Fly Creek Business combines agriculture and education | Business News

Christine McBrearty-Hulse quit her school counseling career five years ago and coached goats when she launched Hulse Hill Farm.

The farm on Fly Creek’s 5928 State Highway 28 has cashmere goats, bed and breakfast accommodation, and a farmer’s shop for locally made merchandise.

“I retired last June … but when I retired, I was young and passionate about agriculture, so I knew I had moved on to this as my next career and started my career in parallel.” McBrearty-Hulse, 56, said.

McBrearty-Hulse, a graduate of Cooperstown, said his passion for agriculture was formed over the decades.

“We moved here in the early 70’s or 80’s, so I joined the company as a 5th grade … and when I came here, my referral to social adaptation was 4-H. It was to get involved, “she said. “I played a rabbit and my sister played a pig. It was a great learning experience that gave me a lot of skills. Then I went to college and did some educational things,” I really am an animal. I wanted to go back to the area, so I started with a few and then brought them to school. I saw interactions with children, and just like you do therapy dogs, you can understand your claims and teach so much through their interactions with animals. rice field. I was really interested in it as a school counselor and used it in my approach.

“From there, I pursued it on the farm, and it became a farm stay for the family and provided them with that experience,” continued McBrearty-Hulse. “And I saw my parents really want their children to have that experience and learn about animals, because they can use it anywhere in their lives.”

According to McBrearty-Hulse, that spirit has brought about growth on and off the farm.

“We have visited visitors many times. They know all the animals and get involved in household chores at the level they want to be involved in, such as watering, buckets, collecting eggs, cleaning stalls, etc. “She said. “We met our family. The next step was to think about what we could do for the community on a farm very close to us.” Our farm is one of the closest farms to the village of Cooperstown, outside the Farmers’ Museum. There is a trail from school to us 2.1 miles from the main street, which is open for people to hike … so it’s a field trip, and it will be pursued now that we’ve crossed COVID. ..

“Here you can do everything on the farm, including English, science, vegetable growing, goat droppings samples, sustainability and traceability, textile education,” continues McBrearty-Hulse. “I have a huge number of educational units in my head that can be applied to all levels. And this year we have always asked students for help on the farm, but we are starting an apprenticeship program for students. It’s really important to experience and see what you can get from agriculture, that is, not only to work, but to enjoy it.

McBrearty-Hulse said that farmer’s stores are also showing growth.

“It came later. We started with the farm stay experience, and then I had the produce I was giving way to, so I opened the produce shop from there,” she said. “We are introducing other farmers and local artisans there. If I see someone doing something really decent, I hope they have their products there. is.”

According to McBrearty-Hulse, Hulse Hill’s eclectic products have created a variety of customers.

“We are so diverse that I think people have different niches they like,” she said. “We are planting a papaya tree that grows naturally in New York and has long been a collaborator with Cornell University, so for those involved in gardening and horticulture, we have that sliver here. Some people get something to look at as they grow their food and offer modern homes with old and new customs. Using fiber makes goats a big attraction — perhaps. Our number one attraction is the cashmere goats — and they are really very unique. Many people know alpaca and its wool, but few are familiar with cashmere goats, so goats and textiles. There’s a lot of education in general. The grocery store has regular customers who always come for eggs, jams, or the hand pie I do, and I just started the event this summer. “

McBrearty-Hulse said such events, including workshops on felt, goat combing and wool dyeing, underscore her educational mission.

“I felt like there weren’t many opportunities for agricultural education programs in a radius of 20 or 30 miles, so I started doing these workshops and attracting people,” she said. “I’ve advertised from Syracuse to Albany, Ithaca, and Catskill. Farmers are people looking for fresh value, and they come back many times, so it’s more families. Definitely locals, but my workshop is down the Mohawk Valley from Frankfort. Perhaps 90% of the workshop attendees are not (local). “

McBrearty-Hulse said he wants to expand the product and visibility.

“We end from November to March … but now I make sure I have access and what I have (farm shops, apprenticeship programs, farm tours, my information is there “She said.

McBrearty-Hulse said the next 10-person workshop on June 18th will focus on making scarves with cashmere in the scarves. For a list of upcoming workshop and farm tour dates, and McBrearty-Hulse’s hiking dates with Pack Goats, visit the following website:

You can also find “Hulse Hill Farm” on Facebook or follow @hulsehillfarmstay on Instagram.

Fly Creek Business combines agriculture and education | Business News

Source link Fly Creek Business combines agriculture and education | Business News

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