By: Emily Sutherland
Cool air has begun to greet me on early mornings at the farm. Stubbornly refusing a sweatshirt, I warm up as soon as I get moving. Summer. The long days. The steam rising from the fields after a rain. I’m hanging onto every last moment. I can’t kid myself for long: the changing of seasons is coming. Tomatoes are finishing up their bounty. Summer squashes are beginning to die off. And perhaps saddest of all, goodbyes are in full swing as faithful volunteers depart from the farm. School is starting and our 2020 high school grads and college students have left town to continue their studies.
It has been a great year at BFS in terms of volunteers. We averaged between 8 and 15 volunteers per twice-weekly session, with some weeks bringing in 30+ people and others a sparse few. Our BFS crew have put up with a lot. Wearing masks in July heat is annoying at best and stifling at worst. They faithfully donned them day in and day out, putting safety above comfort. They have completed fun projects on the farm, and spent tedious hours weeding through rows of seedlings, bonding through air-high-fives and six feet of distance.
I think most special to me was seeing the friendships that formed between people of all ages. Young couples helping elementary schoolers stake fencing. Moms of two exchanging numbers with recent college grads. Grandparents offering advice to high schoolers as they picked beans side by side. In this time, in this world, it is challenging to create and sustain intergenerational relationships. But those are exactly what BFS fostered. For one reason or another, we were all in Rhode Island this summer, whether it was by choice or by necessity. We offered encouragement and support to each other. We laughed, often. We gave each other hope. And that is of more value than the seeds we planted or the crops we harvested. Thank you, volunteers, for making the farm so special this summer. It was a privilege to work with all of you.
Well, time to dry my eyes and prep for the fall. We have seedlings to be planted and cover crops to be broadcasted. We are looking forward to a few big projects getting installed that will aid in the expansion of our production. It seems like things aren’t slowing down too much. Maybe that cool morning air is pretty refreshing after all.