Through The Eyes Of A Volunteer
There I was, looking mildly homeless, with my two backpacks that contain everything I own, sitting patiently outside of the James Street pub (our meeting locale). The owner and operator of Kinburn Farms, Katrina, and I had one Skype call and exchanged a few emails so I had a general idea of what to expect, but nothing really prepares you for the real thing. As she pulls up and parks her car on the sidewalk facing the wrong way in a one-way busy downtown street, she opens the door and greets me with a huge smile and a welcoming hug. “Wow”, I think to myself, “This. Is. Awesome.”
Ya know when you’re driving in a car with someone and can sit comfortably in complete silence for however long? That’s Katrina.
Ya know when you embarrassingly fart so loud and wonder whether to curl up and die now or wait for the laughter to subside first, but instead your buddy lets out a thunderous roar from their back side just to ensure you don’t lose face with all the cool kids? That’s Katrina.
Ya know that person who juggles a family, a farm, a personal life and her sanity? You guessed it, that’s Katrina.
Now don’t get me wrong, Katrina has her flaws. This one time she wore socks with sandals. I know right, like sooooo 1990’s (or was that ever in style…?).
So fast forward and I’m now going on my 4th week here at the farm and it’s been a blast. Yes, I have had to clean out the pig barn, the chicken coop, help bale hay and do most things stinky and squishy that is involved with raising pastured livestock. Was some of it pretty gross? Why yes, yes it was. But in fairness, I grew up in suburbia, so the grossest thing I encountered was when Tommy dropped a worm in my juice (stupid boys, I loved that My Little Pony BPA laden plastic cup). I’ve done all things farm life and with that comes all things family life.
It’s a healthy balance that I haven’t had in my life since the passing of my mother over 10 years ago. I landed on the idea of volunteering on a farm because I thought I wanted to gain a better understanding of where our food comes from and how to nurture sustainable practices from farm to table. I’m leaving with not only hands-on experience of the latter, but something even more special that I consciously didn’t realize I was searching for. I’m leaving with a beautiful perspective on how happy and fulfilling life can be when you’re with the ones you love and building something to be proud of. For this I am forever grateful.
Now seriously, can someone get this cow poop off of my boots… thanks.