Monika's Internship in Finland


My name is Monika, I'm one of the Austrian trainees and I will tell you something about my internship from last year in Finland. I was in the middle of Finland on a diary farm for 14 weeks with about 150 cows, 140 cattle, some calves and one bull.


I am from an agriculture farm without any animals, so I decided to do my internship on a dairy-farm to get experience with this kind of farm work. It was a good decision, because I gained a lot of new experiences. I learned how to milk cows with the help of a milking robot and how to feed calves. I also learned a lot about the Finnish way of life. For example, I got an insight into the typical finish Sauna–culture and participated in a hunt. I also experienced the bright night skies, because in Scandinavia the sun doesn`t go down in the summer.  I also visited other parts of Finland. 


Finland is called “The land of thousand lakes”, and I confirm it. On every corner is another lake and around the lakes, the people have their small summer-cottages to spend their holidays in in a silent area. Finland has also a lot of woods and the inhabitants like it to collect the tasteful berries, mushrooms and herbs and use it in the kitchen to prepare food. And when you are “lucky”, then you can see elks, bears or rabbits in the finish nature. But especially in the northern of Finland, you are able to see a lot of Reindeers directly on the streets or in the cities.


In Finland were a lot of differences to Austria, but all in all, I learnt a lot, enjoyed the summer and I`m able to look back to a really, really great time. And now I am looking forward to a nice time in Maryland to collect impressions of the American way of life.


--- Monika Friedl

Elisabeth's Practical Training in Sweden

 Practical training in Sweden

Hi, my name is Elisabeth, I’m an Austrian student and spend my internship this year at Woodlawn Farm. Last year I did my internship together with my friend Verena. We were in Sweden on a dairy cow farm named Botans Lantbruk. The farm was located nearly 300km from Stockholm in a region called Rättvik.

Here I am with the Swedish flag.

Here I am with the Swedish flag.


  Our bosses Kristina and Bengt own the big farm with around 200 milking cows and a lot of calves and heifers, too. They have two girls, Josefin (21) and Mikaela (19) and one son whose name is Fredrick (17). The farm is one of the three biggest farms in this region of Sweden. 


 The cows were milked three times a day in a big milking carousel. We also fed the calves and cleaned up the barn. While we were spending our time at Botans Lantbruk, a new barn was built, so we helped the workers there, too. For example we painted the wall in the new barn. 


 The work was sometimes a little bit hard but we learned a lot of new things and it was very funny to work together with some Swedish workers. Now we know how to manage a barn with a lot of cows and how to milk with a milking carousel. 


In our free time we spent five days in Stockholm and in Göteborg. On each trip we did a little sightseeing tour, went shopping and spent one day in a fun fair. 



Verena and I enjoyed the 14 weeks in Sweden very much and we got to know a lot of very friendly people. It was a great experience for us. After this amazing time we especially missed the workers, the work and the delicious food of Kristina. 


 Before we went back home, we spent one week in the north of Norway in Tromsö. There we went hiking and shopping and we relaxed. One night we saw the beautiful polar lights which were quite amazing. 









Yesterday our interns arrived...

Yesterday our interns arrived and here they are from left to right Lisa, Tina, Klara, Jana, Monika, Verena and Elisabeth. The picture above was taken in Austria. The picture below is where they will be working this week, helping us to tend the vineyards. To the upper right is a peak at the pool, where they might be resting after a day of pruning and trellising.  

Welcome Tina, Lisa, Monika, Elizabeth, Jana, Klara & Verena.  Verena has already saved the beagle who ran away.  --- Maggie O'Brien


Welcome to our 2018 Elmberg Interns who join us for the month of July

The Elmberg tradition of training is quite remarkable.  The learning instinct of these young women is enviable; they are hard workers and eager to acquire new skills. 

In addition to gardening and vineyard maintenance, we will make sure they enjoy a bit of Maryland summertime fun: kayaking, swimming, crabbing and fishing as well as sight-seeing. They will provide the posts this summer and it will keep them busy and sharpen their English skills. Read some of the posts below for an insight in to past interns' humorous takes on American life.

Thanks to Christina Allen for bringing these student interns to our attention.

--- Maggie O'Brien

Greetings from Jubilee Farm! It has been a long and chaotic last few weeks here on the farm so forgive me for not posting anything until now. While things have not exactly slowed down, it finally seems like most of the machines are working, the barns are looking ship shape, and the wine is bottled and ready to sell.

It is hard to imagine that just over six weeks ago we had not harvested the grapes or even held a single wedding at Jubilee. Oh how times have changed.    

Save for  incessant rain showers at both Jubilee and Woodlawn on Saturday - thanks Matthew, things were seamless and pleasant. The new mower arrived early last week and oh boy is she a beauty. Let me just tell you this is not you're father’s John Deere push mower. With a six foot deck and zero degree turning the grounds at both Jubilee and Woodlawn are looking tighter than ever.

It has been a huge advantage having all the machines working especially since the days are starting to get shorter and the evenings chillier!  

I am signing off for now - feel free to come by. You might catch us kicking around the hacky sack or on the slackline, but most likely you'll just have to try some Slack Tide Blanc and watch us work!

Cheers! Angus

Sunset over the water at Woodlawn Farm 

Sunset over the water at Woodlawn Farm 




Angus Viebranz mastering the farm activities

Angus joined us just as Rita Trommelschlaeger and Viki Hoetzendorfer were leaving the US to return to HBLA Elmberg in Linz, Austria.  Rita spent last summer in Denmark and Viki was in Ireland. Now they can add Washington, D.C., New York City, and Jubilee and Woodlawn Farms to their travel notes.  We miss them both.

Angus is in a gap year from Middlebury College and since he comes from a family of creative sorts who bridge the business and non-profit worlds quite readily, he agreed to continue the blog this fall.  Stay tuned for more from Angus.  He and I are both hoping to learn the craft of the single skull this fall --- from the resident expert Tuck.  Cool day today so the thought of gliding the waters on the creek is enticing.

We all love our little notes from Rita and Viki and mine is right here on my desk. Thanks Rita and Viki!



The hardest part..

After our fancy trip to New York we had the hardest part of our practical training... saying good bye. It is never easy to leave a place you like especially when there a people who became your friends. It's impossible to discribe how much fun we had there and sometimes we just thought about how much luck we had to meet these kind, crazy, sweet and relaxed Americans and we recommend a practical training there for everyone.


Dear Maggie & Jim, Brandon, Tucker, David, Tobi and the other farmworkers we met,

it was such a wonderful time with you and we will never forget that. We wrote little "Thank you"-letters for you lovlies so we can say thanks to each of you because everyone did so much for us. We are very grateful to met you guys.



Don't forget us and all the best,


Ocean City

Today we startet at 6am and drove to Ocean City with David because we really wanted to see a typical american beach. After 4 hours- drive we arrived there and the first impressions were awesome! There was a little city with very nice shops and immediately beside that there was the sandy beach- just beautiful! At first we walked along the Boardwalk and then we did a little bit of souvenier-shopping. After that we went to the beach and we had a super-chilly, sandy and salty afternoon. At the end we went into a little fun park and took a ride on the ghost train and David and Viki hadn't enough so they took a ride on a hardcore fast ball. (See on pictures). All in all it was a funny and chilly day and we enjoyed it very, very much.


Searching for some adventure

Today we did a little bit of weeding and after that we had a little swim in the pool. And then we wanted to take a bike-tour but the cycle tyres were flat so we decided to go for a little walk. Rita always wanted to know where a special path which we always see on the way to Jubilee Farm leads to, so we decided to walk around that area. On our way we saw a path wich was busted,  some parts of a car like seats and doors and an american hunters seat. So we had much fun on our trip and it was like a little discovering adventure for us.


We visted Alexandria

Today we visited Alexandria with David (who else?). Alexandria is an older, but a very beautiful city and there are many tourists. After walking around and doing a little bit of shopping we went on a boat tour to National Harbour and that was veeeeeery beautiful. At first we went in a huge candy shop and than we took a ride on the Ferris Wheel (David was a little bit scared, haha!). After that wonderful day we went backand we were at Jubilee Farm at 1:30 am.

Painting has to be done

Today we did lots of painting. We finished the whole cottage because we started painting a few days ago with Tucker, Brandon and David. We worked the whole day and now the cottage looks brandnew! After that we hoovered the floor and the deed was done!


Washington D.C is calling!

Today we had the pleasure to drive to Washington D.C with our bro David. We drove with the car to the next Metro Station and took a train to the city. The first impressions were awesome. We always knew that Washington must be beautiful like many cities but it really is much much more beautiful than any other cities we have ever seen! And we recomend it to everybody in the world, because it is not just the city which is so nice, no there are so many friendly and kind people and the food is delicous! That was such a wonderful day at the capital of the United States.

Day after Wedding

Every sunday is kind of stressful at Woodlawn. There are many rooms to be done because of the wedding guests who slept in them. So every morning we start with cleaning the bathrooms, puting the bedlinens on, and preparing the whole room for the next guests. And in the afternoon there is always a wine tasting as we wrote a blog before. So our sunday is much more stressfull than the sunday of many other people.


What a heat!

The last few days were hot- nothing else to say! It is 35° here in America and that with a clear sky and nearly no clouds. There are even some days without any breezes and those are the hardest for Austrian Girls who are not used to that. So what do we do to keep cool? There are not many options but we know the best strategies (chilling on icecubes, swimming in the pool,...) but have a look at yourself.


Weeding over weeding

There was one big thing to do at Jubilee, one big thing which nobody likes but it has to be done- WEEDING. Oh yes, and today wasn't really the coolest so we had over 30°C and we weeded some parts of the huge Jubilee Farm- Garden- what a big challenge. We weeded until noon and went in to have a cool drink and as Maggie saw our red faces and said that we look like we are ready to die we were allowed to stay in the house and do a little bit of cleaning. After cleaning the house we were so happy to be finished and went immediately into the pool and swimming was absolutely the best of the day!


Bro's day the 2nd

Yesterday we had another day off with David and at first we drove to Ross (Shopping Outlet) and did a little bit of shopping. After that we watched a movie (Bad Mom's, by the way a veeeeeeery nice movie) again. We went to "Olive Gardens" to assuage our hunger and we had nice pasta and lasagna. In the end David took us to Leonardtown where a very nice place next to the water is. That was a very funny and awesome day again because he is such a weirdo like us, thank you for that David!


Days Off....

Today is a day off.  Viki and Rita were swimming this morning and we're waiting for their chariot (car) to go to a meal and maybe another movie .... and maybe the Calvert Marine Museum where they can observe otters and sift through sand to find sharks teeth.

But I have to tell you that last Friday they went to the Annapolis Mall.  When I picked them up, Rita said "Can we please go back to Marshalls, as my friend in CA said it's a place with great prices."   

So I spent money, too.  Yikes, shopping is dangerous!

Here is a photo shoot upon our return.  They hit Forever 21, which you can apparently find in Austria, but not so Victoria's Secret.  Notice the pink and black bags....



PS Tuck thinks their wine bottle skills are spot on!  They got his gold seal of approval.

Sunday at Woodlawn

Every sunday there is a big wine tasting and music event at Woodlawn Farm. Families and couples come to taste the wine or just chill and listen to the beautiful music. You can also grab some vegetables and melons there. Every sunday afternoon it is a enjoyable atmosphere because of the music, the wine and the water immediately next to you- what else?


Wine, wine, wine...

Today we filled the wine in bottles with Tucker. There were different things to do like fill in the wine, close the bottles with a cork, which was Tucker's work and to label the bottles. It was a very nice work which made much fun. Now we know what the last step is in the wine production. Tucker gave us a wine called "BLACK DRUM RED" as a little present and it was quite tasty!




Today the Job was Finished

Vigoe and Bonzai finished out the job today with a wallpapering skill that astounded us.  They've never done it before but managed to make a beautiful statement in the Woodlawn office room.  The room has been sitting for 2 years without the walls done but in 2.5 days with their persistence and determination it was transformed. See for yourself! --- Maggie

Two tired Woodlawn Farm interns. Here they are in full motion:

Two tired Woodlawn Farm interns. Here they are in full motion:

Pictures go up and a beautiful room it is!

Pictures go up and a beautiful room it is!