When I used to think of farming, I thought of harvesting the beautiful vegetables and fruits so perfectly sprouted from the ground. The morning I arrived at the Terp Farm confirmed this sentiment — farming is partly harvesting beautiful foods. But it’s also a mix of planning, preparing, forecasting and physically working.
We arrived a little before 9am on a Tuesday morning. It was a cloudy November 1, 2016, but not yet terribly cold. We toured the different greenhouses that contained herbs, variations of lettuce, swiss chard, and kale, and a separate one full of tomatoes. We gave a tour to a group before lunch, but the afternoon was when we really got to see what it took to maintain the farm.
Our supervisor, Guy, had us prepare two beds for seeding, which involved a lot of shoveling, raking, and spreading. Honestly, it was much harder than it looked! And Guy is the only farmer who usually does all of the work, aside from when volunteers or interns help out. I was suddenly feeling like a wimp for being tired after preparing such a small space of this giant farm.
My experience at the Terp Farm has made me much more conscious of all the work it takes to produce quality produce. Next time you see a farm or want to eat sustainably, remember that it takes a ton of prepping, seeding, maintaining, watering, and harvesting to produce the foods we eat so quickly! Let’s choose more sustainable foods and work to decrease our waste — it will save the farmers some time and do our planet some good.
-Alyssa Ardolino, Dietetics Intern