Sunday, August 10, 2008

With A Little Help

"What would you think if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me. Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song, and I'll try not to sing out of key. Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends, he gets high with a little help from his friends, oh I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends."

First to redress an oversight from last years (farm season 2007) postings. There were a great many people who provided Farmer David with invaluable time, effort, energy, emotional, and spiritual assistance. While they know who they are, here is a shout out to those who assisted either by their labor or support in various other ways. If any have been forgotten, humble apologies. To correct any oversight contact David and you will be sure to be included in a future posting. Big Shout Outs!! to the following- Gab, Mikey and Emily, Adam, Betsy, Natalie, Farmer Dean, Farmer Matt, Farmer Mike, Mary Jo, and Farmer Rob and Pam. Much appreciation to the various Spoonies who spent time volunteering at one time or another. Farming is an arduous lifestyle and any farmer is dependent on the kindness of others. Without all of these fine folk, Gravity Hill Farm would not have been as successful as it was during its first year of production. So again, a heartfelt thanks to one and all for all that you did.

As the second year of production was gearing up the land in production went from 1.7 acres to a little over 4 acres. In increasing the size of land being put into production, and thus increasing the amount of work that would need to be put into making the farm a success, the Gravity Hill Farm Team of David and Maria and Farmer David, recognized that it would be necessary to hire a couple of people. Along with two full time people one other person was hired to work on a part time basis. And then came unexpected help from two young women who are volunteering a tremendous amount of their time. A joke could be made questioning their sanity for working as long and as hard as they are for little compensation. However, humor in this case would devalue their commitment to the success of the farm.

So, let's introduce Gravity Hill Farm's 2008 work crew.

Last year Natalie would show up every Sunday morning for the Lawrenceville Market and help with getting everything set up. More importantly Natalie was most instrumental in putting flowers into beautiful bouquets to be sold. This year Natalie still comes most Sunday mornings to help with the set up.

Emma is spending a portion of her summer vacation from college working part-time at the farm. As with the other workers, Emma is proof that not all people of her age group (late teens-early 20's) are self-centered and concerned only with material wants. There are easier ways to make money than farming.

Over the past couple of years, Patrick has done various odd jobs on the farm, but this is his first year working as a true farmer. Patrick is another college student finding that working the land is far more challenging than most people might imagine. Sadly, both Patrick and Emma will be leaving at the end of August to return to college.

Emily is going to be a senior in high school. She has been spending at least 40 hours a week volunteering!! Her time and efforts have proven invaluable, especially in the context that she is volunteering.

Malaika is the other volunteer at the farm. She is giving about 30+ hours of her energy a week to the farm. Malaika spent the first part of her summer as an intern learning how to make cheese. As does Emily, Malaika has a strong commitment to local, organic, sustainable agriculture. Sadly for Farmer David, just as Emma and Patrick, Emily and Malaika will be leaving at the end of August to return to their respective schools.

Valerie is working as an intern and will be staying with the farm through the end of the season some time in October. She is yet another example of a young adult accepting the challenge of working hard on a daily basis. As do the others Valerie demonstrates commitment to a job well done.

Farmer David trying to get a point across to his staff about their need to stay focused on their tasks. Just kidding. While the heat and the grind can take their toll,Patrick, Valerie, Emma, Emily, and Malaika all perservere against the elements and the challenges that farming presents on a daily basis.

If you can't make out what the document below is, it is the official notification that Gravity Hill Farm is certified as organic. It was a long process to apply and then it took a long time for the document to come. Regardless, congratulations to David and Maria and David, the team behind Gravity Hill ORGANIC Farm.

For those who choose to farm they need to avoid building walls. They can not afford to be either a rock or an island. They have need of friendship, laughter, support, and love. So, to those of you who helped last year, once again, much thanks and appreciation. To this years staff and volunteers, much thanks and appreciation as well, the farm wouldn't be the success it is without you.

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