Service Week - day one at the farm!
This afternoon we ventured to Wolfe’s Neck Farm to assist the farm in whatever needed to be done. Eric Tadlock, the Director of Education, first asked us to introduce ourselves and then gave us an overview of his job. He then explained the different jobs that needed to be done. Half of the group would stack bales of hay that had remained intact from the previous weekend’s hay maze, while the others would put a few garden beds to rest by breaking up old plants and covering them with compost, hay and seaweed. Before leaving, we would reconvene to help move picnic tables spread out from the Fall Festival held the week before. We soon split up, gathering in the gardens or the barn.
I (Sarah) was part of the group working in the gardens. My time was spent breaking up the old beds with a shovel, and then working with Allegra to fill up a wheelbarrow with compost to take to any beds that required it. We needed to make sure there was enough to cover the beds in a 2-inch layer of compost. Unfortunately, the wheelbarrow we had chosen had a flattened tire, so it took quite a bit of upper-body strength to push it from the compost piles to the beds. It was a methodical process of shoveling compost into the wheelbarrow, pushing it towards whichever bed needed it, dumping it onto the bed, and spreading it out evenly. I then moved on to coating the newly covered beds with a thin layer of hay and after that had been finished, Allegra and I teamed up again to fill the wheelbarrow with seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus) to cover the hay. We used the same process, and soon our work was done. As I looked at our finished job, it struck me how much we had actually completed for the farm, and how much time we had just saved for those working at Wolfe’s Neck. There is no better reward than feeling as if you actually had a positive impact on someone else’s life.
I (Kim), helped out at Wolfe's neck farm by putting the flower beds to rest. Eric Tadlock told us that we had to turn over the crop that was growing there, and stack multiple layers onto the land. The patch of land that Isis and I decided to upturn had plants with larger roots, and it took us longer to shovel the soil. We then asked Allegra and Sarah to bring us some compost, and we piled on the compost until it was widely spread out and had a thickness of two inches. Furthermore, we piled on some seaweed to finish off the flowerbed. Since we were done with the flowerbed, I decided to walk around and finish piling on layers and helping people seed garlic for the following year. It was a lot of fun volunteering for this farm, because I felt like it was beneficial to the farm. They could be using their time to take care of their barn and farm animals, instead of cleaning up hay, or putting flowerbeds to rest.
While Sarah and Kim were hanging out in the garden I (Erica) was in the barn sorting out the still bailed hay from the loose hay and raking all the loose hay into one pile to be re-bailed in the near future. After we (the group I was in) had finished with the hay we were then gifted with the task of mucking out the pigpen. Tragically, I had worn my wet shoes adding an all-new level of unexpected excitement to the task. Although this chore was less than glamorous it felt very rewarding when we had finished. In some ways it reminded me of cleaning out my gerbils’ cage when I was younger, but on a much larger scale. After the pigpen had been mucked and restocked with hay we then moved picnic tables re-arranged from the Fall Festival held the week before. In short, I enjoyed the tasks that were assigned to me, no matter how dirty they were.
Today, we took action to assist a local farm and friend of CSG in getting the work done necessary for the organization to run. We went out of our way to help the farm, ready to complete and chore that needed to be done. Wolfe’s Neck Farm allows Coastal Studies for Girls to use their trails and visit the farm regularly, and, more importantly, the land the little yellow farmhouse sits on is owned by the farm. Our volunteer work today allows us to show our gratitude towards them.
Wolfe’s Neck Farm opens its farm to the whole community, young and old. The people at Wolfe’s Neck Farm dedicate a lot of their time and effort to support life long learning, giving tours to families with toddlers and grandparents. Inviting all of their visitors to come back with a friend. This volunteer time has also opened up our eyes to the importance of supporting locally raised food, a theme that will continue throughout our lives.
The work we did today was very important to Wolfe’s Neck Farm because the jobs we completed in about 2 hours would have taken Eric, or any of the other farmers, a week to finish. Time that they generally don’t have. This gives back to the community because Wolfe’s Neck Farm is open to the public and spends its time teaching others about agriculture and providing produce. Our time spent allows more time for the people at Wolfe’s Neck Farm to spend on harvesting, and educating the community.
Posted by Coastal Studies for Girls