Last Wednesday, Josh and I received a vanload of volunteers from Holy Comforter Episcopal Church. The group was a mix of folks from the Friendship Center and interns from the Candler School of Theology. After they piled out, we exchanged greetings, briefly caught up with each other, and finally joined hands in prayer. Will, one of the Friendship Center participants, led us in offering to God words of gratitude for the chance to work in the open air, as well as words inviting God to make our common work holy and good. After the amen, we divided into groups and set about repairing the greenhouse plastic, planting seed pallets, and feeding the farm’s livestock.
We were honored and happy to share the farm with a whole bunch of really excited, pleasant, kids from Emmaus House this morning.
They were full of great questions like how the rain gets in the greenhouses and what sheep’s teeth look like and how they are different from goat’s teeth (honestly, I never really looked before) and more. They were polite to a fault and excited by just about everything (except the daddy longlegs spider I accidentally flung on one terrified girl – I am still praying she will accept my apology) The adults they brought with them were thrilled to meet us and I feel certain there are new and exciting partnerships that will arise from our time together.
Thanks to the AmeriCorps folks, our farmers, and Aaron Hardeman for helping make this a wonderful tour.
Enjoy the pictures!
It feels as though the sun has barely risen when we, the resident interns, stumble outside, bleary-eyed, to open the farm gates and prep the grounds for the coming campers. The cars of fellow counselors roll in as we feed and water the chickens. I stand there, munching a granola energy bar. “Caffeine: 250 mg,” the label reads. I’ll be needing it.
As strange as it was to admit to myself, I was nervous. It had been a while since my last stint as a camp-counselor at RUAH Language School in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It takes a lot of patience and energy to shepherd thirty kids around, keeping them engaged and entertained. My biggest fear, however, was always dealing with the delinquents – those kids who just want to make things difficult for those in charge. I didn’t have time to ruminate – before I knew it the kids were trickling in.
There is something holy about working in soil.
Maybe it is the connection between our bodies and the soil. Scripture tells us that this tie is more than intimate. We are made from earth, it says. We are of the same stuff. So when we work in the soil and get it under our nails and all over our clothes, there is good reason that we recognize the link. It’s not imaginary, it’s really there. When we tend the garden, we are tending to another part of ourselves and when we grow food for the sake of others we are loving them as God loves us – creating for them, providing for them, for our neighbors, our brothers and sisters.
This week was our first week of the season without Angela, and it was evident after Monday. Lucky for us, we had one killer group of volunteers from Turner Broadcasting. This group of 20+ volunteers helped us clear our lower field on Mary Dell rd. They did what would have taken us at least a week! Thank you thank you thank you!
We, Farmer Ceci and Angela, would like to extend a BIG thank you to all the volunteers that have come out to help Oakleaf Mennonite Farm with the mulching, watering, harvest, market and information. It has been great meeting you all and we are really grateful! It is with your continued support that we keep the farm looking great.
Thanks so much to you all!
Greetings to all of our Shareholders and friends from Oakleaf Mennonite Farm!
You should see the wonderful potatoes, lettuce, and greens which are overflowing their beds in our spring gardens! It’s absolutely marvelous! Your first share will be coming the first week in May thanks to the hard work of Farmer Tim Showalter Ehst! We really appreciate all of his hard work on behalf of the farm over the last 1 1/2 years. However, for personal reasons, Farmer Tim has resigned his post as Farmer, and next week will be his last week with Oakleaf Mennonite Farm. We will truly miss his dedication and instrumental green thumb which brought life to the farm from out of this brutal Georgia clay.
At the same time, we find ourselves exceedingly happy that an experienced farmer has seen fit to join Oakleaf Mennonite Farm to continue on where Tim will leave off. So we welcome our new Farmer, Gathegu Cecilia Gatungo! Farmer Cecilia is a farming entrepreneur and has worked in Georgia over the past several years developing school and church gardens and has a keen interest in the best farming practices and educating children about farming. She begins next week with Farmer Tim to ensure a smooth transition of the farm for our shareholders. As well, we warmly welcome a new year-long intern, Angela Giles, who will be joining Farmer Cecilia to share in the farming tasks.
So, in closing, we at Oakleaf Mennonite Farm join you to say your farewells and hellos to our Farm staff. We also would like to encourage and welcome our shareholders to join in the work on the farm. If you have a couple of hours a week that you would like to volunteer to work on the farm just let us know.
Peace, blessings, and good eating!
Last weekend Tim, Katie, and I had the opportunity to attend the Georgia Organics Conference in Savannah. If you are not familiar with the organization, Georgia Organics http://www.georgiaorganics.org/home.aspx is a non-profit organization which provides support for organic farmers. At the conference, a wide range of sessions were offered pertaining to raising livestock, soil makeup, marketing techniques, etc. In addition, farm tours were arranged to showcase unique and successful farms in the region. Not only was the conference informative but also a “farm group” bonding time. We tried local cuisine, went camping, and attended the movie premiere of GROW http://growmovie.blogspot.com/ featuring our very own Tim and Krista Showalter Ehst. All in all it was a nice break from the business of early farm season.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
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