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The Dream of a Future Farmer: Rutherford ’23 at the Antioch Farm in Yellow Springs, Ohio

At the Antioch Farm, sustainability is of the utmost importance. Food forests and annual gardens spread across the vast fields towards the south end of the campus, where permaculture practices are explored and utilized to create a beautiful and bountiful environment. The food grown on the farm is harvested for the benefits of those on campus and has also been donated to local food banks. The Antioch Farm provides students and volunteers with the opportunity to experience a farm-to-table lifestyle. It also allows us the chance to explore and learn about the biodiversity of plants, beneficial insects, and the sustainability of rich, organic soil.

There are many projects underway on the farm: chickens and ducks to be fed; beds to be tilled, mulched and weeded; and compost to be turned. Organic matter is always used to ensure the health of the land and those who benefit from it. Every morning, the chickens, ducks, and geese are fed and given fresh water, and their eggs are collected and prepared to be taken to the kitchens. Newly sprouted plants are then watered, as well as those in the greenhouse. Once the beds are tilled and ready, seeds and seedlings can be sowed or transplanted straight into the ground, then watered, mulched, and weeded as often as possible. This year has provided us with a number of varieties of potatoes, cabbages, and flowers, and the three sisters (corns, beans, and squash) beds have already begun to sprout. In the food forest, you can find a number of fruit trees, herbs, and other edible vegetation. During the days of harvest, lettuces, herbs, and asparagus are among some of the crops that are collected and taken to the kitchens to be prepared for those on campus. The scraps are then brought back to the farm and are added to the compost.

The Antioch Farm has been a fully hands-on experience, with the great benefit of witnessing hard work producing yield that is shared with the community. As a student of the sustainability program at Antioch College, the opportunity to work on an organic farm for the first time has provided me with immense knowledge and discipline. This particular job has been both extremely inspirational and motivational in my journey to become a sustainable farmer and provide for communities in the future, and has given me insight into the necessary requirements for managing and maintaining such goals. I plan to fully utilize this acquired knowledge and insight for every farming opportunity I may have in the future, for my goal is to reconstruct communities and to teach sustainability to others so that they too can benefit from their yields.

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