On Saturday, I went to a volunteer project organized by Boston University’s Global Days of Service at a local farm. The project partnered with The Food Project, which provides local food to nearby neighborhoods. The farm was located in Dorchester and it was such a beautiful day to do some farm work outdoors. I felt so excited because I finally got a chance to run away from the crowded streets of Boston.
The project of the day started early at 9 a.m., and after a short introduction, our whole team was separated into three groups and worked with different leaders at various spots. There were full-time workers at the farm, but those who led us that day were all local high school students. The Food Project also provides young people a chance to become leaders and for me, it was a very first opportunity for me to try working on a farm.
Our work on Saturday was to prepare the seeds that were going to be planted on Tuesday. We loosened the hard soil, cleaned off the grass and moved the newly bought fertilizer into the house. The farm was finally saying goodbye to the winter cold and preparing to restart everything in the warm spring. I followed my team leader Aminah to the greenhouse, which was different than the outside where the lands are still barren. Inside the greenhouse, there were various species of sprouts such as peppermint, tomatoes and mint, but there were so many of them I couldn’t recognize. Since the plants were still young, they still needed ropes to hang from the ceiling as support.
My work of the day was to remove all the new fertilizer from the truck to the greenhouse for preparation. It was an easy task — I just used the heavy spade to move the fertilizer from the truck bit by bit, then used the cart to deliver the soil back into the greenhouse. After that, I went to the back of the greenhouse where there was more natural fertilizer that combines all these dead plants, leaves, abandoned fruit, dissolvable plastic and soil. There were lots of worms inside the soil as to help the fermentation. I thought it would look disguising, but I still found it so interesting.
After work, Aminah told me more about the farm. The food that’s going to grow on the farm on Tuesday could be sold in a month or two. They mostly sell the food on Saturday and Thursday in front of a local church. The residents that live in surrounding neighborhoods are mostly immigrants. So the farm is selling the food to the local community with a relatively lower price to make these foods more affordable. All farms partnered with The Food Project include three farms and a greenhouse, so they can keep the large production and ensure the quantity of food.
Although we are not able to see the results from our work, what we did is contribute to the future of Earth. We were all happy to affect the community and nature as well.