One Of A Pair Working At ATF This Summer
One of the biggest transitions Abraham’s Table Farm has made this year was to hire two young women as full-time interns. The first was Beth Card, who we introduced to our readers in a recent blog-interview. She came to us back in June to help Megan coordinate her many important responsibilities and especially helping with our four daughters as well as rustling up a big meal each evening for all the hungry workers (farmers can work up a pretty good appetite doing field work!).
A few weeks later, Beth’s older sister Debi came up from Florida for a visit – and stayed! She has been working mostly in the garden, taking on those arduous chores of hoeing, weeding, planting, picking, moving cows and chickens, and then weeding some more. Oh, and she pitches in with some food prep and helps Beth with the kids when needed.
Like her sister, Debi feels blessed to come from a big family (she and Beth have seven siblings -- all raised in Fellsmere, Fla). “We’re all a bit rambunctious at times and it can be quite intimidating to some folks when they see us together!” she said. Yet, despite the variety of personalities and styles and opinions, “we’re still so close and supportive of each other. Even over long distances.” Part of that family cohesiveness is due, she said, to being home schooled. It gave them plenty of opportunities to interact creatively -- exploring the woods around their rural home, roleplaying favorite scenes from novels or movies, learning phrases in different languages, playing games late at night, or just playing piano together and taking care of their family’s many farm animals.
“My favorite part was when we were allowed to govern ourselves in our studies and read books to learn about different subjects,” she noted. “And being able to take your schoolwork outside to do it a hammock is a BIG plus!”
Her childhood goals ranged from wanting to be a horse (yes, the simplicity of childhood dreams) to being a traveling photojournalist. But more recently her interests, she said, have focused on the kind of lifestyle that makes Abraham’s Table Farm a great place to work. “I enjoy working with animals, especially farm animals like dogs, goats, horses, cattle, chickens – it doesn’t really matter.” With almost daily interaction with ATF’s cows, chickens and farm dogs and cats, she finds the work fulfilling.
It was Debi and Beth’s mother who knew the Barr family and followed the development of ATF. After Beth arrived earlier this summer, Debi came for a visit and, when ATF needed more workers, Debi’s planned visit became a months-long internship. “I’ve been here more than a month, but time moves quickly here,” she said. “It certainly hasn't felt like that long ago since I first came.”
Gardening chores can be a grind, she noted, but certain aspects bring greater joy. “I have grown fond of trellising and pruning the tomatoes and cucumbers. It is very satisfying to be working with the growing plant and shaping it to what we want while letting it also do what it was meant to do,” she stated. “And I love the overall simplicity of the garden. Plant seeds, feed and water them, and they give you delectable food. And having farm cats come and chill with you as you work is a lot of fun.”
What’s been the biggest surprise about living and working up north after growing up in sunny Florida? “No palm trees! It’s odd living in an environment that is getting ready to experience frost and snow when you come from a tropical, green-all-year-round environment. But I can’t wait for the first frost even though that means hurrying-along other garden projects to prepare for it.”
Looking ahead, another season at ATF could be an option. Even though she has been looking into becoming a guide dog trainer, the simple joys of garden work “has reignited my passion for herbs and even flowers,” she said, “so who knows? I’m really just staying busy with learning new things and biding my time for whenever the Lord blesses me with.”
Overall, her time in Sandstone has taught her a lot about prioritizing and time management. “I am a bit of a perfectionist and tend to be rather hard on myself and how others perceive me through my work,” she concluded. “Sometimes you just can’t finish everything and you have to learn contentment with doing your best and learning when to care. But the atmosphere at ATF is so supportive and calm. It just helps to put me at ease. Some details don’t have to be fully fleshed out for me to enjoy the time that the Lord has given me.”