Farm Shop Manager, Head Milker, Sour Cream and Butter Enthusiast
Amy had a crazy dream one night that she was a dairy farmer – how funny! Last she knew she was vegetable farmer who loved growing greenhouse tomatoes and salad greens. Now, in between milking cows, ordering delicious treats for the farm shop, and helping Paul fix things, she is plotting to bring veggies back into the Sidehill product mix. But she has to admit, she is pretty darn fond of those cows, poopy tails and all.
Head Yogurt Consumer, Source of All the Trouble
This was all Paul’s idea – him and his four-quart-a-week yogurt habit. In between making hay, fixing things, moving cows, and fixing more things, Paul dreams of growing figs and red wine grapes in greenhouses here in western Mass. He’d also to breed a cow that goes on vacation in the summer so he could paddle the entire length of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in his beloved Jensen canoe.
big rig driver
Dave recently told us that every winter, he tromps up and down the logging road behind his house on snowshoes, carving out a sled run that would excite even an Olympic luge contender. Why? So when his wife Carol comes home from her accounting office, she can blow off steam by taking a few crazy sled runs in the dark. Now that's a mental health plan we can support! But thinking of others is all in day's work for Dave - he's definitely in the running for nicest guy in the world. When he's not building sled runs or hauling tractor-trailer loads of feed or bedding for us, he's playing drums for his band, Swing Caravan, teaching drum lessons to kids, or doing a little freelance backhoe work.
Shahid grew up spending time gardening and cooking with his mother and sister, and has been making his own yogurt since he was a child. Now, after ten years “on vacation” as a white water raft guide, snowboard instructor, mountain biker, and runner, Sha is back making yogurt, although on a much larger scale than he ever imagined during those days in the kitchen with his family! On his days off, Shahid continues all of his outdoor adventures, only now with 2 year old Josephine riding shotgun on the stand-up paddleboard. You can’t miss Sha when you come to visit – he’s the one with the extraordinary collection of colorful knee socks, and the laugh you can hear all over the farm.
Milk Bottler, Relief Milker, Management team
Stella loves to laugh. And we love to laugh because she’s laughing. It’s a great relationship that just makes life a little better for everyone around here. She’s crazy organized, super efficient, and a licensed stunt golf cart driver. She can bottle 120 gallons of milk with a smile on her face. She can make a killer blueberry smoothie and stock yogurt and tell stories and make change all at once without blinking an eye. But look out, don’t cross her, or she’ll go all capoeira on you.
He might have hung up his racing skis, but Craig doesn’t seem to have suffered for either velocity or accuracy in the switch to street shoes. Craig is the only member of Team Sidehill who regularly wears Spandex, which we can forgive, seeing as he’s also the only one who thinks that a lunch break should include a quick bike ride from the farm to the summit of Mount Greylock and back. It’s a good thing he has that much energy - after making sure 1500 gallons of milk per week are made into delicious Sidehill Farm yogurt, he still has to go home and keep up with future speedsters 3 yr-old Jasper and baby Marlowe for the rest of his waking hours.
Farm shop caretaker, Equipment operator
If you visit the farm shop on weekends, you will certainly have a chance to chat with Steven. He's the guy who looks and smiles and laughs like Santa Claus, but after Santa got serious about being on a fitness program. Steven loves to get to know a little about each customer, so feel free to strike up a conversation - especially about birds, because he knows a lot! He'll happily help you carry your purchases to the car, hold the door for you, or tell you where to find the cows. Plus, he keeps the forces of farm shop entropy at bay, fixing all little things that the rest of us don't have time for.
When he’s not driving the SideHill delivery truck, you’ll find Dennis whipping up fabulous breakfasts at the Bird’s Nest Bed and Breakfast in Buckland, which he owns along with his wife Cyndy and mother-in-law Pat. The only guy we know who can wear a Hawaiian shirt with plaid shorts and not cause fashion chaos, Dennis arrives each morning armed with wry humor, the ability to leap annoying nonsense in a single bound, and the certainty that the human race will no doubt entertain him again today.
Every dairy farm needs a retired dairy farmer, and Ken is ours. When the hay is ready to be mown and baled, when equipment is down, or just when we dig ourselves in too deep to dig ourselves out, Ken is there for us. Ken and his wife Barb have taught us that in the end, the take-home prize is the loyalty and companionship, the rhythm of the work, and the ability to laugh at the unbelievable absurdity of it all.
Assistant Yogurt Maker
Each year, we are sure to observe National Onion Ring Day (June 22nd) with the whole Sidehill crew. Brian is this year’s recipient of the Most Enthusiastic Consumer of Onion Rings Award – an honor never before earned by someone in their rookie year. We think it is a sign of great things to come for Brian. When he’s not putting the finishing touches on a batch of yogurt , Brian is a passionate forager of mushrooms and other wild edibles, a roamer of forests, a GCC student studying Food and Farming, and a more successful fisherman than Paul.
3rd Degree Black Belt in Walk-in Cooler Spatial Relations, Professional (Yogurt) Boxer
Faye loves a challenge – whether it be taking on the temperamental filling machine, practicing a little freelance dentistry on her Shetland sheep, or keeping our walk-in cooler organized. And that’s a good thing, because any one of those would be challenge enough for most of us. When she’s not buried in yogurt containers, she serves on the board of the Shetland Sheep Association, handmilks her pet cow Mango, and knits amazing creations from wool from her own flock. She’s also a hard-boiled small town reporter, a sharp assessor’s clerk, and a long-suffering Red Sox fan.
By training, David is an engineer. We love that, because he comes to work and says things like "I've been thinking about your idea for an automatic gate opener, so I decided to build a few prototypes..." And they are good ones. David and his wife Sarah are learning as much as they can about farming before launching their own operation. We think that David will be a fine farmer - he is skilled with machinery and tools, but is also extremely thoughtful and careful with every detail. He asks lots of the right kind of questions, and has a great sense of humor. Exactly the kind of person you want in the next generation of farmers raising your food.
Phil is a retired high school teacher, and thanks to that 30 year career, has not only a sense of humor about everything, but the astonishing patience that comes from years of exposure to teenage shenanigans and brilliance. So while Phil would probably prefer to be spending his retirement skiing, canoeing, and taking long-distance bike rides, he's driving truckloads of yogurt and milk around western mass two days a week. Partly because he thinks it's fun. Partly because he gets to hang out with Faye (they come in and help each other with their jobs - it's very sweet). But we suspect that it's mostly because it makes Faye think he's not spending his whole retirement goofing off.