Week 4: More Farming, More Food

Shockingly, some of the crops I planted last week have already started sprouting and others came up from last years crop: . Planting certainly takes a while and I’ve come to realize I’ll miss out on the full growth of all the crops as my internship will be done well before some of the longer germinating seeds will sprout anything at all, let alone be ready for a harvest. I did find a picture from prior years of the farm fully grown ( ) and it is exceptionally motivating to come back to volunteer during the harvest season, so as to both metaphorically and literally reap what I sowed.
My family came and volunteered at the end of the week, though it was slightly shortlived given some early thunderstorms pushed us off the farm quicker than expected. However, we did have some fun and got to check out some of the more cool parts of the farm that I probably wouldn’t have gotten to discovering without them, see pictures below.

I also started exploring more of the food options in North End. They are, admittedly, quite horrible by and large. Within a mile radius of the farm, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find nothing but fast food. Burger King’s and McDonald’s galore, capping every corner with intrusive signs reminding you that you really have no other option. This does make sense, given that the entire basis of MUFI was to provide actual healthy food for people and there would be little reason for a non-profit organic farm if there were other avenues to get food, but, I still found the food drought to be shocking. The only non-franchise location I managed to find was one very local to the community of the North End neighborhood I was in: Park’s Barbecue. The food was alright but the people I met inside were so interesting and nice. Since I stood out quite a bit (a young, white person in a majority elderly, black neighborhood) a few older ladies made the assumption that it was my first time there and when I confirmed that they went miles out of there way to make sure my first time was done right. In all honesty, I can’t remember the food much at all, but I do remember thoroughly enjoying my time eating.

One thought on “Week 4: More Farming, More Food

  • August 16, 2018 at 12:17 pm
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    Hello BJ,

    I’m Jenny, a student engagement intern at the LSA Opportunity Hub and I’m excited to be following your blog posts this summer!

    Thank you for sharing your internship journey so far! The roles and responsibilities you described were very interesting, and I wouldn’t expect them for a farming intern either. However, it’s great that you learnt various unique skills like woodworking, building and plumbing during your time there! These are unconventional skills we could gain from internships, but I think they can be very useful and stand out on your resume. Besides the technical skills you’re building, are there transferable skills between this position and your coursework, or future aspirations? For example, what have you learned about communication, collaborating with colleagues, managing your time, etc? I’m curious to see how your role ties into how you see yourself/are growing as a professional. Are there any specific goals you’ve been working toward or skills you hope to gain?

    Interactive agriculture and hardscape spaces sound very interesting- I’d love to hear more! What functions do the spaces on the farm serve? It’s great that you also worked with volunteers coming in to help. Coordinating a group of people can be stressful, but I’m glad you found the experience rewarding. It is so nice that your family came in to volunteer one day, that must have been awesome to share and show them the work you’ve been doing!

    I also love the pictures you included in the blogs. (If you would like, the Hub is still accepting submissions for the photo contest and winners can receive Hug swag! http://myumi.ch/Lzqox ) Have you had much time to explore the neighborhood? It sounds like a very different community from Ann Arbor, and I’m sure there are ups and downs of living in a new environment. I’m glad the locals are super friendly, but the limited food options sound difficult. You also mentioned being a minority in the community. Is there a part of your identity you are seeing in a different light that you could share?

    It definitely takes a lot of hard work to manage a farm, and I can only imagine the amount of labor needed to successfully produce the food that we consume daily. I see where you’re coming from, that is tough that you won’t be able to witness the crops you sowed grow. Perhaps you could make a road trip to visit the farm again!

    I hope everything continues to go smoothly for you and I look forward to reading your next blogs!

    Best,
    Jenny

    Reply

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