Volume 9, Issue 2

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Page 30 | Abby's Magazine | Looking back... our lovely farm would fall into the category of an organiza on that ul mately benefited and was blessed over the last year. Sure there were differences that we adjusted to constantly. We s ll conducted field trips, but they were fewer and smaller groups. Fewer workshops and events for adults. However, we introduced our Nature Lab program and the Homeschool community couldn't get enough. We had 8-10 labs in the Fall and again this Spring serving groups of 10-15 each lab. Nancy Niemann, chairman of our Advisory Board and Educa on Director for the farm did an exemplary job conduc ng labs and quite frankly, the format we created is right in her "sweet spot". They were wildly successful and well a ended. We were able to create an hour- long farm video, for a local elementary school, that gave them the experience of being at the farm even though restric ons kept them from a live field trip. Our ranks of volunteers have swelled to capacity and we are currently on a wai ng list for families to join the farm. Having said that, therein lies the li le secret of being blessed through the pandemic: the farm is an outdoor oasis, a getaway, a respite from the madness that seemed to grip communi es across our country. In spite of some early guidelines, people eventually realized being outdoors, in a beau ful se ng, working with your hands, occupying your mind and thoughts on something healthy and doing it in community with others was the perfect answer to an otherwise insane world! The Fielding family is a lovely example of that and joined the farm for all of those reasons. Erin and her two teenagers Lilly and Fyfer, have jumped right In tending their own raised bed and ge ng involved in a myriad of community projects, so this is what they had to say about the farm: "We all learn in Kindergarten what you need to grow plants: dirt, sun, and water. Turns out, those things are pre y good for people too. In the pre-Covid days, my family was already spending too much me inside. Much of my children's schoolwork was completed on the computer and, increasingly, they wanted to spend their down me on computers, tablets, televisions, etc. Then came Covid. For a me, going outside felt like a cardinal sin. Most of our local parks were closed. Most of everything was closed. That forced us towards the very things that were causing us to become lazy and anxiety ridden. When I learned about Abby's Organic Community Farm, I jumped at the opportunity to give my family something different. I am so grateful that I did. I have been almost shocked to see how well my young teenagers have taken to the farm work. They love it. They thrive doing it. We sweat in the sun, dig in the dirt, pull weeds, fer lize, and water the plants. Some mes the plants do not grow despite our best efforts, but we are blossoming." ~ Erin Fielding Here is what some other of our volunteers had to say: "I love Abby's Organic Community Farm for many reasons. I'm learning things like how to take care of plants, how to care for chickens, and how to keep a farm looking nice. The farm is ABBY'S FARM THROUGH COVID... A YEAR LATER By David Housefield

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