Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ariel at the Farm School

On Monday I made a trip up to the Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts- about an hour drive northeast of Northampton. The Farm School runs several different programs including a year long apprenticeship, a middle-school called Chicken Coop School, and a program where middle-schoolers can come and work on the farm for a few days.

This is Ariel, an out queer and trans farm apprentice at the Farm School. The apprenticeship, formerly known as the Practical Training Program at Maggie's Farm is a year long apprenticeship geared toward giving student farmers direct farming experience and practical skills that will empower and prepare them for establishing their own farming endeavors. Ariel is no stranger to the farming life- he grew up spending his summers working on a horse farm in rural Maryland. Here he is, picking beans. 
The Farm School has 160 beautiful acres of diverse veggies, fruit, pasture, and forest. Here is some baby lettuce. 
I filled my belly with these perfectly ripe raspberries. 

                            Cows giving me the stare down. 
I think this lone sheep was having an identity crisis. 
Beautiful draft horses. 
Apprentices get to grow the food that they eat in this garden, located right beside the farmhouse. As part of the program, apprentices are encouraged experiment and to take on independent study projects. Ariel is focusing on learning about and working on building accessible gardens and pick-your own sites. I thought this was seriously cool, and much needed. Keep up the good work Ariel! You can also follow his blog here

And some shots from the road: 
Farmland Forever!

1 comment:

  1. It was great to have you out here!

    Lincoln, our year-old ram, is potentially the queerest creature here at Maggie's Farm. He joined the cows this spring as they set back out onto pasture to graze. He immediately became the favorite of the yearlings who enjoy resting their chins on his wide furry butt.

    He doesn't mind at all.

    He definitely isn't exclusive in his desires, though. He is popular with the ewes as well. When the cows+Lincoln have particularly long walks to get to their next pasture, he has been known to take a side trip to socialize with the neighbor's pet sheep. So he's very popular and surrounded by creatures who enjoy his company.

    Identity crisis? Maybe... or maybe just happy where he's at. :)

    Happy travels!