Lisa Miskelly, assistant director of food and farm, shares reflections on a year unlike any before
Our essential work of growing food allowed us to continue operations throughout this growing season; while businesses were shutting down, we were preparing for a growing season with a crop plan but without a roadmap: creating COVID safety guidelines for student workers and community gardeners, finding alternative outlets for our produce which normally go to dining halls, shifting our on-campus farmer’s market to an on-line store with contactless pick-up on the farm. As student farm manager Addie King ‘21 says, “Farming during COVID means…. having to be even more flexible and optimistic than farmers usually need to be!”
What felt clear from the beginning was that our community’s need for safe, nutritious, and local food would continue, even when all other aspects of our lives would be disrupted. Simultaneously, we felt an urgent need to support one another in the limited ways we could: Zoom calls, snail mail, messages of hope and perseverance, ways of digesting the daily unexpected, grieving losses, understanding the impacts of a food system in turmoil, and the human lives who were on the other end of food system failures. Never had rebuilding a local and community-based food system felt so urgent, and so real.
What was born out of this season were a myriad of community connections, farm innovations, a dedicated crew, an on-line food discussion group, and virtual course visits as a farmer turned into an unskilled camera crew of one. We found joy together, and we grew an abundance of food.
Thanks for following along with us on this journey,
Your Farm Manager, Lisa