So where do I begin?
It has occurred to me that I haven’t said much about what I actually do at my internship. To be brief, I am helping a lot with the marketing and publicity side of World Farmers. I am there to write up weekly newsletters, conduct interviews with farmers, help with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture—click here to find out more) and edit social media quirks. I’m also creating three maps through GIS (Geographic Information Systems, which I took an intro class in my sophomore year) that the organization hopes to use for the next few years. A great aspect of my internship is that I also help out on the farm—when I go, I love to take the opportunity to speak with others and learn what I can about farming.
I love walking through the flats, you can literally smell the onions as you’re walking. I could not count how many photos I’ve taken of vegetables, flowers, and people working away at what they love to do. Flats Mentor Farm is truly a place of passion and commitment, and that’s what makes the ambiance so pleasant.
Today I started Week 4 at World Farmers, and it was pouring— I walked around in my rain boots to take pictures of the flats. It has been raining every 2-3 days during the past four weeks I have been in Massachusetts… which is no surprise, since practically every time I traveled during my year abroad, the rain followed me. Some things never change.
Unfortunately the rain is a bad sign for the farmers at the Flats. Today I spoke with one woman who expressed how frustrating it is to see her good crops go to waste for nothing– and I can’t blame her. All of that hard work to be drowned out is difficult to swallow. If you want to farm, not only do you have to be extremely intelligent, but you have to accept the throes of mother nature. At present, she does not seem too pleased, either.
A lot has been going on at work in preparation for our upcoming CSA. I created a newsletter template and re-created it, and re-created it… looked up recipes, conducted an interview, and drove out to Boston to pick up our special CSA boxes (yes, the truck is helpful, dad, thank you again). I love exercising my creativity and writing, but above all the experience of taking part in CSA preparation, speaking one-on-one with the farmers, and understanding the effort that goes behind this process is a learning experience. Every day just by being on the farm or at the office I learn something new about non-profit work, social justice, and sustainable agriculture.
Over the past few weeks I have attended some interesting meetings– one was a farmers market meeting, and the other an organic farm training. During the latter, I’ll admit that a good 75% went flying over my head– Nitrogen cycle, ammonium? Things I haven’t looked at since.. oh gosh, sophomore year… I better look back at my textbook.
But in all seriousness, going to these meetings are again a learning experience in themselves, and whatever information I can retain only adds to the process. They also remind me to brush up on the basics and keep myself informed– I’m in the middle of creating a summer reading list related to sustainability.
I don’t want to bore you with too many words, but here’s a quick wrap-up on life outside the internship: