Learning about Life on the Farm

Everyone always talks about how high school is such a blur—a crazy, fun, busy blur. Upon graduating, we can confirm this. The days are slow, but the years are fast. The world is growing faster than we are, and it seems that we’re just being taken along for the ride. For the most part, this is how high school was. But there were the days when it all slowed down. Those days when we weren’t thinking about homework and projects and teachers and sports and applications. On many of these days, we were on the farm.

Ask any high school student volunteering on Gaining Ground’s Farm Team, and they will tell you the same thing: When you’re constantly bombarded with problems to solve and questions to answer and tasks to complete, the simplicity of the farm is incredibly reassuring. For those six hours each week in the summer, the soil takes over. We weeded and sowed and—if we were lucky enough to be working on a harvest day—picked the beautiful fruits and veggies that we have worked so hard to grow.

On the farm, we learned the things that we aren’t explicitly taught at school. Simple things, like the value of time. You can procrastinate and then power through a Crime and Punishment paper, but you can’t grow a vine of tomatoes in two hours. No, you have to wait—for weeks and weeks—but you’ll end up with something better than you could ever imagine. In the fields, hours fly by, and the weeks progress. Apparently empty soil sprouts seedlings which grow to flower and eventually produce food to be given away. The summer thrives and slows, and another school year approaches. The speed and anxiety of another year in the classroom takes over, and the physical farm work fades but is always there.

Being a part of the board has made us realize that there is a lot more to a farm than the farmers. Everyone plays a part, from the seed companies to the people who receive the food. Without the contributions from the people of Concord and beyond, Gaining Ground would not be as successful as it is today, reaching tons of families in need each year and guaranteeing fresh food for everyone.

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