As my time at White Oak comes to an end I find myself looking back on my first days here. I wasn’t sure if I would make it. I knew I could handle the physical aspects of farming.. it was everything else I was worried about. I was worried about being far away from my friends and family for the whole summer. I went to boarding school so I’m familiar with being away from home, but summers are when I’m home so that was a strange feeling. I was intimidated by community living and although everyone here seemed so nice and open, they were still strangers to me. I was intimidated by cooking for groups of people and working with younger kids. These are all things that I faced head on this summer and now I feel more confident about. I still get nerves when I cook group lunches, but I’m gonna do the best i can and if you don’t like it then eat something else. When you live with a group of people it’s important to set boundaries and it’s also important to not ALWAYS care about what they think. You can still be your own individual person and do what makes you feel comfortable.
Looking back on things it has been a joy to live with the people here. Yes it has been frustrating at times and yes I’m a little ready for a break, but all in all it has been fun and entertaining, educational, and both tiring and energizing. I’ve learned a lot from the people who live here. They have all had a lot more experience working on farms and living lives, as they are older, than me. But I never felt lesser because of this and they valued my opinions and experience that I would share as well. We had really good conversations in the field, went delirious weeding carrots, worked in hours of silence and also hours of non-stop chatter on all kinds of life topics. Saying good bye will be hard and I will truly miss everyone here. We had a potluck on Friday, because it was the last night that the whole farm crew would be at White Oak together. We has lamb, mashed potatoes, green beans with cheese and tomatoes, perogies (that I made 🙂 ), and salad. For dessert there was a peach pie and a peach cobbler. Everything came form the farm (except the pie dough ingredients and perogie dough ingredients). The food is something that my mind, my body, and my soul will miss terribly.
One of the beautiful things about living and working on a farm is taking the good with the bad. They are both just as important and educational as the other. It’s good to have things you wish to change and things you would do differently, as well as it is good to experience what works really well and what you think that more people should do. For me, wanting to be a farmer of some sort, these are both really important to evaluate.
I’m excited for the last week and feel that I will truly enjoy it and savor the hard work, all the fruit, and the field conversations. I’m getting excited to see my dog and my family though. I think I’m in for a culture shock coming back to the east coast though. There are so many vehicles, people, and everyone is so busy running around and shopping at the grocery store, and there are TV’s everywhere! I’m gonna miss the peace and quiet.
I’ll write one last blog to sum everything up and tell you all about my last week, and maybe about my culture shock coming back east.