Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 4 at the Farm

Day 3 at the Farm

Day 2 at the farm!

Waking up to such a beautiful day!

My group was on Home Crew! Our task was to cook breakfast while the others were doing chores around the farm. We made delicious oatmeal pancakes and home fries mmm!

The garden and the living space!

my photo shoot during my break!

Making foccacia bread from scratch!

The first day at the farm!


After lunch we went for a hike and tour of the property. We learned about how the farm works and what we would be doing that week. Eric, one of the care takers took us on the tour and to the top of one of the hills. At the top of the hill we spent some time praying and some time in silence to listen to the rain. Eric sang us a song to end the hike and we walked back to the farm.

Grilled cheese on home made whole wheat bread, local cheese, and home made tomato soup! It was the best grilled cheese and tomato soup I've ever had in my entire life!

After training we all went to work outside in different locations around the farm. I was in Julie's Group and in charge of getting the isles in the garden tidy. It was important to lay card board down and then wood chips on top to make a good clear walking path and keep the weeds out.

Workin hard!

There is Father Bill and Dave getting their breakfast!

After breakfast we all met outside for training with Colleen. She taught us all the safety advice we needed to know for the week like how to use a saw, hammer, nail, etc. The key was how to use the tools safely and efficiently.

My breakfast was so good! Home made granola in yogurt, half a banana, scrambled eggs from the farm, and cast iron fluff cakes. So good!

The soothing music started to play softly through out the entire farm house...I guess it was time to wake up at start the day. We all joined for morning prayer and then enjoyed a delicious breakfast together.


Day 1-2 West Virginia Spring Break

The 1st day was mainly spent traveling! We started our journey at 5:00 am and left from the St. Thomas More Student Center with Julie Tracy, our Campus Minister leading the way. There were 11 of us total traveling to WV. We made about 5 stops at gas stations on the way. I bought a scratch ticket (or two) at every gas station. Don't worry, I don't think I have a problem...I won $8.00 total! I used that money for my breakfast the next day, you'll hear about that in the next post!

Anyway so we ended up finally making it to Nazareth Farm to sleep over and the next day we set out for Bethlehem Farm. While at Naz Farm we all cooked dinner together and shared a wonderful meal.

After our meal I started to read the book Nickel and Dimed it's about a woman who is a journalist who free willingly decides to live in poverty in three different states: Florida, Minnesota, and Maine. I ended up finishing the book by the time my spring break was over. It's the fastest I've ever read an entire book. It was a great read and it really helped put poverty in perspective.

Day 2:

We woke up and went to church at 9:00am. Shortly after we went to the Cottage Corner (a local breakfast place). I ended up getting two meals with Andrew and we split them so we could both have hot cakes, bacon, potato's and an egg-over easy! The hot cakes were the best hot cakes I've ever had in my entire life! I think you can see that I enjoyed it judging by my practically empty plate!

After breakfast Julie took us to her favorite hiking trail! We ended up hiking and had a lot of fun together. After our hike we went to Dairy Queen.......EWWW. So gross! I personally would rather eat McDonald's but this trip is all about sacrifice and accepting what life throws you. Life threw me DAIRY QUEEN....I smiled and enjoyed the burger that gave me a stomach ache :)

Then we were on our final stretch to Bethlehem Farm. We were all very excited to finally get there.


Alternative Spring Break West Virginia

I traveled to Summers County West Virginia with 25 other college students (9 from UNH) from across the country to Bethlehem Farm Inc. I was greeted by 7 care takers with loving hugs and welcoming faces. Bethlehem Farm is a Catholic Community in Appalachia that transforms lives through service with the local community and teaching sustainable practices. Their four cornerstones are service, prayer, simplicity, and community. I participated in all 4 cornerstones during my stay at the farm.
Service: I was able to help construct and build a deck and ramp for an elderly couple at their home. I was able to serve on home crew where my group (6 of us) stayed on the farm to prepare lunch and dinner for our friends who went to work that day. We served about 60 people dinner that night. We also cleaned the living space and did chores around the farm. I also helped plaster the walls at a homeless shelter in town.

Prayer: I was able to engage in prayer while on my trip. I had prayer time by myself and also with the group. Each day started with prayer and ended with prayer. I was able to say a prayer before two meals and was able to plan a group prayer with my team. I had a lot of time to reflect about life while I was on the farm and really think about my future and the now.

No make up allowed. If it’s yellow let it mellow if it’s brown flush it down. No dish washer. TURN OFF THE LIGHTS. Only two showers allowed: one inside and one outside. Time doesn’t exist. No clocks, watches, or cell phones.
These were a few of the ways I learned to accept simplicity. The way of living at Bethlehem Farm was shocking at first but I learned to accept and embrace it. I had so much fun being simple. It was a treat and a break from my busy and stressful life.

Words can’t describe the community at the Farm. Everyone was so genuine and did such great work that I was proud of everyone there. It was a wonderful experience to join other college students and really learn more about myself and others. In America we take so much for granted when so many life with little to nothing. I was able to appreciate what I had and I was able to learn how to relax and embrace my life.