<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> 2013 Book and Plow Farm

Book and Plow Farm Experience

On Sunday Sept. 29th, the guys headed over to the Book and Plow Farm - the new, Amherst College owned farm that provides a variety of vegetables and produce for both our dining services and sale to members of the community. The idea of the Farm started a couple of years ago and it is now up and running and providing fresh, locally grown organic produce for consumption by the students in the cafeteria. Pete and Tobin, who run and manage the farm, rely greatly on help from the students to help get things done. On this beautiful day, the team was assigned a variety of tasks that needed to be worked on - the biggest was the construction of a greenhouse that would extend the growing season this winter, and allow for it to begin earlier next spring.

Upon completing the construction of the greenhouse (involved measuring where the stakes would go, pounding stakes in the ground, piecing then screwing together tubing which makes the ribs of the greenhouse and roping them together to secure them) we planted kale, collared greens and parsley that will be harvested in about 2 months.

In addition to the greenhouse construction that involved groups of the team working together, there were also other projects that we tackled including rocks to be picked up by the buckets and weeds that were attacked with vigor. For some, this was the first experience working in a garden setting and provided a great opportunity to learn about the vegetable production and what goes into the farm. Both Pete and Tobin were awesome about keeping the guys busy but also, through any of the projects, letting them know of the importance of what they were doing as well as a lot of what goes into the farm. The time spent went fairly quickly - though was dirty and sweaty - but the hours spent as a team helped the farm to accomplish nearly a week's worth of work if Pete and Tobin would have been doing it by themselves, and really reinforced the notion that a little time given by the team can mean a lot more to those who you give the time to. The day was a great experience for the men, an awesome way to bond together and now we will wait patiently for the veggies to arrive in Val!

Here are the team's "stats" from their Book & Plow Farm Performance

78 stakes pounded into the ground
39 ribs joined together, screwed tight, bent and erected
1800 sq ft of protection from the cool winter climes built
2,000# +/- of rocks removed from our farm fields in less than 1 hour 
2400 row feet of carrots weeded
2250 row feet of spinach weeded
1500 row feet of lettuce weeded
 800 row feet of organic, sustainably raised plants transplanted into our fields
1500 pounds of produce expected from those transplants

The implications:
Those 1500# of produce would otherwise have been grown in California 3000 miles (or a little less than 600 8K's) away using pesticides, fungicides, labor that gets paid below the minimum wage, 750 gallons of diesel to transport and 26,730 kgs of CO2 in transport alone.

Aside from all the global impacts of your team's generosity and willingness to lend a hand, they will go down in history as the first Amherst College sports team to build a caterpillar tunnel at the farm.

On top of all this, your guys were really easy to work with, fun to be around, engaging and good humored.

The Farm Feeds the Speed!