A WWOOFer’s Farewell

One of my dear friends and fellow WWOOFers once remarked in his blog that farming is a job that is never done. I’m sure that all farmers, as well as those who have briefly dabbled in farming (i.e. me), would agree. It seems ridiculous that I should reflect upon four weeks of farming and try to come to some sort of conclusion about this short-lived occupation. I don’t think it can be done. The most I can say is that I am extremely lucky to have not only witnessed, but actually taken part in four weeks out of The Sachem Farm’s long lifetime; it has been an unexpected and unforgettable experience.

As a WWOOFer for the month of May, I have experienced a wide variety of jobs and an even wider variety of weather. Overall my work has felt very much like a “spring cleaning” of sorts, which I think is one of the most satisfying tasks one can do. In preparation for Connecticut’s planting season, there has been a lot of getting rid of the old and putting in the new. I have spent my days weeding, planting new vegetables (including tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, peas, radishes, and more!), cleaning out the barn (and learning how to drive a tractor!), watching the sheep get sheared, and working and organizing around the bed & breakfast. But once again, it’s a job that’s never done — no matter how much weeding or planting or organizing I do, there will be more weeds to pull and more plants to harvest and more messes to clean up. My one consistent job has been one of my favorites: walking Breckin, the King family’s border collie, and exploring the beautiful hills around Lake Waramaug. The area here is so incredibly stunning that it almost becomes mundane after living here for a few days; then, occasionally, the breathtaking surroundings simply catch me off guard and I’m amazed all over again.

Working on a farm was a unique experience in so many ways, but most importantly it has forced me to deal with things that I have never encountered in life thus far. As a French major who has only ever done office or retail jobs, I can safely say that I have never been forced to get my hands dirty. Here at The Sachem Farm, I have become accustomed to perpetual dirt under my fingernails and strange sunburn lines on my back and spider bites on my ankles and it’s all great. One thing that I haven’t become accustomed to during my time here is the “circle of life,” as Jen says. After my heart was stolen by the twenty-some chicks who arrived last week, we have had to deal with the death of two so far. Everyone in the family can tell you that this is not something that I had an easy time with. While I may forever be known as the weird WWOOFer who buried both chicks in the garden, it will take far more than four weeks of farming for me to come to terms with these kinds of deaths.

The entire experience, chick deaths included, has been wholly incredible and I have absolutely no regrets. I am sad to say goodbye to the family who has graciously welcomed me into their life and I am sad that I will not be able to see some of my projects through to the end: I won’t get to see the chicks grow up, I won’t get to taste the delicious tomatoes that we planted, and I won’t get to make sure that the pantry I organized won’t be destroyed the week after I leave. However, I am thrilled to know that there will be other WWOOFers who will help to continue (not finish of course) these endeavors. While I have learned that farming is not the career that I want to pursue, I have gained the utmost respect for those who do this extremely difficult job. I cannot thank the King family enough for providing me with this amazing stay at The Sachem Farm. Even though I think I have already forgotten how to drive a tractor, I know I will never forget my complete contentment during these four weeks in Connecticut and the wonderful experience that I have enjoyed during my time here.

 

- Molly Cassity

 

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