I have been working on a summer internship because of a grant provided by Eco-Faith Recovery. I have been working for two weeks on a farm called Eloheh Farm owned by my parents. Eloheh is a natural, permaculture type farm. In the first two weeks I have done several different everyday things like weeding, learning how to work with other people and how to set up a irrigation system for the gardens and orchard. I have also learned how to work independently of others.
In the first week I worked Monday to Thursday, mostly learning how to weed the garden. If we didn’t get the weeds out early then the weeds would over take the garden and take all the water and nutrients away from the vegetables. I also learned how to set up an irrigation system for our garden. If we didn’t set up the irrigation system then on hot days the garden would dry up and die. Also with the irrigation system we use a lot less water than a sprinkler system. And with the irrigation system we water the plants not the weeds. That also means that I don’t have to weed as much in the gardens and I really do not like weeding.
In the second week I learned that it was easier than the first week because my body was not as sore. I learned how to work independently one full day so that when I am older, if I have a farm, I can know how to do things that only I could do alone. I also learned that moles aren’t just pests, but they can help the land and if you need dirt you can get it from around the mole holes. They also help aerate the land so that the land doesn’t get compacted. I also learned that I really like working with other people because it makes the job easier and go by faster. One day I weeded the side vegetable garden with someone else, which made the work easier and a lot faster. I also weeded the Native food and medicine garden, which has indigenous plants to Oregon. There are things there like bear berries, which are also called Kinikinik that is used for Native tobacco. I also learned that I am allergic to hay because when we were putting it down my allergies started to act up. I got a mask that day. The reason we put down they hay was so that the moisture from the water would stay there and it would be harder for the weeds to come up.
All in all I am learning a lot about my farm that I never understood until now. I am starting to think more about the things I do and why parents do what they do on the farm. I think that will be good in my future.
[Editor’s Note: Redbird Woodley was recently awarded a Creation Care Mini-Grant from EcoFaith Recovery for his leadership development proposal to engage in a four week intensive service-learning project on Eloheh Farm in Newberg, Oregon. You can learn more about Redbird and his project at this link.]
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