My first experience with food production on a larger scale than you would see in a home was kind of a negative one. I worked in a chocolate shop that was tucked in the back corner of my town with a really eccentric boss. My second month into the job, she walks out of the storage room with a plastic Tupperware full of gray dust and promptly announces, “Someone must have been tidying because I just found Allen with the chocolate!” Allen was her recently cremated brother whose ashes she was keeping in an old plastic soup container.
Governor’s School has been wildly different. First off, there have been no incidents that would make a health inspector’s eyebrows go up. Secondly, I have gained a deeper understanding of where our food comes from. The visit to Homefield Farms to see how food is grown and processed showed me that farming is a lot more than the antiquated idea I had of it before. I learned that for harvested plants to keep, they have to be plunged into cold water to remove the field heat, or they will spoil before they reach their destination. I learned about trap crops and how they are planted at the perimeter of fields to attract bugs away from the desirable plants. Most of all, I became more conscious of how much time and effort goes into each vegetable that we eat, each piece of fruit, each animal product.
Agriculture is so much more advanced and involved than people think, and Governor’s School has shown me that.