For her Spring 2016 co-op term, Emma found herself up in Putnam county of Northwest Ohio, at The Quarry Farm, a nature preserve and conservation farm smack in between Pandora and Ottawa. She arrived on a cold spring day with snow blowing around her feet, and has slowly watched the seasons change over the course of her time at the farm. Trees are budding, seedlings are growing, and flowers have come and gone. Life finds a new foot hold at the 50-acre nature preserve and conservation farm.
The main goals of The Quarry Farm are to provide a natural habitat where native plants can grow and prosper and to provide a place where farm animals can come to find a new home from various situations. On the farm animal sanctuary there are a variety of animals — pigs, donkeys, geese, chickens, goats, and turkeys. The animals all have their own unique personalities that you will enjoy getting to know. The rest of The Quarry Farm consists of a certified butterfly garden, a cabin from the late 1800’s, and trails back into the regrowth that is the preserve itself that runs along Cranberry Run, one of the clearest creeks you will find.
Emma’s role as an intern on the farm is to combat an ever growing problem in the United States, invasive bush honeysuckle and garlic mustard. These invasive plants will crowd out the native plants and kill off diversity. The Quarry Farm combats these invasive species by pulling them and cutting down bigger bushes to allow the local flora and fauna to flourish. You never know what you may find back in the Quarry; toads, snakes, snails, a slug or two, or even a rare Blanchard’s frog, like the one above. The wildlife and plants take Emma back to when she was little, out with her father in the woods exploring with eyes full of wonder. She picked this job because of the love of nature that sprouted when she was young thanks to her father. One of the most special moments she has had on the job is going through her photos of wildlife in the Quarry with her father and showing him around. The Quarry Farm is a special place that is unique, especially for Putnam County that has no county parks. Plants rarely found elsewhere have started popping back up in the Quarry through the continued efforts of those involved combating invasive species giving them the room to grow. If you are ever in the area, think of stopping by, you won’t regret the trip.
The Quarry Farm’s blog: https://thequarryfarm.org/
Facebook: The Quarry Farm