For the past couple of years, we have been hosting WWOOFers from around the U.S. who have helped us so much along with providing a safe and supportive environment for the Future Farmers of America. This organization links Farmers/Ranchers who are practicing to organic methods with folks who either have some school or first-hand experience and can learn by doing. The host farms generally provide housing and food in exchange from around 20 hours per week. Our previous WWOOFer, Jo, big project was to build a proper three-stage composting station which we inaugurated recently and been making good use of! Our current WWOOFer (Grace), put together an account of one of her days on the farm, before she departed for her next destination in Alaska. (Grace, who just graduated from Yale with a degree in Environmental Science, was also a captain on the Women’s National Championship Rugby Team, was eager to learn and we did everything from transplanting, weeding, and picking, to caulking and painting, to planting a small grove of Doug Firs).

“Good morning! My name is Grace, and this is my recount of day 1 as a WWOOFer on summit farms! I started today with my first piece of Mitch wisdom: the 7 steps he uses to approach each day. After visualizing today’s tasks, we started mobilizing— me with the dirty planters from last season and Mitch with the garage. Listening to the birds and one of Mitch’s marathon playlists, I washed the planters so they wouldn’t spread diseases when reused next season and let them dry in the sun. After a quick break to walk Desoto, we had a delicious lunch of leftover chili (forgot to take photos) and then headed back out. Mitch let me take the Bluetooth speaker, so I introduced him to @chappellroan which was the perfect soundtrack to plant peas to.

Peas have vining cultivars, which means thin tendrils grow from their leaves, looking for things to hold on to and support them. These peas were left to grow together and were using each other for support so I untangled them to put on the trellis before planting to make harvesting the peas easier. Untangling the peas reminded me of untangling my younger sister’s hair (it used to get much worse than the peas in the summer). Then it was already 4:30 so I did a little yoga in the wildflower fields, we had dinner, and that was the day!”