Before the Big Eddy Farm Stand, my extent of “agricultural knowledge” was whatever was growing in my mom’s flower garden. I started the project with enthusiasm, but not skill. …
Before the Big Eddy Farm Stand, my extent of “agricultural knowledge” was whatever was growing in my mom’s flower garden. I started the project with enthusiasm, but not skill.
I remember my very first day with Andrea Reynosa and her son. I was weeding an herb circle when I heard a shriek of dismay. It turns out I was weeding the herbs, not the weeds. Several dead basil plants later, and my first day was a failure. I spent it in shame trying to save what I could.
But that was just the first day. Over the summer of 2013, the Big Eddy Farm Project truly took shape.
To spare the details, we had a successful farm stand, community garden and small farm running. Because it was a youth community project, I got to learn the ropes from Andrea alongside my friends and peers. I also met local farmers and networked with the amazing restaurateurs who support them.
By the end of this project, I was enthused—and skilled. I went from pulling up viable basil to helping run a farm stand in Narrowsburg. More important than the cultivation of those skills was the fact that I was actually interested in participating at all. Without this project, it is likely I would’ve never been involved in agriculture. Thankfully, that was not the case. Several years of experience later, I’m happy to work for Gorzinsky Ornery Farm in Cochecton.
Those intermediate years were not an end to my farming experience—they were just the start. I used the knowledge and love for the land acquired from Big Eddy to move forward. As all teens inevitably must do, I got a steady job. Where some flip burgers, or others work a register, I chose to continue farming. Setting up with John Gorzynski, a successful local farmer, it was only with the experience from Big Eddy under my belt that I stood a chance.
That was truly a life-changing summer. Big Eddy and Andrea Reynosa did not influence my agricultural love. They started it.
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