Thursday, March 01, 2007

Reaching Climax

Reaching Climax, NC

Feb. 27, 2007

I arrived at Goat Lady Dairy to start my three-month internship. It has been a long day. Up at 5am, flew out at 8am. Changed planes at Washington-Dulles and touched down in Greensboro 45 minutes late.

First impressions:
Very nice folks. The entire family is involved in the farm in some capacity. I've met Nate Tate, Steve Tate, and Ginnie Tate, in that order.

Nate is Steve's son. Shaggy blonde hair, slim build, and stands about 5'10”. At first glance he seems like a surfer dude. Perhaps it is the stylish sunglasses on top of his head, even though it is dark outside. He seems very smart. Committed to teaching the benefits of sustainable agriculture. He is in charge of reservations for "the restaurant" as well as working front of house for the "Dinners on the Farm." Most of the time he is a high school teacher in Greensboro. Blind as a bat at night, his driving made me a bit nervous. But he was kind enough to meet me at the Greensboro/Triad airport, so I have no room to complain. He drives a red Jetta. Looks like he lives in it, or is ready to camp given any excuse. There was a lot of camping gear and stuff in the trunk and back seat. We chatted during the entire drive from the airport to the farm. I like him.

We approached the 60-acre farm in the dark. From what I can see, it is set on rolling hills among the trees. Possibly pecan trees. We drive straight to "the barn" where all the lights are on and dinner is being prepared. I walk out of the car and see a bunch of adorable baby goats lounging under heat lamps. Saanan, Alpine and Nubian from the looks of them. I'll greet them later. Time to meet more humans.

We walk in the door of the big barn and am quickly greeted by Steve Tate. He's about 5'8", slender, with gray hair and shining eyes. He gives me a welcoming handshake and makes me feel right at home. Ginnie comes in and says hello, too. All quite nice.

Steve assembles the dinner that Ginnie has prepared. A sausage, rice, and black bean stir fry with avocado and salsa. For dessert, a lemon chess pie courtesy of Grandma Norma Tate. Ginnie and Grandma (age 87) live together in the house across the road.

I plowed through dinner and eagerly tried the pie. The pie was excellent.

I go back to the intern house, finish unpacking and crash. It has been a long day.

A nice way to roll into North Carolina.

Tomorrow I'll get settled in and check out the farm.

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