It Takes a Team
And we’re off! The farm came alive Monday morning as the program officially launched! With enthusiasm in the air, the day started with introductions and games to learn each other's names. The teens toured the farm and became familiar with the spaces they will be stewarding this summer. As is the nature of beginnings, getting the logistics out efficiently helps prepare the team to hit the ground running, so they quickly become experts with the many duties and roles these young farmers are given.
Getting in the Groove
Throughout the week the teens were introduced to various types of farm chores and fieldwork they would engage in. Taking care of the chickens and goats, and maintaining our common spaces are some of the tasks the teens jump on right away after their morning check-in. Following this routine are separate assignments in smaller groups, and as the teens scatter around on the farm they become well-versed in the fieldwork that they will master by the end of the summer. Whether that’s trellising tomatoes, setting up posts, harvesting produce or fixing irrigation, the teens have the best attitude to approaching these unfamiliar tasks, embracing the chance to learn any and all new skills that develop on this vibrant land. When teens aren’t farming they are engaging in various social justice or land-based skill workshops! The group so far has had the pleasure of hearing from a local community herbalist, Amanda David, as well as local beekeeper Gil Menda, who both gave fascinating introductions to their expertise and gave teens an up close look into these captivating concepts. Both of these workshops have been able to harness part of the farm in a way that reshapes how the teens observe these spaces. Amanda’s walkthrough of the various uses of the herbs and plants in the gardens opened their perspective to the diversity of purpose that exists in the plants that they’re engaging with everyday. Gil’s demonstration of setting up an observation beehive was an amazing informational base for the intricate world of bees, giving teens the ability to interact with these creatures and ask questions on the why’s and how’s of beekeeping, bee life, and bee intelligence. This paired with the daily chores of the farm, field trips on Fridays, and fun activities all have created a vibrant atmosphere for the teens to learn and engage in. As the teens wake up early again the next morning they know they get to look forward to something new the next day!
By Melissa Montejo