With the nice weather coming on, everyone wants to be outside! Gardening is a wonderful pastime that many of us share. Working the land helps soothe the soul and bring us closer to our own roots.
I would like to welcome those of you who wish to participate in farm activities. There are many tasks to do in order to ensure smooth and productive farm activities. Here are a few things to consider when pondering a visit to the farm:
1- Riverglen Farm is a farm, not a garden. Although tending the garden is a central part of our day to day, there are many things to do to maintain a healthy farm organism. Infrastructure and machinery must be maintained, animal enclosures must be repaired, storage of produce and valuables must be ensured, etc. When you come to Riverglen, you must expect to be exposed to many different tasks that go well beyond hoeing the carrots. You can indicate your preference of tasks, but please be open to helping out where your hands are needed most.
2 – Please dress appropriately. There is mud, dirt, manure, water, grass, concrete and gravel under foot and you should be prepared to travel over all these surfaces. Also take into account that Riverglen has been a farm for over 150 years, and bits of glass, rusty metal and other treasures are not rare finds under foot. Flip flops are definitely not going to cut it.
Take what you need to protect yourself from the sun. A brimmed hat, sunscreen, long sleeved shirts, and water bottles are all useful to keep you in good condition by the end of the day.
3 – Respect spaces designated for special purposes. Animal enclosures are for animals, and one should not enter them without being accompanied by farm staff. Planting rows and beds need to be free of footsteps in order to flourish. Water points must be kept clean. One should only smoke on the driveway or on the bridge over the creek, and butts must be extinguished and disposed of properly. And remember, watch out for the electric fence!
4 – Finally, please keep an open mind to the farming mindset. We are trying to earn our livelihoods from farming activities, and all farm residents take what they do very seriously. I don’t hang out by the photocopier at your office, chatting every body who walks by and making random copies , so please respect the fact that when you are at the farm, you are in our workplace. Feel free to ask questions, but try the work and chat approach, or bring up your questions during a down time.
If you have any questions about how to get involved with farm activities, send me an e-mail, give me a phone call, or monitor the website for news of events.
Thank you very much for your understanding. I look forward to a good conversation in the garden!