Charlie hails from his hometown of Rye, New York, a suburb of New York City. Growing up there, farming was a career he never thought to consider. After graduating from Bowdoin College with a degree in economics and unsure what to do with it, he spent a summer farming with his sister in the Berkshires. Famous last words. From there, he moved on to apprentice at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA, and spent the following season with Noah Kellerman and Sophie Courser at Alprilla Farm in Essex, MA, as the assistant manager. Since then, he's been timber framing and milking cows in Vermont. Though his detour after college quickly became his career, his love for economics still runs strong and he's excited to finally utilize that skill set in his own small farm setting. When not hammering something or mucking the duck house, you can usually find him with a cup of coffee in hand, researching antique tools or reading up on behavioral economics.
Jillian was born and raised in Bennington, Vermont. Though she intended to escape her home state during college, she couldn't pass up the opportunity to attend Champlain College, in Burlington. There, she got a degree in environmental policy while simultaneously falling further in love with the Green Mountain State. Since college, she's farmed at Mighty Food Farm, True Love Farm, and most recently, Knoll Farm, where she had a transformative summer in the Mad River Valley with a flock of Icelandic Sheep and some phenomenal mentors. She's tried out a number of desk jobs but found that she was chronically daydreaming of farmland instead of spreadsheets. So with a budding freelance writing career and big plans for Take Stock Farm, she's renounced the office life for greener pastures. When not chasing Gunnar (the farm dog) around or lifting heavy stuff, she's usually also got a cup of coffee in her hand and some knitting needles nearby.
Take Stock Farm sits on 80 acres of land, about 50 of which are made up of forest. The timber framed barn, built in the 1880's, served most of its life as a dairy barn, housing a herd of cows that presumably grazed the pasture. Evidence of their presence can be found here and there around the property in the form of collapsed barbed wire fencing and the overgrown pasture inside the woods, surrounded by old hand dug springs. In recent years, the foundation and siding have been restored, and a 900 sq ft. apartment was built inside of it.
The land that lies beyond the barn's door is hilly and soggy - a great agricultural challenge for Jillian and Charlie. Ancient apple trees are scattered throughout the pasture which is bordered by quaking aspen, sugar maples, and beeches. The pasture is steep, but the view from the top makes a hike up worth it.