Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lessons from the Farm

Hi guys!! I am actually following the schedule! WOO, let's see how it goes during this month of September. My life has been really hectic from meeting all kinds of new people and academic seminars. I haven't even started school yet but I'm already kind of overwhelmed. People are REALLY nice here though and I'm getting along better with my roommate.

CHICKENS! They are so pretty. 
I went to a farm during my orientation group and it was a very interesting experience. The farm was a quaint place with a few animals and a wide span of crops. It wasn't necessarily organic but all the food was grown without pesticides (the farmers still use a small dosage of fertilizer) and on a small scale. It was exactly how a farm should look. During this group, I expected more of a conversation about environmental sustainability and how to balance commercial farming while keeping your ethics in check. Farming in the US is probably the least natural thing there is...

The first hour we toured around the farm. We split into two groups. I spread around mulch and that was pretty easy and fun work. The last 2-3 hours, we did a LOT of manual labor. I used a machete for the very first time to hack down some weeds... People were taking down old infrastructure and a group of 16 girls were handling really dangerous materials such as hammers, crowbars, machetes, etc. Farm labor is such hard work.

Of course there are pros and cons to everything. I feel like there
should be more programs like this. It'd be really great to spread awareness about how to farm safely through more communal farms like this. It's kind of my dream to have a world where people are growing just enough food for themselves, where such gross surplus of food doesn't exist. Food inequality is a big deal and I hope to study this more during my time at Smith. Farm labor isn't that difficult so volunteering at a local farm is an awesome way to reconnect with nature and also help a budding community that cares about the environment and what we eat. Sometimes it seems so daunting to try to fix the environment all by yourself. These programs allow people to do little things in order to help out and do their part. Just being aware of what's going on is the first step to change!

Women are just as effective as men. We are a determined  group willing to put down our phones and just do work/labor. God, I hate stereotypes.

As a total city girl, this was such a good experience! You really can't appreciate farmers and other people who are different from you until you yourself experience it.

I wish we spent more time discussing what was wrong with the world and how to fix the problem of industrial farming. There were also very few instructions on how to use equipment.  I'm not really sure how to relay what I experienced on the farm into applicable lessons to tell people.

Food and food production is so central to our history as humans and the way we've developed. I was very captivated by the farm and I hope to join more of these projects! 


  1. Wow, seems like a lot of fun! I recently went on a junior college camp and although I did not do manual labour, I did live in a cottage and the camp was a great way to reconnect with nature and relax. I think it's really cool that you know about these environmental problems. I learnt a lot and I really think awareness like this should be raised.

    Great post!


  2. This sounds like an amazing experience! I'm a city girl too so I know nothing about farming either. Sounds like you got a good workout and learned about some important issues. Thanks for posting this!