"Grandpa bought this in 1919, mom and dad in '69 and I was 9 years old," he said.
He grew up here and now runs the farm. With so much to do, some things fall off the list, like maintenance. And Maille says this Shelburne barn built in 1939 needs help. That's where Melinda Mitchell comes in. She and a group of women volunteered to help with little construction projects, like painting and repairs. There's just one little detail-- all of these women are prisoners.
"I wasn't sure what to think of it, to be honest with you," said Melinda Mitchell, 21.
Mitchell has been in jail for two years. She says she was 19 when she was arrested.
"I was caught bringing drugs into Corrections to an ex-boyfriend," she said.
This is the Vermont Barn Painting Project; a partnership between the Agriculture Agency, Corrections Department and the Preservation Trust of Vermont. Money and supplies are donated from local businesses.
"There's an opportunity to make Vermont's working landscape really work. This is hearts and hands coming together and making a difference in the working landscape," said Jolinda LaClair of the Vt. Agriculture Agency.
Farmer Maille was skeptical when he first got the call from agriculture officials, but the women are supervised.
Maille said, "I was wondering, are they going to walk off with a screwdriver or wrench or what?"
He says the women changed his mind and his farm. The inmates' work saved him about $10,000 and renewed his sense of pride.
"My goal has been to get a dairy distinction award and this might be one step towards achieving that," Maille said.
Today, these women are celebrating over 1,000 hours of hard work on the Maille farm.
Gina Bullard: How do you feel when you see this?
Melinda Mitchell: I'm... impressed. It was a lot of work and it paid off.
Every day on the job site is one day subtracted from their sentence. Mitchell earned a month off her sentence and is set to get out of jail in 12 days.
"It's not a path anyone should go down," Mitchell said. "You lose a lot and it's not worth it in the end."
Helping inmates on their journey while helping farmers keep doing what they love.
The program started two years ago and the prisoners have rehabbed four farms so far. Agriculture officials are looking for an organization to take over the program, but will run it for now.
Friday, May 24 2013 10:25 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:25:31 GMT
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.State Police say Route 5 in Derby Line is closed near Caswell Avenue because of a hole in the pavement just a couple of feet over the lineMore >>
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
It was a storm that left residents with more damage than they could have ever imagined. "The basement has about 13 inches of water," said Bob Genter of Underhill. And preparing for the aftermath of theMore >>
Flash floods left destruction across the region. And the rain is not over. Heavy downpours left some people trapped in their neighborhoods as emergency crews work to try to clear the roads.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:54:18 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:20:50 GMT
As the cleanup gets underway from Thursday night's flash flooding, the focus shifts now to the broader impacts of rising rivers from around the region. All the rain so far and more to come is running intoMore >>
All the rain is running into larger streams and rivers that are moving rapidly toward flood stage.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:44:50 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
Over the river and throught the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, its the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door. Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turnedMore >>
Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:25:14 GMT
A rainy Vermont City Marathon forecast isn't slowing down runners or organizers. "Well, we're going to make some liquid sunshine out of all of this rain. That's the only choice we've got right now," saidMore >>
The countdown is on to this weekend's Vermont City Marathon and final preps are underway. Those finishing touches are coming in the rain, but organizers say the weather isn't slowing things down.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:35 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:35:15 GMT
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex. The parade is held annually on the Saturday morning of the holiday weekend. But after all the rain and flooding damageMore >>
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex.More >>