Nearly two years ago, I made my first foray into the world of blogging when I took a semester abroad in Panama. I felt that writing about my experiences enriched my life in a number of ways—it reminded me on a daily basis about what a unique adventure I was on, it encouraged me to reflect more deeply about how these experiences were affecting me, and it helped me communicate to my loved ones about these thoughts and feelings. I hope that my writing and photographs also helped my friends and family live vicariously through me even while I was several thousand miles away.
Since that time, I have embarked on another adventure of sorts—I have graduated from McGill University and entered the world of work. My interests in agriculture, sustainability, cooking, and food in general have led me to organic farming, and my first job after graduation was an apprenticeship at Skunk Hollow Community Farm, a 1-acre vegetable CSA in Villanova, PA, only four miles from the house where I grew up. When I started at Skunk Hollow, I intended to start blogging again. I was living with my parents and working at a park where I went sledding every winter throughout my childhood, so in some ways it didn’t seem like much of an adventure compared to Panama, but geography can be misleading, and I knew that learning to farm would be an experience unlike any other. My blog never got off the ground, however, because I failed to anticipate one thing: farming is hard work! I was at the farm from 7am until 4:30pm every day for much of the season, and the work was more physical than at any of my previous jobs. When I got home in the evenings, all I wanted to do was scrub the dirt off my body, eat as much food as I could fit in my body, and fall asleep—when farming was done for the day, the last thing I wanted to do was reflect about farming. There were times during the season when I was ready to throw in the towel, but miraculously, now that the season is finally over, despite the hard work and lousy pay, I am still entertaining notions of being a farmer and have taken a second apprenticeship, this time at Hawthorne Valley Farm, a 400-acre biodynamic CSA in upstate New York. This time around, I hope to keep a somewhat regular blog, where I’ll write about the new things I’m learning about growing vegetables, about managing a dairy herd, about the biodynamic method, about things I’m cooking, and about rural life in general. I’m simultaneously anticipating and anxious about this new adventure, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you!