Villa Villekulla Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
7129 VT RT 12
Barnard, Vermont, 05031

Primary Contact: Lauren Gitlin
Primary Phone:
    Type:
Cell
    Number: 347-276-7131
    Email: lauren@villavillekullafarm.com

Website: https://www.villavillekullafarm.com

Internship information
General Farm Description: Villa Villekulla Farm takes its name and inspiration from the ramshackle home of the original flame-haired independent spirit, Pippi Longstocking. As such, it is a one-woman operation founded by Lauren Gitlin and her retinue of ruminant colleagues that seeks to embody playfulness, whimsy and superhuman strength in crafting wildly delicious goatmilk based dairy products. Lauren grew up in Indiana and spent time as a journalist and wine seller in New York City before decamping to Vermont to learn to raise goats and make cheese with another flame-haired free spirit, Laini Fondiller of Lazy Lady Farm. After stints at Lazy Lady, Twig Farm and Consider Bardwell, Lauren smuggled three of her favorite goats from Laini’s farm and began her very own mini herd in January of 2019. She now lives with her ever-growing herd of goats, her husband Teo and her cat Bitsy in the Delectable Mountains of Barnard, Vermont. Villa Villekulla Farm Goat’s Milk Skyr is hand made in small batches using the freshest milk from the most lovingly cared for goats on earth. It uses rennet derived from cardoon thistles and is hand-ladled and strained to create a tart, thick, spreadable cheese that’s somewhere between chevre, labneh, creme fraiche and Greek yogurt and can be used in place of any of them to outstanding effect. While currently Villa Villekulla’s skyr is made using whole milk, there are plans to begin producing very small quantities of the country’s first commercially available farmstead goat butter, at which point the skyr will transition into a more traditional skim milk based recipe. (It has been tested and is just as delicious as the full fat variety!). A whey-based probiotic soda is in the works. The conceit is to scale out rather than up so that Lauren can give the creatures she adores so much the attention and love they so richly deserve.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: Rolling
Internship Ends: Rolling
Number of Internship Available: 1-2
Application Deadline: Rolling
Minimum Length of Stay: 2 weeks

Internship Details:

Things get rolling April first and will run the entirety of the grazing season (late November-ish). In the past, this stretch has been divided up amongst a string of wonderful interns who stayed from 2 weeks (the minimum) to 2 months, and is customizable though preference will be given to those who can commit to longer time periods. The internship evolves over the season. The beginning is focused on attending births and caring for (feeding multiple times per day, mucking pens, assisting with disbudding and vaccination) the most darling bouncy baby goats you will ever lay eyes upon. As the season progresses you will have a chance to participate in other aspects of a one-woman, 40 goat farm, from herd health to intensive rotational grazing to milking to assisting with processing skyr. Days are long — 6 am to 7pm roughly — but there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day for rest and relaxation. This is most assuredly not a 9-5 Monday through Friday type of deal. The ideal candidate is bright, hardworking, responsible/reliable, good humored, compassionate, curious, patient and observant. You must also be capable of lifting at least 50 lbs. This is a physically demanding job, no doubt about it! Promptness and the ability to see a task through from start to finish is required. No smokers, drug users or device addicts please. As with most things, you get out of this experience what you put into it — your curiosity and drive will be rewarded with an intensive crash course in farm business ownership, so questions are encouraged, as is the desire to immerse yourself fully in this life and lifestyle. Must have own mode of transportation. Room and board (a private studio apartment, a weekly grocery stipend and a CSA membership to a local farm as the time of year allows) are provided. There is a possibility that lodging will occasionally be shared with a second intern, so please be willing to accommodate a roommate. Every effort will be made to maintain privacy and comfort. Downtime is encouraged as the day’s schedule allows, and there is lots to do and explore in and around our sweet little town of Barnard. Email resume and references to lauren@villavillekullafarm.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
*All COVID safety protocols for out-of-state travelers will be observed. You will be expected to adhere strictly to such precautions for the duration of your stay here in order to avoid putting yourself or the greater farm community at risk. Please plan accordingly.


Educational Opportunities: Milk handling, fermentation, animal health and welfare, grazing, small business management

Skills Desired: No, though a strong work ethic and genuine curiosity tend to be traits that will serve an intern well here.

Meals: 3-4 shared meals per week supplement the grocery stipend

Stipend: A weekly grocery stipend is provided.

Housing: Yes

Preferred method of Contact: Email