One of the programmes our farm participates in is C.R.A.F.T. (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training). This means we offer an internship programme here at Willo’Wind. It is an exchange of “the interns labour and commitment and the farmer’s instruction, supervision, education, time and commitment”. We have been so fortunate this season to have had three very hardworking, undaunted by farm life, interns: Michele Bigras, James Boehmer and Amba Pragnell. These wonderful photos show the spirit and energy they brought to Willo’Wind and we are grateful for the ways in which they pitched in time and again to meet all the challenges farming presents.
Our interns write:
Interning here at Willo’Wind has been a great opportunity to explore and learn about ecological farming. It has given me hands-on experience and exposure to a living food movement. James
Is it already time to say goodbye? It feels like just yesterday that I drove up Concession 5 with everything I thought I would need packed into the trunk. Soon I will be replacing all that stuff and so much more. This summer internship has given me more than I ever expected it would, and I have loved every minute of it. I’ve learnt how to grow and harvest a whole host of different vegetables; learned to drive a tractor, learned alot about different livestock and the care they need; made some great connections; and even got to try out some aerial dancing and contribute to a performance. Between the crazy days under the blistering sun and the bundled days of spring and fall, I cannot believe all we did this season and all I’ve learned, fit into just 6 short months. Thank you Willo’Wind for welcoming us into your home and business, and for sharing with us everything you know. Although we’ll relearn some the hard way I’m sure. It’s not actually goodbye, just see you later! Michele
A sense of humbling pride overtakes me at the end of each day when I look down at the dirt etched into my calloused hands. No matter how much I scrub, the dirt stays; and I hope it never goes away. For it is the mark of starting to put my values into action. To have the support and patience of the Stocking family has meant so much. I received a well rounded introduction to the practical inner workings of a family farm through intense hands-on experience of vegetable and livestock production; and through discussions ranging from holistic weed management to marketing strategies. As I reflect now, as I surely will in years to come, I find myself completely in awe after witnessing the dance of the seasons. The cycles of life, death and life again are constant in and all around us. Even though there is more to be done in Ontario’s agricultural landscape, it has brought an inner peace to succumb to this realization of cycles. I look forward to the day when our modern society’s depleted sense of farming is restored. Amba