Just stuff...............

It's no longer raining today. It is very muddy so no planting will be done.

I have spent the morning, writing a grant application for an intern's stipend from the Women, Food and Agriculture Network. Judging from the emails .... we are still in the running for a $1000 stipend for an intern.

I have to admit that the application was relatively easy. But there was one question that was a little tricky.

How will you assess your apprentice's goals for the apprenticeship? How will you evaluate her performance and progress toward these goals during and after the apprenticeship?

How do you assess happiness, contentment and joy? I want an apprentice to walk away with knowledge, marketable skills and the ability to provide for themselves. But most of all ................. I want an intern to know that it is not only about making a living....... its about making a life.

How do I judge the way they care for a kitten? How do I assess the joy they get from watching the butterflies flit through the flowers? How do I evaluate the pride one has when they hear the "ping" of a canning jar that has sealed? How do I know that they have truly found themselves??

You don't farm if you want a fat checkbook. You don't farm if you want to be done with work at 5 pm. You don't farm if you want to vacation all summer. You don't farm if you don't want to worry about weather, crop prices, land costs and debt.

As a woman, you don't farm if you have to have a weekly manicure. You don't farm if your clothes are more important than your livestock. And if you definitely don't farm unless you can make do or do without.

I hope I have something to share with an apprentice/intern. I hope they will learn to love this land and its fertility as much as I do. I hope they fall into bed at night ... dead tired ... and yet, feel the sense of pride for a day's work well done.

I hope they want to be a farmer.


Barb said…
I would love to be your...ahem...56 year old intern! But then I guess I already do all those things here. Almost came home with a 3 day old nubian goat (doe) from the Shepherd's Harvest in Lake Elmo, MN this last Saturday. My reasoning?....honestly, who could take better care of her than me?!? But then I assessed the bottle feeding schedule and electric fences that would be a bit to high for such a wee creature and then there are those 3-12 hour days that I work in a row away from home and, and, and. I left her for some other motherly type to take home and nurture.
Michelle said…
I loved your questions about how to evaluate an intern's achievement of goals. You are a wise woman, and I wish I lived closer so I could spend time with you (yes, and HELP!). I am thankful for your blog, because I love reading your thoughts and philosophies and experiences. Your spiritual refreshing and journey makes it all very special, too.
Miss Eff, you are an inspiration. Your interns will be blessed. "It's about making a life". I just put that one in the jar.
Emily said…
Every day I am so thankful for and amazed by the opportunity I've been given. I am so blessed!

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