Farm School Reflections

Welcome! Each week, we’ll be featuring a member of the BFS community talking about the many ways volunteers can get involved, have fun, and learn at the Farm School. 

Farm School Reflections are produced by Una Lomax-Emrick. Photos and videos by Jessalyn Link, Lindsay Green, and Gail Read. Many thanks to BFS’s incredible volunteers who make these videos possible.

September 9, 2022

This week, volunteers Felipe and Blaise share about the pollinator garden, a project they co-lead at the Farm School. It’s wonderful to see all that’s grown at the Farm School because of their work, and it’s inspiring to hear them talk about trying new things and learning as part of the time they spend at BFS. Felipe and Blaise underscore that even if volunteers are unsure about how a project will turn out, they can put trust in nature because things will grow–including the weeds! Thank you, Blaise and Felipe, for all that you do at the Farm School and for sharing your work with us!

September 2, 2022

This week’s reflection features Kelvin, a core member of BFS’s Community Compost Program. Kelvin shares his own experience with composting and encourages others to get curious and to join in the fun at BFS. He highlights the process that transforms food scraps into compost, and points out the ways that volunteers of all experience levels can participate in the Community Compost Program. He assures us that volunteers all bring something unique to the Farm School and have something to add regardless of their familiarity with the composting process. Kelvin’s expertise is such a gift to the Farm School, and anyone thinking about starting out on Compost Crew can be assured they’ll learn a lot from people like him who are passionate about this work. Thank you, Kelvin, for sharing this with us and for all you do at BFS. And, to prospective Community Compost Program volunteers, join us! Exciting things are happening in the BFS compost area.

August 26, 2022

This week, high school student Laurie shares what it is like to spend time at the Farm School as a student volunteer. She talks about the joy of learning in a community with people who all bring a unique perspective to BFS, a place where people across generations gather to learn and teach.

Laurie highlights the way experienced farmers and gardeners lend their expertise to the Farm School and help newer volunteers feel welcome. She encourages younger folks to jump right in with the guarantee that other volunteers will guide them through each new task. Volunteers build skills as they build connections, discovering the fun and importance of spending time in nature and working with the earth to grow fresh food. And, everyone has something to add to the Farm School, whether it’s technical know-how about farming or excitement and dedication to the projects at hand.

To students thinking BFS might be a place to start learning about farming and to spend time in nature, we’d love to meet you! Stop by for a tour, swing by the farm stand, or come to one of our volunteer days and jump right in!

August 12, 2022

This week, Dane tells us about the wonderful work he does with beekeeping and with educational projects at the Farm School. Dane introduces young people to beekeeping and teaches them about the role of bees in keeping plants healthy and helping them grow. Thank you so much, Dane, for all the work you do and for sharing these insights with us. 

The Farm School is an amazing place because we are all learning together and teaching each other all the time. Young kids who visit the Farm School have a lot to teach us about slowing down and looking closely at the world around us. And experienced beekeepers, composters, and growers have so much to share with us about the way a farm comes together. BFS, like any welcoming learning community, is built on interdependence and curiosity. It is a place where we all can experience something new. Dane encourages us to appreciate the chance to learn alongside each other. This week, whether you’re at the Farm School or in the car or getting ready to go back to school, take a moment to be grateful for all of the small (and big) things we can learn each day by being in community with one another. 

August 5, 2022

This week, board member Wayne Leaver talks about the  Farm School’s unique atmosphere of discovery and enthusiasm. He describes the Farm School as a place that lets each person show up as they are and do the work they care about–no expectations, just welcoming plants and even more welcoming people. His journey with the Farm School began with the discovery of BFS’s incredible worm tea and has progressed throughout his time as a member of the BFS community. Wayne reminds us to stay curious about all the Farm School has to offer. At the farm school, the friendships that arise, the new things we learn, all the wonder that comes from working outside with others all keep cycles of knowledge and growth going. Thank you so much, Wayne, for sharing this reflection with us and for all that you do!

July 29, 2022

This week, BFS volunteer Deb shares a little bit about how she connected with the Farm School. Not too long ago she took a tour and fell in love with BFS. She has been coming back regularly ever since. Deb can be found in the rows on harvest days, teaching during school group visits, and leading tours for prospective volunteers. Her story is so wonderful because it is a reminder that finding community comes from moments when we jump in and say yes to something new–even if we feel nervous or unsure. She shares the joy that comes from braving uncertainty to find connection. Thank you so much, Deb, for this reflection and for all you do as a part of this community.

To our current volunteers: thank you for taking that first leap and joining us. We’re so glad you’re here. And to any prospective volunteers feeling unsure of how to get involved or nervous at the prospect: you’re welcome here! Come on out for a tour, for Harvest Club, or on a Saturday morning. We look forward to meeting you and learning with you.

July 22, 2022

Listen at BFS

This week, Barrington Farm School’s Lead Grower Jessalyn shared a bit about what it means to spend time outside at the Farm School. Jessalyn works in collaboration with volunteers in the rows, and she leads harvests, washes, and stocking sessions of the Farm Stand each Friday from 4-6p.m. at Harvest Club. She can be found helping things grow and making harvests happen pretty much every day of the week!

The Farm School is truly a sight to behold at this time of year with all of its fresh produce and beautiful flowers. As Jessalyn points out, it’s not just the sights of the Farm that are magical, it’s the sounds and the chance to be in community with each other that make BFS so full of wonder. The Farm School is a place to turn inward and listen, to reflect and be grateful as we work together and alone in the rows and at the Farm Stand. This video features clips of the Farm School in all of its glory: with the buzzing of bees, the rustle of footsteps, the chirping of birds, and the wind making its way through the pollinator pathway’s tall sunflowers. This week, if you get a chance, come visit the Farm School to listen for yourself, or, wherever you are, take a second and pause to hear some of the nature announcing itself in your neck of the woods! There’s so much to be learned from taking a moment to listen. Thank you, Jessalyn, for all that you do and for this reminder to keep listening to the natural world that’s all around us.

July 15, 2022

Harvest at BFS

This week, as we celebrate an impressive harvest at BFS, it seems fitting to reflect on all of the hard work our volunteers put in to make this fresh produce possible. Beverly Migliore, the vice president of the BFS board shared many wonderful insights about the journey a head of lettuce takes to find its way to our farm stand. 

BFS produce starts its life as a tiny seed or sprout and eventually makes its way to one of the beautiful rows. Under the care of our volunteers, each BFS plant is watered and gets lots of sun. This produce might fall prey to some nibbling bunnies or deer, but most of it grow strong under a layer of BFS’s very own compost. When crops like lettuce are ready to be harvested, our volunteers lace up their boots, put on their hats, and spend mornings and evenings at the Farm School to make it all happen. 

Harvest season is a joyful time, so let’s take a moment of gratitude for the beautiful land that allows our plants to grow and the wonderful community of volunteers who work together all year long. Happy Harvest! And thank you, Beverly, for reminding us to pause in wonder and think about long path from seed to farm stand.