Full Well Farm, Adams, MA
This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to explore what it truly means to be “farm to table.” My summer internship was on Full Well Farm in nearby Adams. Full Well is an organic no-till farm that is LGBTQ+ inclusive, completely women-run and owned by Meg Bantle ’14 and Laura Tupper-Palches. The farm is made up of less than an acre of permanent beds and grows vegetables and cut flowers. Full Well is a community supported agriculture farm, and they sell box-style veggies and flowers through CSAs. The farm also attends North Adams Farmers Market every week, has an online farmstand and sells some products wholesale to local grocers and restaurants. Full Well focuses on food access, equity and sustainable farming practices that highlight soil health.
My tasks included harvesting vegetables and cutting flowers with quality and efficiency in mind, washing, and packing vegetables with care and accuracy. My additional activities included operating the farm’s van to deliver local orders. I planted, weeded, spread compost and mulch and used low-tech tools to prepare and maintain beds. I also completed greenhouse seeding and watering. I assembled bouquets with an eye for quality. The greatest deviation from my normal activities was when I had to work at the farm stand with Meg at the North Adams Farmers Market—an exciting highlight of my time with Full Well. This project required me to communicate with my supervisors about shifting my usual schedule and make time for a Saturday workday. I had a brief training the day before of what to expect and the market day’s general timeline. I learned how to properly and efficiently pack the van before the market, how to set up the stand and how to work the scale and price items. The change from regular farm work was very exciting; market day really put my other tasks into perspective, and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting and chatting with customers. It was a really enlightening experience to experience firsthand the physical labor that goes into growing, washing and packing the food that we eat.
My time on the farm was so different from anything I’ve ever done, and, admittedly, it was difficult, but I have no regrets. I’ve always wanted to experience life working on a farm, and this summer allowed me to explore my interest in agriculture. I will use my newly garnered knowledge to pursue topics like urban agriculture and find comfort in settings like the hands-on field seminars of the Williams-Mystic program that I will be attending next semester. Although I do not intend for this internship experience to lead to a similar job, I am nonetheless grateful for all that I learned. This experience has confirmed my interest in a physically demanding job and one that requires face-to-face interaction with my co-workers and strangers. It has taught me how to follow a weekly schedule and how to communicate effectively with my supervisors.