Hello! I am Estella Martin and my time on the Antioch farm was really lovely and a great learning experience. My tasks included watering the greenhouse, washing the eggs directly after they were collected from the coops, clearing weeds from plant beds, mulching paths, and the fields where we have our three sister garden, planting transplants from the grow room, picking strawberries, peas, and asparagus. Asparagus was my favorite to pick because they grow straight out of the ground like trees and we had to hunt them down and cut them. Some asparagus over grew in size to where the plants are all taller than me by a few feet, and they grow branches as if they were trees.
I bonded really well with my colleagues while outside working together. We all collaborated together to make a special playlist for when we all are together working hard in the heat of the sun. Some days were so unbearably hot it was very important to stay hydrated.
I often casually doodled and drew whatever I saw or thought about on the farm. The plants were a big inspiration. I found myself drawing what looked like the flowers from the farm but as fairies and abstract pieces. My co-worker Leah who is a very wonderful painter inspired me to abstract my art a bit more.
My early morning walks often led me to eat my breakfast at the farm and I would sit in the food forest in the tea garden and drink my smoothies. Some challenging things about the farm are the stinky plant feed that we would get all over our clothes, and the smell of the egg washing room. I thought I’d seen big spiders but I was dumbfounded by the size of the spiders I would see suddenly crawling up my arm. But from this experience, I have grown a love for a lot of bugs, and have even started to catch them. This is very different from when I was a kid and I would cry if I saw an insect. Being so ok with bugs is a very new feeling for me. I feel like I can much easier co-exist with them. And these small challenges about the farm are much overshadowed by how wonderful and amazing it was to be there and be so present in nature. Never before have I had an experience quite like this one.
I am very thankful for my boss Bruce Linebaugh for giving me this opportunity although I had no previous experience. His teaching was very kind and without dismissal or disapproval. He was lenient with our mistakes but also taught us how to do it correctly in a very polite and sweet way. He has taught me so much and if you are in any way, interested in learning how a plant can grow, Bruce is an excellent teacher.