November & December theme:
“Choose One Thing”
Posted in :  Community Works

As a part of Fathom’s Community Works program, we choose an activity each quarter that allows us to close up shop and volunteer with an organization that needs help. With this year’s theme for group activities as “nourishment,” our summer outing at the Community Farm of Simsbury delivered . . . in sunshine, digging in the dirt, gathering together and joining a small group of caring people who are doing big things.

We couldn't have asked for more sunshine.

Community Works committee member Molly Dwyer organized the day and arranged the amazing weather. Thanks to Molly, we were able to get in touch with our inner farmer. Leading us in our farming tasks was Maggie Saska, Garden Manager (below), who gave us a great overview of the farm’s history and mission.

Choose your poison: To weed or harvest?

Once a dairy farm for 20 years, the site is now owned by the town of Simsbury and takes on the model of a “poor farm,” a pre-social services model from the 19th century where those in need worked the farm and benefited from their own labor. Today, the Community Farm of Simsbury supplies certified organic produce to families in need through several partnerships, including Gifts of Love, Foodshare and Billing Forge Community Works. They also run educational programs, Farm-to-Table events (next one is Wed., September 4) and have an Incubator Farmer Program where six start-ups use land, equipment and know-how to get their agricultural businesses up and running.

Maggie and her co-worker, Program Director Cori Behm, are the only two full-time employees. They rely heavily on volunteers like us to help them get their work done. As a matter of fact, the farm wouldn’t exist without the help of volunteers. We all were impressed with Maggie’s organization and the farm’s ability to get their work done with so few resources.

The team chose sides — picking or weeding — and got to work . . .

Jenn, Molly, Michelle and Louisa chose the potato picking side of the farm.

Dave and Lauren showed no mercy in taking down some weeds in the kale aisle.

Ben chose the sunny, high ground, with Jonathan, to weed out (and sample) the berry patch.

Even the bees were hard at work in the barley patch, doing their thing to keep all of us in business.

By the end of our time on the farm, we were sun-filled, dirty and wishing we could stay for more. One thing is for sure, our adventures in Community Works got even more interesting!

Farmers for a day . . . and now back to our desks.

But, first . . .

American Gothic, Revisited

For more photos from our day at the farm, visit Fathom’s Facebook page.

 

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Posted by: Suzi Craig
Email the author: suzi@fathom.net