In the month that I have been here, at Walpole Valley Farms, I have been cordially welcomed into the Caserta's farm and family. Within the first week, I was not only instructed on how to feed and care for the chickens, pigs, and cows, but I was given the responsibility of creating and maintaining the garden. I was ecstatic when I could finally apply what my grandmother, mother, aunt, and cousin had taught me over the years. As a biology major, I always had an appreciation for plants, so being the one to sow and grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs was right up my alley.
As the garden slowly turned from a plot of weeds, wildly growing grass, and trees full of burrs into a structured garden, I was immediately complimented on the enlarged size and overall transformation. The garden has become more of a community effort here at the farm, and I wouldn't have been able to accomplish nearly as much on my own. Whether it was help with the initial planning and inspiration, weeding, tractor runs for compost and wood chips and spreading wheelbarrows of it, rock decorations, or planting, each member of the farm has chipped in. Of all the lessons to be learned, accepting and inviting others to help with a project is important, but seeing them become excited and proud of the progress, is definitely the most gratifying. I know that when it comes to harvesting the fruits of our labor, everyone can feel as though they have contributed and the garden will be just as rewarding for them as it has already proven to be for me.