Job Shadow: How to Be An Urban Farmer

At Common Ground, we have the opportunity to shadow someone with our ideal job. My ideal job is different, even weird. When I grow up, I want to be a farmer. And because I go to school on a farm I shadowed our farmer, Shannon Raider.

At 8:30 I jumped up from the table I sit at during Chemistry and nodded to my teacher. He nodded back and I soared out of the classroom and into the halls, where I ran to Shannon’s office in the farmhouse.

First, we did animal chores and I worked. This kind of work pales in comparison to school work, where you have to think and do, but with farm work, you have to just do it. There is no asking “Why do I have to do this?” This is working hard, lugging heavy things and concentrating on set tasks, which is something I love to do. I love lifting things and concentrating hard on carrying them and I like knowing that my work, my hard work, is doing something.

For instance, my job before lunch was to pick kale. This sounds really easy, but it isn’t. When I picked the kale I knew that it was going to people who were coming to our mobile market for food, good food. You can’t pick the sickly leaves and pawn them off on people, no, you have to pick the best leaves, the biggest, the fullest. And while doing that it’s necessary to pick the yellowing leaves, the leaves that are bad for the plant. When I finished and I had six bunches of kale for the market I felt good, I felt accomplished.

Closer to the end of my day it was lunchtime and I was hungry. I ate and ate because I had worked hard all morning. I felt content and I felt good about the little things I did today. That job shadow was one of the coolest things I’ve done since I came to Common Ground, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.


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