I have always loved the farm.
Like so much of the Preserve, it could be described as a little example of camp as a whole. You examine various plants native to the Green River Valley, learn about animals and wondrous creatures here today and maybe still here after millions of years, discover and excavate the artifacts of the people that came before us, and interact with the splendor of nature in a way that never ceases to make me smile from ear to ear. When first going to the farm, the bus parks by the entrance to Uncle’s Falls, and just a short gravel path downward is a brand new adventure.
The farm is not just home to our very wonderful (and very grumpy) pigs, Elvis Pigsley and Kevin Bacon, not just to our community of animals and friends, not just potatoes and grubs waiting to be picked, and not just plants to eat and learn from, but also countless memories of learning. It was on the farm that I learned that I loved cilantro, and that half of the world’s population is genetically poised to disagree with me. It was on the farm that I learned about biopesticides (essentially employing native insects and birds to eliminate pests wanting to steal our precious kale, vegetables and flowers). It was on the farm that I learned the precise style, engineering advantages and disadvantages of various arrowhead and spearhead points crafted thousands of years ago by Native Americans, and their correlated points in ancient history - my love of history and digging holes was validated when I got to participate in archaeological digs for those artifacts with our resident archaeologist, Martha. It was on the farm that I learned about and came to know fantastic Phil and irreplaceable Rachel, whose knowledge and kindness has stuck with me from the first time I set foot on the Preserve, to today. I will always love Elvis Pigsley and Kevin Bacon and love to talk about them and their plentiful attitude and personality. I got to pet bunnies on the farm, play with chickens, pet dogs, and watch bumblebees bounce from flower to flower to keep our amazingly complicated world alive. It was on the farm that I built banjos made out of cans, appropriately titled canjos, in a Group Learning Project. That canjo, in its plain blue style my young self insisted on, still resides in my home with two guitar strings attached. It was on the farm that I crafted splendid pita pizzas, after a long day in Blue Ridge Expedition, with the help of the farm’s sentient pizza oven, Cobba the Hut.
It is on the farm that I get to breathe in the air of the Green River Valley’s embrace, the mountains’ shadows, the songs of the river in my ears, and remind myself why Green River Preserve is home.
Story by Noah Gerhardt with Photos by Brandon S. Marshall & Samantha Keebler