When I arrived at Maine Coast Semester, I was so excited to work on the farm. I finally got to spend some time there during our first work program. My job was to rake hay out of the cow pen. It reeked of cow poop, but it was fun. This was also the first time I could really get to know my fellow peers.
Our farm at Chewonki not only supplies food that the residents, faculty, and students of Chewonki eat, but the excess food is shared with local communities as well. Here at Chewonki, we value the sustainability of our food as well as where it comes from. With that in mind, Chewonki does a great job of making sure that most of our food is directly from our farm or locally sourced. This is why farm chores are so crucial to our community – they ensure our farm is operating so we have food in our kitchen.
A big part of keeping the farm running smoothly is morning farm chores. Every two weeks, we rotate morning chores between different cabins, and one cabin is assigned to farm chores. Before spring break, my cabin mates and I were on morning farm chores. We fought over who was going to milk the cows, take care of the sheep, feed the pigs, and take care of the chickens. The 8 of us couldn’t decide what jobs to give out, so we ended up drawing from a hat. I drew “chickens.”
The first morning, waking up at 5:45 am was rough. But when we got to the farm, the animals lit up our tired morning. We had our farm orientation, and the next week was light work. Morning farm chores brought our cabin even closer together, from yelling at each other to get out of bed to throwing hay down from the haylofts. Getting up early is the hardest part of morning farm chores, but the opportunity to learn where your food comes from and what it takes to provide food for your community makes it all worth it.
Rashi DaSilva, Albany High School, Albany, CA