Homecoming Farm

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Rewarding Returns

By: Kyle Bluth    (Feb 20, 2010)

I was asked to volunteer at Sophia Garden one Saturday morning and I was open to a new experience, yet not exactly sure what to expect in the week that led up to my day on the farm. Aside from my early childhood experiences in a garden we had in my backyard, I knew nothing of actual farming. I admit, my thumb isn├ó┬?┬?t quite green at all, more like a very faded green turning yellow at best, but my hopes were that I could somehow provide some kind of help without obstructing progress.

I got to the farm on an overcast morning last spring, the fronts of my shoes gathering moisture as I walked through short blades of grass in a field covered with dew. Introductions came about, followed by smiles and the shaking of hands, all of us hoping for the rain to hold off.

The smell of cool earth was all around and as we walked closer to the large sections with dark, rich soil, ready to be prepped and planted, it became evident that maybe I needed this more than they needed me. Birds fluttered around in pairs and as I plucked my hands into the dirt it just felt simple and clean, like I was returning home after a long journey. What I never expected was the sense of closeness drawing me to the land in ways I cannot explain. It was as if I had gone back in time to something simpler, something speaking to my core, where all the problems of everyday life, bills and office work and the stresses that come in this fast paced world, at least for this moment didn├ó┬?┬?t have any importance.

I was taught how to line up rows and manipulate the land, coaxing it to produce crops and impact what was to come about for the weeks and months ahead. There was something rewarding about volunteering your time to help others that made you feel in sync with people. It may be that it was all for a good cause and philanthropy for others, but being there, working with the land and the nicest of people, offered so much more than that. For me it was an escape and a time to get both figuratively and literally grounded again, a time to clear the mind and forget about the troubles and pressure, a time to find therapy by getting dirt under your fingernails, which was better than any spa or movie or dinner out with close friends. Just you and taking a step back, like when you were a kid and all the senses of touch and smell were in total control, allowing the intellect to be less important.

For me, that's how it was.

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