The Antioch College farm was created to provide a space for learning about sustainable, ecological agriculture while also providing the college with fresh, organically grown produce. Much of the work that keeps the farm running is done by Antioch students, and this allows students to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Students have the opportunity to work part-time while studying on campus or full-time as part of a co-op.
As a science major with a passion for sustainability and environmentalism, the farm-to-table position is a perfect fit for me and has been an incredibly positive experience. Having started my co-op in early April, I have been able to experience many of the varied tasks that come with the preparation and cultivation of a season’s worth of crops. My early tasks included tilling and hoeing beds, planting seeds, transplanting plants that started indoors, and applying compost or mulch to planted beds. My area of focus was the nightshades, a family of plants including potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, all of which I planted. As time went on and more beds were planted, our focus turned to weeding, pest control, and general upkeep like mowing and string trimming.
Although some of the work changed over the course of this co-op, my job on the farm has included several elements of regularity. Mornings on the farm always begin with animal care. Our chickens and ducks need food and fresh water and to be let out of their coops, after which point we collect eggs. Special attention was paid to the ducklings and goslings that arrived a few weeks after I did. Our sheep, also new arrivals, need food and water as well. As part of the farm-to-table program, I work two shifts in the kitchens each week. This facet of the job has allowed me to gain general cooking skills while also learning how to process the produce that we harvest. Harvests, too, varied throughout the course of my co-op, meaning there was almost always a new crop to harvest.
Overall, I am quite pleased with my first co-op job. I have gained confidence in my abilities, knowledge integral to the operation of an organic farm, and a sense of fulfillment in seeing crops that I planted grow to produce food that will be enjoyed by members of the Antioch community. I am exceedingly grateful to Kat Christen, Angelina Rodriguez, and my other coworkers for helping to make this experience such a positive one.
You can find out more about the farm at the following link: