So it’s been a very interesting month-and-a-half so far here at this new farm/intentional community. It hasn’t turned out at all like I’d hoped, but it’s been a valuable and educational experience nonetheless. I’m learning and relearning all sorts of important things about not clinging to my expectations of an experience, and remaining flexible and constantly re-evaluating my plans as things around me shift. None of those are things I’m particularly good at.
There have been a lot of positives to this experience. I’ve met some really cool people, listened to some good live music, hiked up some waterfalls, enjoyed living in a tiny off-grid cabin, learned a bit about pottery and sourdough bread baking as well as beekeeping and herbal medicine, wild-harvested and tinctured some herbs, made some new cards, made a lot of granola and mulberry muffins, learned to identify a whole bunch of new plants, journaled a lot, and experienced and observed another intentional community in action. Although I love the people I’ve met here, it didn’t take me long to realize that this community is very different from what I’m envisioning in my own future, and I haven’t found much here that I would like to carry with me aside from extreme kitchen cleanliness.
The aspect that has been furthest from my expectations has been the farm work itself—or rather, the farm dynamic. I would have to tell you about ten different stories about interactions with the farmers and other WWOOFers here in order to adequately convey what I mean. What’s wrong is a little bit subtle and difficult to articulate. What it comes down to is that because of the dynamic with the farmers, the two other WWOOFers and I are not enjoying our time on the farm, and since that was the main reason I came here, I’ve decided to leave in the middle of July instead of the middle of October. The farmers obviously are not happy about this. I told them of my decision at my 30-day evaluation meeting on June 15, so I’ll be coping with their unhappiness for the last month of my stay. It isn’t the best of times.
So, for what remains of my leave of absence, I’ve decided to spend the second half of July in Buffalo catching up with friends and my long-distance lover, and I’m going to spend August and September at Six Circles, for which I have gained an even greater appreciation (who’da thought it was possible) after seeing how other people run things. I’ve set aside three weeks in October to spend at an as-yet-undecided third farm from the WWOOF USA website, which I finally forked over the $40 to join. From the looks of the farms on there and the availability of WWOOFer reviews, it’s totally worth it.
As usual, I will endeavor to keep you posted!