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A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

The Antioch farm is a small-scale farm that works to provide farm-to-table produce for our community.  Our primary goal is to be able to have enough produce to feed all of the students and staff on campus continuously. Growing up in a small town surrounded by farmland it is amazing to see and be a part of the campus farm. I have met so many amazing people in just a few weeks.  My working experience on the farm has taught me so much about sustainable farming, a subject I knew very little about before this co-op opportunity. Being able to be a part of all the hard work that goes into making the farm what it is today is so fulfilling and inspiring to me. I have come to realize that it’s not just people on campus who love the farm but it’s also the local citizens of Yellow Springs. Throughout each day I see and talk to so many citizens of Yellow Springs.  Getting to know my neighbors as they take their morning walks by the farm is so fun and a high point in my day. There is always someone that wants to see what we’re doing or ask a question about the operation of the farm. 

An average day on the farm for me is getting to the farm at 7 am and harvesting different vegetables, weighing them, and then washing them. After all that is done, we pack it in the farm golf cart and drive over to Birch’s kitchen to drop it off. Cooks at Birch’s kitchen utilize the produce to prepare students’ meals.  It is satisfying to know that when I eat at Birch I know where the food came from and that I have a huge part in providing the meal to my fellow students.  After the produce is dropped off my fellow farm workers and I then head back to the farm to plant more crops, do weed pulling, and do other daily tasks that need to be done.

 Before we planted anything we had to make raised beds. Our farm donor came to the farm during week three to help out and see what we are doing on the farm. Talking to him is always so interesting because he shares his knowledge and experiences freely with us working on the farm currently. Right now we are experimenting to see if using alfalfa as a cover crop will have any effect on the yield of the crops.  With all the labor I have done in the past couple of weeks I have realized that I was at a much larger disconnect with nature than I thought I was. I enjoy each day of work no matter how difficult it is because I know with each day I am reconnecting with the world that I had been slowly pulled away from with all the electronics and automated objects nowadays. Just last week another co-0p student and I were picking spruce tips and we started to thank each tree that we were picking from no matter the amount that was taken. I believe that we both just felt that thanking the trees for what we were picking was something we just needed to do.

Speaking of spruce tips,  the Yellow Springs Brewery is making a spruce tip IPA Beer for the reunion this year. On Tuesday, April 16th the Yellow Springs Brewery and some of Antioch staff and students will be coming together to pick some more of the tips. We are also talking about growing grain for them as a part of a partnership.  No firm plans have been agreed on but we hope that such a partnership will come to fruition because it would greatly benefit both parties.   I am now six weeks into this co-op and it only feels like two. I guess it is true that when you are having fun, time flies.  All the hard work everyone does each day rain or shine is so amazing and I am so happy to be a part of this group.

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