This semester I joined Asa Gray here on campus. Honestly I mostly joined because one of my good friends, MaryEllen, is a member and their meetings are really short which is fantastic for someone who is always busy like me. This past Sunday I took part in my first event as a member…I went farming.
I’m definitely not what anyone would call a girly-girl but to be honest I left my days of digging in the dirt behind well before I finished middle school. When I told my family about my farming adventure the general response was “but you don’t like thing like that…” which is not necessarily false. I’m not much for yard work or anything like that at home. However, I have recently become really interested in the environment and sustainable living so naturally the idea of farming has grown (see what I did there?) on me.
We went to a family owned farm in Chittenango called Hartwood Farm. The owners were extremely friendly and gave us a tour of the property and explained everything. We even got to see their pigs and chickens! After the tour we helped them pick some of the produce (Swiss Chard to be exact) and then brought it back to Utica with us to donate to the food pantry and Hope House. I learned a lot about sustainability and the difficulties of farming ( a lot can go wrong very easily) and I got to spend time with people I didn’t know before.
Overall I had a great time. Farming is definitely hard work, I was tired after just 3 hours so I have no clue how people do that all day everyday! But at the same time that’s definitely something I am interested in learning more about. One of the owners talked with me about this program called WWOOF. It stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms and is basically a network of organic farms around the world that invite people to come and live and work on their farms for different periods of time. The idea is to provide the farms with the needed manpower during busy seasons and help people learn about sustainability and farming at the same time. This is definitely something that I am going to look into more in the future.