June in bloom

By Charlotte Pulitzer ’16

Every year, spring’s energy seems to come in like a tidal wave. In the blink of an eye, comfry, sorrel, gooseberry and daffodils fill up the food forest, and thistle and dandelion always get a head start on us. After a cold, cold winter here in Yellow Springs, we were especially happy to see our fruit trees and perennials bud out in time for Admitted Students Weekend and Reunion 2014.

The last two weeks on the Antioch campus have been a burst of excitement, hard work, and a little stressful (it is finals week after all). After receiving a grant from last year’s Giving Tuesday fundraiser, the farm was able to buy fruit trees to expand our food forest and orchard. While we do have an amazing team with three co-op students and a handful of part-time student workers, as the term was winding down and plants were doubling in size over night, what we needed was some support from the extended Antioch family. Luckily for us, alumni volunteers, Linda Fuselier’s Botany class, Antioch School students, farm volunteers and Antioch College students all pitched in their energy and enthusiasm to plant the remaining 100 trees.

During Reunion, there was a dedicated crew of alumni and volunteers who did everything from harvesting garlic scapes and rainbow chard, to weeding, making paths and coming in from the new expanded food forest covered in mud and smiling faces.

Seeing the alumni and volunteer’s joy and commitment to the College gave me the boost of energy I needed as the term winds down. As many of you know, the rapid transitions here at Antioch around co-op can take some time getting used to, so I don’t know what I would do without the farm. As soon as I came back from my winter co-op at Gould Farm in Massachusetts, I went straight to the farm where I felt instant grounding and support as I dug my hands into the (much improved) soil.  After a long day of sitting in a classroom, I always go out to the farm and hang out with the sheep and chickens before I “tuck them in” for the night. This ritual reminds me of why I am here at Antioch- I am here because I have a deep commitment to supporting my community through providing them with healthy food that is grown with love and sustainable practices. I am here because I want to learn how I can reduce my carbon footprint through supporting renewable energy and engaging with the food I eat. Finally, I am here because I believe there is nothing like a farm to bring people together.