About halfway through my junior year as a journalism major at the University of Maryland, I came to realize that the career path I was headed for was missing one major aspect that I always cherished, living and functioning in the great outdoors. But it wasn’t until D.C. and myself were buried waste deep in snow before my antsiness finally told me, “No Lisa, please, please, please, don’t be inside all summer long too.”
But what could I do? I had no skill in landscaping, I was banned from ever using my dad’s rider-mower (due to a 13-year-old’s confusion between where the grass was and wear a tree was..oops), and PennDOT wasn’t looking to good for me. However, I had just been discussing with a Peace Corps adivsor how I would love to start learning the way of the land and getting in some agriculture knowledge before applying to the corps, and that’s where the thought started to grow.
When my sister called me and asked if I had heard of any parks she could work at over the summer, I began to go through my e-mails through the ENST advisor at Maryland. Low and behold, I came across an e-mail from over a year before, talking about a wonderful internship at and organic CSA Farm, House-in-the-Woods. I called up Ilene, knowing so little about farming that I pretended to know what a hoop-house was when she discussed how the snows just crushed it (I pictured some sort of silo…wrong!)
Two months later, with the snow gone and the spring rains turning the field into a hillside of feathery greens, I sat down and nervously began to plant my first row of bok choi. Just a month and a half later, I have found so many answers to so many questions. I learn something new every day, and the feeling of the success I get from eating a jalepeno I planted in those early weeks makes me feel like a champ.
And although I sometimes feel as though I must be the only girl on that farm without a clue in the world, I am sure there are many CSA members, as well as anyone in the world, who pick up there vegetables each week without a clue of the process that went into growing that turnip, or that beet, or those rows and rows of sweet potatoes. So I am beginning this blog to share what I have learned at House-in-the-Woods, and what I feel that a veggie-eater (which all of you should be!) should know.
Sincerely your House-in-the-Woods intern,