Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Sunday on Wolfscratch Farm

Want to learn about farming and help out small farmers at the same time? I’ve got two words for you Crop Mob. Crop Mob pairs farms with volunteers to help farmers get projects done. You may spend a few hours doing chores, or planting vegetables or whatever else might need to be done, kind of like a barn raisings of the past. I didn’t learn about Crop Mob until the end of the season last year and have been watching for notification of Crop Mobs this spring. That’s where I heard about the Salacoa CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and Wolfscratch Farm and their need for CSA Share Workers!

What a great idea! Helping out on the farm 8 hours a week in exchange for a share in the CSA? Sign me up! Which is exactly what I did. After a few conversations and emails with Jamie Rosenthal, owner of Wolfscratch Farm, I got up early on Sunday morning and headed to Jasper, Georgia for orientation. Five of us, mostly from Atlanta, showed up to help Jamie and business partner Michael Blackwell work toward their vision of turning this former horse farm into a thriving farm and CSA. It was cold and wet after an all-day rain on Saturday, but that didn’t lessen our enthusiasm. After introductions, we got started putting up deer fencing and clearing brush. There’s a lot to be done, weeding, planting, and later in the season harvesting. Jamie prepared us a delicious lunch of vegetable beef soup and Michael's homemade cornbread.

After lunch we were given a farm tour and explanation of chores: feeding the goats and chickens, cleaning water founts, mucking stalls, setting up electrical fencing, taking the goats out to pasture, etc. Later in the season we’ll be able to milk the goats, which will be a new experience for me; one I’m totally looking forward to. Then we made a quick trip over to Blackwell Farm to see Michael’s bees. I’ve wanted a bee hive for a while, but have been anxious about having one in my small backyard. Hmmmm.

I’m excited to be part of this and learn more about farming. Maybe one day soon I’ll have a small family farm of my own. Until then, I’m happy lending a hand to others.

By the way, you can find Crop Mob on Facebook.

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