News from the Farm | August 11, 2014

Taking Stock

The day I left New York was rainy and cold. I put on my winter coat and set out to live in a place I had never been and to work at a task I had never done. When I arrived at Full Belly Farm in April as the newest intern I was overwhelmed by the scale of production and by the busyness that swirled around me. But it did not take long for me to feel at home. 

The sense of community and belonging on the farm took me aback, as I was welcomed in with open arms by people willing to teach and eager to help me settle in. From the very first I began seeing, learning, and experiencing new things. Each day seems to offer a new challenge, and every person on the farm is a wellspring of information and experience that I have only just begun to get a glimpse of. 

As I sit here on a quiet Sunday afternoon I can’t help but make a list of some of the things I have learned: seeding flowers, transplanting tomato plants, laying drip tape, making strawberry jam, milking the cow, bottle-feeding lambs, moving groups of sheep, watering the greenhouses, cutting and drying flowers, picking figs and cherry tomatoes, digging up potatoes, washing melons, etc. And the list goes on and on, some things due to my own mistakes, like how to catch a group of fledgling chicks that I accidentally let loose on the farm, and some things I didn’t expect, like how to speak Spanish or how to drive the market truck. So although there is an ever-present sense of being challenged and the knowledge that there is always more to learn, there is also the satisfaction of being able to look back and see how far I have come and how much I have learned since day one. I have never been bored and I have certainly never felt so fulfilled and content. 










 Julie has taken on a high level of responsibility with our animal program, and assists with all our our animal feeding and care. She is a shining Full Belly star!

 Working on a farm is far from easy and the days are long; sometimes I miss home and the rainy weather, and sometimes I just want to lay in a hammock with a glass of iced tea at the end of the day and forget about truck load. But more often than not I feel overwhelmingly grateful to be on this farm, working with this amazing group of people, and helping to accomplish such an incredible task. It is easy to feel discouraged when I think of what a novice I am and how much there is to learn and see and do, but at the same time it also fills me with excitement and anticipation. Being on this farm has opened my eyes to my own ability to adapt, learn, and grow, and has created in me a strength and endurance I never thought I could have. I don’t know what this internship will lead to down the road and I don’t know in what context farming will be a part of my life in the future but I do know that this has been and will continue to be an unparalleled enriching and meaningful experience.

 — Julie Ferenczy

Julie arrived in April from New York. We are so lucky to have her here!