Alumni spotlight: Rebecca BloomfieldSeptember 22, 2009 at 9:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Imagine trudging through a foot of snow—movement restricted by 8 layers of clothes, mittens sticking to the frost on the hoophouse door handle—and entering a space filled with the sweetest spinach you’ll ever taste, and other fixings for a winter salad: from baby greens and cilantro to carrots and cabbage. This experience is one of the reasons why I chose to spend a year at Michigan State University, attaining a certificate in organic farming.
The MSU Student Organic Farm grows 70+ crops on six acres that are used to supply a year-round CSA, a farmstand, and wholesale markets. For the past three years it has been one of the classrooms for farmers-in-training. We spend half of our time in class, and half on the farm. Our classes cover transplant production, passive solar greenhouse management, compost, medicinal herbs, plant bio, marketing, business planning, organic certification and more. One class consists only of field trips to organic farms throughout Michigan that range in size, crops and philosophies, giving us a sense of what practices appeal to us as we continue to chart our farming paths.
Our class is made up of 13 people: 12 who identify as female, and one as male. We cook together, craft together, celebrate, and dance. We can things. We bike a lot. We make salves and yogurt. We even talk about what we’re grateful for. Sound familiar? We’re between the ages of 21 and 56, and come from backgrounds in cooking, farming, teaching, parenting, and auto repair. I feel blessed to have stumbled upon this program and into a supportive group of people who challenge, teach and learn from each other.
I do miss Adamah. I feel like I’m having the delayed reaction to leaving Adamah and wondering how to incorporate it into my life. I’m grateful for the past 3 years of Bay Area Shabbats that have told me that it is definitely possible to keep Adamah in our lives, and to bring it to others’; it doesn’t only exist in Falls Village. I’m focusing on my life in Michigan right now as a part of my journey… a time to gather information and determine what’s most important to me while gaining such practical knowledge and experience. I may not bake challah every week or sleep in on Shabbat, but I take deep breaths before meals, take walks in the rain, and thank plants for a harvest.
Please feel free to ask me questions about the program, or to come and visit.