Sierra Harvest’s first “Farm Crew” program is mid-way through its first season, and the inaugural crew is enthusiastic about the experience. Part of Sierra Harvest’s Farm Institute, Farm Crew members participate in a combination of hands-on, paid work experience at a local farm along with classroom and in the field learning from a variety of farmers around the county.
Samantha Limonciello was curious about the whole farming process, how things go from seed to market. When she learned about the Farm Crew after graduating from high school, she decided it was the perfect gap year experience. She was paired with Soil Sisters to learn all about growing flowers, which was very different from her previous experience with utilitarian permaculture. “The hands-on experience and constant feedback loop is so helpful,” she said. “Every day we are doing different things, and repeating it. So I’m getting really good with transplanting and working with the tools.”
Farm Crew member Amelia Pedini was also looking for a hands-on
experience with a production farm so that she could better understand what makes a small farmer successful. She has been working with both the Food Love Farm and First Rain farm to learn what farming is all about. “I appreciate the blend of hands-on what it takes to get everything done in a day and the ability to ask questions in a classroom,” she said especially from legendary experts like Amigo Bob, who like many farmers is usually too busy to just sit down and talk for three hours.
Both Amelia and Samantha have found a lot of value in connecting with our local farming community on farm tours and when they work at the market. Interested in signing up for the Farm Crew or just a Farm Crew class? A number of classes are available to the public. Sign up on Sierra Harvest’s website. Or, get more information about the Farm Crew program.