered on farms and learned to make excellent breads and artisan cheeses.
I’m back in New York and everything is now in motion towards the inevitable: starting a farm from scratch in the fertile and bucolic Champlain Valley.
Some might say I’m cheap. I would say that I’m debt-averse.
Honestly, I’m not as well capitalized as others may think one should be when jumping into this type of venture.
But I like a challenge.
This is what the “artisan lifestyle” is all about for me anyways.
It’s less about earning a living, than earning a lifestyle.
Getting dirty, being outdoors, seeing what you’re really made of!
Besides, what good is getting to where you want to go without doing the hard work and paying your dues to get there.
So it goes with farming as with any other new career change.
The hand-made life is itself a lifestyle business where the primary benefits are not necessarily monetary.
Combining a love of place with a passion for artisanal fare
The place: My wife and I have always had an affinity for the Adirondack Park of New York State.
We’ve spent many vacations hiking, camping, kayaking and fishing around the Park.
It’s nature is unspoiled and pristine.
Outdoor recreational opportunities abound. It is a protected, living testament to what we hold dear; our connection to the natural world.
We always thought it would be the perfect place for us to put down roots.
Now the seeds have been sown on Triple Green Jade Farm.
The passion: While living abroad, we were extremely fortunate to be able to travel and imbibe the rich food cultures of Scandinavia, Europe and a even a taste of Hong Kong.
Even more important than just eating and drinking our way around – we knew we wanted to dive in and get some hands-on experience in these crafts.
So we volunteered on a farm milking goats & making chevre in France.
We learned to make artisan breads in Tuscany with Carl Shavitz.
And we spent time assisting farmers in Copenhagen with their resilient Icelandic sheep during the lambing season.
Recently I’ve been homebrewing craft beer and also making wine together with my cousins.
Beer, wine, cheese, and bread – just need some charcuterie and we’re a full on gastro-farm!
There are still a lot steps to be made along the way, but the goal is to create an eco-minded farmstead that provides local food that mirrors the wild and natural beauty of the Adirondacks.
I hope you can follow along in the adventure and that I can learn from you as well.
So, in the journey, here I am: ADK Farmer Dan.