Reflections of a Spring Adamahnik

May 26, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

By: Jill Zenoff (Summer ’08 and Spring ’09)

Adamah…Love the earthPICT0119

Springtime is a special time at Isabella Freedman.  If you slow down and look close enough you get to truly experience the earth as it awakens from hibernation.  I got to watch every day for five weeks as plant life filled in the spaces down Johnson road with plush blankets of green; each day a new layer.  The transformation of the mountainside unfolded before me from the porch of the dining hall until it was covered in a canopy of emerald, olive, lime, and every shade in between.  In Adamah springtime saw Meg bustling away in the green house, Anna preparing the Sadeh for the first transplants of the season, Aitan getting the dairy up and running, and Shamu orchestrating the transformation of Bee Bee Hill.

V’Shamayim … Love the sky

The sunsets over Bee Bee hill have been extraordinarily breathtaking.  Framed by the entrance way the landscape has undergone the transformation of rolling meadow to fruit orchard with apple, pear, cherry, date and paw paw trees, and 500 feet of blueberry bushes. 1500 strawberry plants are taking root in beds next to garlic, cabbage, beats and carrots already in the ground, all bound to the new cultural center (formerly the picklarium) where they will metamorphise into Adamah jams, jellies, sauces, and fermented products by a new generation of Adamah fellows. It is sure to not disappoint as a destination spot for watching fireflies of which the first have the season have appeared this week.

Chom Ha’aish… Heat of fire

Spring is most commonly thought of as a time for new beginnings (think 12 baby goats), but for some this time of year represents a time of ending and transition (think high school graduation).  This spring Adamah has hosted three groups of highschool students from near and far.  40 kids from Ramaz Jewish day school with a major case of senioritis came to work with us for the day preparing beds for planting and mulching the orchard.  A group of students from Hotchkiss school came to Adamah for a day in the life of an organic farmer as part of an international green seminar they were hosting.  Then there was the Heschel 5. Four senior boys and their brave art teacher chaperone “roughed it” out in the Kfar for a three week Adamah internship. They shoved shit, planted berries, picked rocks, laid irrigation, and ended each day with a bonfire and jam session with the guitars they schlepped with them every week, along with their oversized duffle bags, on the train from New York City,  These boys are Adamaniks in them making even if they don’t know it yet.

Tzliz ha’mayim… Rush of water

The Hollenbeck can be a bit chilly (frigid) in the springtime, but that did not stop the new farm apprentice Biz and I from venturing in to Mikva on hot Friday afternoon two weeks ago.  Water that cold can have a way of bringing you right into the present; at once shocking to the senses and cleansing to the soul.  I returned to do it again once more the next week before I had to leave.

I can feel it in my body, in my spirit, in my soul

Over the past five weeks I have been a chauffer, a plumber, a hiker, a delivery driver, a jew, a house keeper, an excavator, a chef, a tour guide, a caregiver, a torah scholar, a musician, a farmer, a teacher, and a member of a community… I have been an Adamahnik.

L’dor v’dor… from generation to generation

The new Adamaniks arrived Sunday and after five incredible weeks of Spring Adamah I headed back to Illinois the same day where in one week I will be interning on a 10 acre organic farm for the season.  Even though I am half way to Chicago at 40,000 feet as I write this, I still feel like I’m there with them, and will be there with them Monday morning as they hike the trail to the overlook for the first time, as will all of you.

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  1. hey just found your blog. i did teva in 03 and 04. wonderful writing! xoxoox


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