(Photo courtesy of the Waltham Fields Community Farm)
It’s beautiful here at Waltham Fields, birds swooping between rows of crops, against a backdrop of verdant trees, lush from the season’s rain. But such serenity is somewhat of a mirage, as there’s always too much to be done. Seeding, weeding, planting, harvesting, washing, plowing, and mulching are only a little bit of what’s to be done outside. There’s a whole other world inside the office: orders to place, inventory to track, reports and funding requests to write, e-mails to reply to, letters to send, pick-ups and drop-offs to organize, things to repair, outreach signs to make, budgets to balance…
And behind it all is the math - so much math! How much to order, when and how much to seed, when and how much to plant, when and how much to pick, how much there is, how much was lost, who gets how much, how much does it all cost, how long does it all take, how long do we have…
I never thought farming was a mindless sort of work, but it’s difficult to realize how much work it is without seeing it, without helping out. And I never imagined it was such a numbers game. It’s energy-intensive work, both physical and mental. And they always welcome a helping hand.
If you’d like to volunteer at Waltham Fields Community Farms, no doubt there will be some math involved when you visit! You can find more information at http://communityfarms.org/index.php/involved/volunteer-service
Herbert (the Intern)