Farming for the Future
Eric Hall, Data and Digital Services Fellow, shares his experience volunteering with Wolfe's Neck Farm.
Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment is a nonprofit that runs an organic year-round farm. Members of the Resilience Corps volunteered on the farm to celebrate Earth Day. For those who came, organic farming could mean only one thing: weeding.
It’s all too easy to disregard the work that goes into providing fresh fruit and vegetables. Much of the produce found in grocery stores is carefully picked over to avoid any blemishes, no matter how superficial, and comes from farms that use pesticides. Pesticides reduce the labor expended on pest-management and allow farms to yield more harvest, but certainly come with environmental costs. Pesticides can seep into water sources, contaminate the land, and be lethal to other non-target plants and animals.
Wolfe’s Neck trains farmers in organic and regenerative farming techniques. These techniques repair the soil and remove carbon from the atmosphere by trapping it in the ground. In addition to training aspiring farmers, Wolfe’s Neck also runs a farm camp for local kids. I always loved trips to my local farm, whether with my school or family, and didn’t realize how removed I have been from my food recently. A Hannaford-to-go order during the pandemic is hardly a farmer’s market.
As I dug weeds out of the ground, I experienced firsthand the cost to a pesticide-free farm. It was hard work, and harder still to know it as a constant activity for the farmers. And yet, I could also realize the benefits. Birds sang as we worked. The clean ocean water beckoned for a dip during warmer months. For Wolfe’s Neck, building resilience is baked into everything they do. The emphasis on organic farming prevents degradation of nearby ocean ecosystems from pesticide runoff, and regenerative farming ensures that the soil will be usable long into the future by way of crop rotations. It’s creative techniques like these that make communities more resilient and food-independent.
About Eric Hall
Eric is from Lewiston, Maine, and a recent graduate of Bowdoin College. At Bowdoin he double majored in History & Government and Legal Studies and was a member of the sailing team. He also co-led the Ski and Ride Club and volunteered with Big Brother Big Sister his senior year, serving as a mentor and friend to a local middle school student. On the weekends he enjoys skiing on Maine’s mountains or playing board games with his friends. Eric is very excited to be a member of the Resilience Corps team because of his passion for public service and love of the state of Maine. He looks forward to helping to solve the pressing problems of the Greater Portland region.