A progression of investigations in Agroecology, Art, Natural Patterns, Architecture, Microclimates, and Regenerative Design.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Vermont’s Newest Farm Retreat Destination Offers a Whole Hog Butchery & Charcuterie Weekend Workshop with Rhode Island Chef Dave Johnson

Galusha Hill Farm & Lodge, a 600-acre farm retreat high on a hill in East Topsham Vermont, offers a nose-to-tail butchery and charcuterie workshop January 16-18, 2015, the first in an educational series of organic farming and food weekends at the estate. Guided by guest Chef Dave Johnson of Rhode Island, participants learn to breakdown a heritage Berkshire hog, turn it into sausage, ham, and bacon, and prepare a porcine dinner feast—while enjoying luxurious accommodations in the newly completed lodge and conference center.

Farm manager John Harkins, who raises heritage breed pigs and sheep, certified organic vegetables, garlic, apples, and open-pollinated heirloom seeds, will talk about how to raise organic, pastured pigs using a traditional forest-grazing system. The Berkshire hog to be processed in this class has been raised on the farm and humanely slaughtered at a local meat processing facility.

Photo courtesy of bestbyfarr.wordpress.com 
Chef Dave Johnson gained his appreciation for the farm-to-table movement while working at two of Providence Rhode Island’s finest kitchens, Farmstead and Local 121; he currently works for Whole Foods Market. As executive chef of Local 121 Chef Johnson directed a staff of ten in the development and execution of seasonally changing menus and a successful charcuterie program that specialized in nose-to-tail butchery. In this hands-on workshop he’ll lead the group through the traditional arts of butchery and charcuterie, to break down the animal into primal cuts, make pork cures, sausage, bacon and ham, and learn about dry-curing and smoking. The group will learn additional cooking techniques while working together to prepare a farm-to-table dinner, featuring organic pork and vegetables from the farm.

The weekend package starts Friday night, January 16 with an 8 PM orientation, and includes two night’s accommodations in one of nine private guestrooms in the 12,000 square foot lodge, with breathtaking views from the deck. In between meals and workshops participants can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and walking on the many trails on the property, use the spa, take a sauna, or relax with a good book. The program concludes after breakfast on Sunday, January 18. 

Cost of the program is $675 per person (single room) or $1200 for a couple (shared room). Price includes butchering and charcuterie workshops, materials and seasonings to create your own sausages and pork cures, a recipe workbook, 2 nights accommodations,and  meals Sat breakfast - Sunday breakfast.  Registration is limited to twelve participants.

To register by January 10, contact estate manager Jack Palmer at Galusha Hill Farm Lodge at 802-584-3061 or email jack@galushahillfarmlodge.com

A distinctive Vermont destination for corporate and group retreats, special events, family reunions, and sporting vacations, Galusha Hill Farm & Lodge is situated in eastern Vermont, in close proximity to Barre and Montpelier VT and nearby Hanover NH. The facilities, available for rentals, include a newly built 12000 sq. ft. lodge and conference center, a fully renovated 1820s farmhouse, and a private cottage overlooking a spring-fed pond. The certified organic farm produces heritage breed sheep and pigs, maple syrup, apples, garlic, and heirloom vegetable seeds. The estate, ideal for outdoor recreation, offers a 20-acre lake, miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and a tennis court.