At the farm this week, we’re following through on an idea we had from much earlier in the summer: engaging the community through an event on the knoll. Tomorrow, while I’m in class, some of my fellow farm interns will begin to prep (by setting up some speakers/generator, last minute pizza prep, etc.), and later in the day I’ll join them along with my fellow intern/fellow Emma, to kick off the event at 4.
Affectionately referred to as “1st Annual Midd Summer Cook-Out”, we will host over 50 Middlebury summer student residents, professors, friends, and family at the knoll, accompanied by wood-fired pizza, homemade pesto (complete with garlic and basil from the farm!), pick-your-own flowers, lawn games, music, a fire, and s’mores! The event is an opportunity for us to share some of the work we’ve been doing, and provide and enjoy a space for the community to come together! This type of engagement, along with education, is the type of the thing the Middlebury farm is known for, and something I’ve really come to appreciate.
One of the things that initially drew me to the farm was these ideas. The opportunity to have a space for education and engagement is great, and not possible without some privilege and good fortune. When I WWOOFed on a farm in Costa Rica during my gap year, I was introduced to a vert different form of lifestyle. The couple I lived with relied on their farm of mainly pigs. Everything was important; any mistakes would directly impact their livelihood, and ultimately, their wellness. This resulted in a form of urgency and hard work that I had never truly seen before.
This dynamic is obviously very different from the atmosphere on the farm. The event tomorrow, and my job in general, is a great example of that. We have the resources and funds to create such an event, and I’m very excited to experience that. An experience in education, farming, sustainability, etc. can take many forms. In Costa Rica, it was helping maintain a livelihood and learning through work. Here, it is experiencing this education in a different way and transmitting that to the community.