We've decided to give a short update on what we did this past summer/early fall for those of you we've been out of touch with.
Though I passed boards and received my Iowa nursing license in June, I knew we were planning to leave with the Peace Corps soon and wasn't able to find any short-term nursing jobs that were appropriate for a new grad like me. So I began my summer working 3 days a week at Tabletop Farm in Nevada, IA. I mainly focused on harvesting, processing and packing veggies for CSA (community supported agriculture) distribution, though I sometimes got to do planting, weeding and other things. This was a good job for me because I got to help out a great new farm during their first year (and got to be their first ever employee). I found a lot of my skills from my previous life as a produce manager/worker to be applicable too.
At the end of July the wonderful folks at Turtle Farm, where Darrin was working, let me join their team two days a week. In this way I became a full-time organic farm worker. In my spare time I did some eldercare, yardwork, plasma donation, babysitting and even a little bit of cooking to help a friend out with her catering jobs.
|Working at Turtle Farm|
|My last day at Tabletop - and first time driving the tractor|
Like Colette, it would have been difficult for me to find full-time employment out of college because we were planning to leave for two years. Luckily, organic vegetable farms always need seasonal help, and what a perfect way to prepare to serve as an Agricultural Extension agent in the Peace Corps. Especially since many farmers in the world cannot afford to purchase chemicals for their crops.
In June I started working full-time on Turtle Farm CSA in Granger, Iowa. Turtle Farm grows organic fruits and vegetables, and distributes them weekly to almost 185 farm members. With a team made up of brave and outstanding people our duties were many and included: fertilizing, planting, weeding (and more weeding), trellising, harvesting, processing, more weeding, packing CSA boxes, bending, squatting, lunging, and weeding. In addition to that I found time (and energy) to substitute-teach yoga classes for Ames Parks and Recreation, cook some great meals, pack our belongings, have a large garage sale, and spend time with Colette!
|Covering the fall garlic planting at Turtle Farm|
|Taking a much needed break!|