Today marks the first week of my working in the program and so far we have focused on paperwork, getting to know each other, and figuring out the program. Here is the daily breakdown for the past few days:
Monday: Johns Island for Field’s Farm tour in the AM and Rosebank Farm tour in the PM
Tuesday: Beaufort for Habbersham’s Community Farm tour
Wednesday: Mcclellandville for Our Local Foods/Thornhill farm tour
Thursday: West Ashley and Charleston to meet with all seven restaurants including: Med Bistro, Al Di La, Glass Onion, McGrady’s, Fig, Monza, and Fish.
Here are some pics from Wednesday at Our Local Foods:
Everyday we also take time to talk about logistics, funding, and schedules since this truly is a pilot program. It is really interesting coming into a new program in which you are able and expected to be a part of the decision making and development team. I am one of three apprentices- all of which have very different backgrounds. My last few months has been spent running a program, case working, and starting a garden. Matt graduated from CofC last spring with an English degree, decided to stay around and work in restaurants while working in his garden. Josh had been working as an Engineer in Orlando, FL but wanted an opportunity to get into organic farming, so he quit his job and moved here. Needless to say, we all have something different to the table.
We will all live with each other at some point in the house on Johns Island but there is always one apprentice living on the farm in McClellandville. Regardless, we will see each other every Thursday when we bring all of our produce together to sort and deliver. In addition to the apprentices, there is also Elizabeth who is running the Sustainable Ag program and Julie who is helping her specifically with the pilot. We have been spending our days squished together in cars at at tables for the last week and it seems as though our personalities weave together quite nicely.
From this point, we still have one site visit to do tomorrow at the Limehouse distribution facility to see how a program like ours operates on a large scale, which should be facinating. Then Monday, we all go to our farms! I start at Fields Farms for the first two months, transition to Rosebanks for two more, take classes during August, and then head to McClellandville for three months. Let the farming begin!