Just as I’ve started to settle in at the farm, I’ve taken on a new project. While I still have to figure out my schedule, it looks like I’ll be splitting my time (how much tbd) between physically working on the farm, and a type of research project inspired by Jay, the farm manager. We had a rainy day on Monday, and while the predicted day-long thunderstorms turned into a couple showers, the interns spent the morning inside. We had a few things to do (like updating our super cool blog https://middfarm.wordpress.com/) and planning some events, we touched on a couple other possible rainy day activities. One in particular struck me– brought on by Jay bringing up some questions about sustainability.
The idea of sustainability and how to define it, or rather whether it can be defined, is something I’ve thought about a lot recently. In the book we just read for class, The Town That Food Saved, Ben Hewitt asserts that you can’t assign something as strict and simple as a definition to such an expansive concept and idea. Thus, sustainability seems to go further than other similar terms, like “organic”, because instead of adhering to certain guidelines and measurements, being sustainable is more relative, and requires more of an overarching outlook and approach. My project, then, is going to be exploring sustainability relative to the organic farm, asking questions such as: are we sustainable? How can we become more sustainable? How can we involve the community in these efforts? How can we improve the farm as a whole?
While this project is a huge effort to take on in total, I’m very excited to narrow it down and learn through research, my peers, and local farmers and experts to help me make some assertions, decisions, and ultimately develop some sort of plan to bring to the farm.