Sing and Farm Camp March 11-17 2018

Join us for a week-long immersion in farming and singing! Participants will take part in all aspects of farm life, including milking sheep, tending to newborn lambs, feeding chickens and collecting eggs, pruning apple trees, stacking wood, making sheep cheese and yogurt, harvesting healing buds and resins from our forest and making traditional healing salves.

Between farm chores and activities, we’ll learn and sing powerful harmonies from folk traditions of Ukraine, Corsica, Caucasus Georgia, Great Britain, and the U.S.

Many folk songs are deeply rooted in agriculture – songs to ask for sun or rain, songs of planting and harvest, songs to honor apple trees and livestock.   We’ll sing songs from a wide range of traditions, with an emphasis on songs about the spring and the sun.


The week will end with a spring equinox ritual to celebrate the return of warmth and sun, and will honor the animals, trees, and land that sustain us.

Program Details

Tuition: $700


Arrival: Sunday, March 11

Camp Session: Monday, March 12 through Saturday, March 17

Departure: Sunday, March 18

Housing Options

Stay with us in our beautiful old farmhouse in shared bedrooms for no extra charge! Please note that you’ll have a few roommates.

If you prefer more privacy and comfort (or if you are allergic to cats!), here are some suggested local lodgings:

How to Apply:

Send an email to [email protected]

*who are you? why do you want to come?  *what’s your experience with farming?  *what’s your experience with singing? * food or animal allergies?

How To Pay:

  • send a check to:  Cate Hill Orchard 697 Shadow Lake Road Craftsbury Common, VT 05827
  • send an email to [email protected] and we’ll send you a paypal invoice
  • call us at 802-586-2059 to pay by credit card

Registration Deadline: We still have space — not too late to register!

Early Bird Registration: Register by Jan. 23 and get $75 off your tuition!

Cancellations.   If you need to cancel your reservation a $50 processing fee will be withheld from your refund. No refunds will be given for cancellations made 10 or fewer days before the start of camp. 

Please read before you apply!

Farming in actuality is different than the storybook version—grittier, harder, more intensely beautiful and at times more intensely painful. Lambing can epitomize the beauty and hardship of farm life. Birth is beautiful, messy, awe-inspiring, and at times terrifying.  While most births go fine with no problems, every year there are some problem births, and every year some lambs have health problems or may not survive. Participants are not expected to help with difficult births, but need to be aware that death is part of farm life.

The days will be long and full! While singing is an integral part of the experience, the care of the sheep and lambs will always come first.

Financial Aid:

We don’t want to turn any applicant away on financial grounds.   That said, we are a small, family run farm with all the typical financial struggles of other small farms. In order for us to do Sing and Farm Camps, they have to be self-sustaining, and cover the costs of our time, extra staff, and food.   Thanks for considering this before you request financial aid!


Ali Dineen is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, music educator and visual artist based in New York City. She performs original music as well as songs from U.S. folk traditions, incorporating historical and sociopolitical commentary into her shows. She believes in the power of narrative to connect people to their histories, themselves and one another. Ali teaches voice, accordion and guitar privately and in classroom settings, and leads a children’s choir at Pono Learning Center in Harlem, as well as assistant directing the Jalopy Folk Chorus at the Jalopy Theater and School of Music. She has studied and teaches from a wide range of musical traditions, from Eastern European polyphony to Bolivian folk songs. Ali has given her musical talents to various projects, including a performance at the Museum of Design with sculptor Julianne Swartz, and shows with the Bread and Puppet Theater. She performs regularly in New York City.


Maria Schumann  Maria is the farm’s shepherd, cheese maker, and salve maker, and uses her culinary passions to create delicious meals using as many home-grown and locally sourced ingredients as possible. Maria sang with the Yale Slavic Chorus in college and led the chorus at Bread and Puppet Theater in the late 1990’s. She now sings and teaches songs in her kitchen, in apple orchards and barns, and whenever and wherever she gets the chance.  Locally, she sings with the group Farm Song and leads a teen chorus.


Josh Karp is the farm’s orchardist, cider maker, bookkeeper, beekeeper, carpenter, and maintenance guy. Josh grew up on the farm and has a deep knowledge of the terrain and local community. Josh has been singing for many years and moves between tenor and bass as needed.



Josh and Maria’s ten year old son, Ira, will be around after school and in the early evenings. Ira loves making new friends and participating in group singing!





 “I want to thank you again for the amazing experience…working and living on the farm gave me so much more than I could have ever hoped for or expected, and I’m so grateful to have been able to share that little window of your lives with you. Now back at school I wish I could be there milking sheep in the morning and enjoying Maria’s fabulous homemade everything….”    –Kaitlyn,  NY

“I’ve been thinking so much about the farm. I’ve been dreaming so much, at least once every week, that I’m back in the green hills of the Northeast Kingdom. I am so thankful for everything this summer and can’t wait come back…”   –Elias,  NYC

“So… I spent the whole night teaching myself Child ballads. And I still get ‘Shepherds are the Cleverest Lads…’ stuck in my head at inopportune moments. I’m still missing you guys and so grateful…”   –Yona,  CA