Louisa Conrad and Lucas Farrell started Big Picture Farm in the fall of 2010. Our farm is located in Townshend, VT (17 miles north of Brattleboro, VT).
Our 28 Saanens, Alpines, and floppy-eared Nubians live healthy and happy lives rotating through the rich pastures and leafy woodlands that characterize this Pyreneesian subregion of Vermont. As a result, the goats’ diet shifts naturally with the seasons – from abundant bouquets of spring wildflowers (wild chocolate mint, clover, honeysuckle), to lush late-summer legumes and berries, to crispy fall foilage (oak leaves, apples, ferns), to winter supplements of white pine, hemlock saplings, and premium (locally-sourced) hay. All of this translates into the exceptionally floral and creamy milk used as the principal ingredient and primary flavoring agent in all our award-winning farmstead goat milk caramels and small batch cheeses. To meet our goats, click here.
Like most farmers and artisanal food producers, we learned our craft largely by doing. We apprenticed at Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury, VT, where, alongside owners Greg Bernhardt and Hannah Sessions, we made a variety of fresh and aged goat cheeses. It was there that we fell victim to the magical charm of goats, and found ourselves attracted to the ryhthms of farm life. In the late summer of 2010, we were hired by Peaked Mountain Farm to help make and age their award-winning raw milk cheeses. During this time period, we expanded our knowledge and love of food considerably, and developed our skills in the areas of affinage, shepherding, artisanal baking, and farmstead charcuterie. We also began developing our goat caramel recipe.
Starting in the spring of 2012, with a little help from a USDA value-added producer grant, we surrendered wholly to the goats, our farm, and the production of our farm products. We invite you to follow this crazy journey at "Farm Weather," our daily blog.
Last but certainly not least, we remain simultaneously entrenched in parallel careers as artists. Louisa’s work spans multiple media: from photography, drawing, and installation, to performance and video. Lucas is a poet. One of our goals is to marry art chores with our daily farm chores in an effort to generate a living archive of the farm over the course of its life.
At the end of a long day, we feel extremely fortunate to be doing what we’re doing. We're encouraged by recent trends in the American food system. The market -- driven by the purchasing power of an increasing number of food and environmentally-conscious individuals -- is beginning to lend a greater viability to small-scale agriculture and the sustainable production of high-quality, low-impact food products. We consider this a gift. And we hope that, in turn, you'll consider our products gifts to share with your friends and family.