No, I thought immediately, I don't need someone trailing behind me, being in the way, and needing to be taught how to do everything that I could do so much faster. Do you see what a control freak I am? I didn't tell her how I felt, but she must have sensed it because she wrote back that she would do ANY chores I wanted her to, plus she would bring her own lunch, and she would camp at a campground with her mother.
Hmmmm..., I thought, that sounds pretty good. I kept procrastinating on my decision, until I heard back from her again, saying that she would understand if I didn't want her to come, but if I decided it was okay, she would be very excited.
I loved her gentle persistence, and anyhow, how could I resist the idea of mentoring such an eager young woman? So Anna spent the past weekend with me, learning how to pickle, can, make sauerkraut, practice milking goats, trim their hooves, clean out the goat shed, bake bread, and weed the garden. She was an absolute joy and tirelessly worked harder than an adult would have!
Here is Anna picking cucumbers for making bread and butter pickles, and beans for dilly beans, and me holding freshly harvested Walla Walla onions:
The first day, we made four gallons of bread and butter pickles. We also made two gallons of dilly beans.
After lunch, I showed her how to trim goats' hooves.
Afterwards, she helped Steve muck out the goat barn. Then it started raining. Anna wanted to go out to weed the garden.
"Are you sure you want do weed the garden in the rain?" I asked.
"Yes! It's not too bad", she replied.
So we weeded the garden in the rain, which is a good plan because the weeds come out easier that way.
In the evening, Anna milked the goats like a pro. I was very, very, very impressed.
|This is Anna's happy victory dance! We did it!|
On the schedule the next day: make sauerkraut. We harvested cabbage from my garden, and then spent the morning making it into kraut. If you want to know how to do it, here is a tutorial on my blog. Again, Anna had a smile on her face the whole time. We made 35 pounds of sauerkraut, which is currently gently fermenting and bubbling in my kitchen, exuding an interesting aroma into our abode.
After a lunch of homemade bread (I showed Anna how to make it the day before), goat cheese, and tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden, we made goat milk soap.
A productive weekend, ey? Anna and her mother were very appreciative of the experience. And I really loved teaching this amazing young woman how to be more self sufficient and take care of the earth and animals.
So here is my idea: Why not create an apprenticeship program and offer it to the world at large? A weekend just like the one we just had, with lots of skills learned and practiced.
Anna and her mom told me that a two hour canning class in Seattle costs $75. Seventy-five dollars!!!!!!! I could offer my two day event for an amazingly great deal, and people would go home with their own canned pickles, bread, and soap.
What do you think of this idea? I am looking for ideas about where to market something like this, and how much to charge, so if you have any ideas or feedback, please let me know!