By: Allyson Ulsh, rising junior, majoring in Environmental Resource Management


With each day, I grow more grateful for this internship. I am grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with nature through growing plants, as I realize now that not everyone has an opportunity to get outside into the natural world. I am grateful for this position as it has taught me so many practices about organic farming and agricultural production in general that I hopefully will be able to apply in future growing endeavors. Mostly though, I am beyond grateful for the incredible people I have met both at the farm and in the local community. I never thought that I would become so close with so many people through an internship. As I was reflecting on why this job’s interpersonal dynamic is so different from other jobs I have worked, I realized that the reason I feel such a strong sense of community amongst everyone is because our job revolves around food. And I have come to realize that food is one of the most universal connectors we have with every single human on the Earth, regardless of other differences. Food humbles us, we know we must eat to survive and thus food is a powerful agent. A main reason people come together revolves around food, for example Thanksgiving dinner or going out with friends for pizza. I never realized just how powerful a great meal surrounded by even better company can be until I first visited Plowshare Produce. After meeting some of the workers and walking around the property, one of the owner’s sons found us in the field to let us know that lunch was ready. When I stepped inside their home, I was floored by their generosity and acceptance. Not only did it remind me of being a little girl and coming home to find dinner was ready, I had never felt more welcomed as a stranger into someone else’s home. The owners said during the meal that they always eat lunch together midday, in order to take a restful break and reconnect with one another. In a college world where I often skip lunch in order to study a few minutes longer, I was humbled by this sentiment. It made me realize that good work is connected to the wholesome food we eat, and without substantial meals, the quality of said work will decrease. Later on in the week, Katrina, an AmeriCorps member for the Student Farm, suggested we all bring our favorite salad toppings to create a DIY salad bar for lunch. Aside from being a nice break from a long morning in the sun, it was a fun way to connect with my coworkers and learn more about them through their toppings. As the summer turns into the next semester, I am going to try to use my meal times as a way to decompress and enjoy other friends’ company. I believe that gratefulness is the root of all happiness and the people I have meand the meals I have shared with them have brought true joy into my work