What past interns are saying…

CRAFT interns and a farmer discuss pruning a pear tree.

CRAFT interns and a farmer discuss pruning a pear tree.

Ryan had this to say about this time with Terrell Creek

My time at Terrell Creek Farm was both immensely enjoyable and thoroughly educational.  They are fantastic and generous hosts.  Their home is a beautiful and open place, with a cave creek and woods that exemplify the best the Ozarks have to offer.  Accommodations within their beautiful and unique home are incredible.  The internship experience was fantastic as well.  Their goat herd is so gentle, intelligent, and fun, and all their facilities are top notch.  I could not have asked for a better introduction to raising goats.  Leslie and Barry are so knowledgeable when it comes to humane, organic goat care, and are both happy to share that knowledge.  Milking is an amazing daily experience, and helping to kid baby goats is one of the most sensational and awe inspiring experience of my lifetime.  The cheese making experience is unforgettable as well.  I got into this internship because I loved the Terrell Creek products so much, and learning to make them was one of the most rewarding aspects of my time there.  They taught me to make incredible cheeses like chevre, feta, blue, and gouda cheese, as well as encouraging me to choose an intern project cheese, and helping me to create a new and amazing brie.  I loved my time on this farm and encourage anyone considering an internship here to follow through on it.

Alex, a current intern at Urban Roots commented:
“As a person who started with no farming knowledge, Ozark Craft has provided a great experience. I find the hands-on work everyday to be the best teacher. Over the course of a year I have been exposed to many aspects of farming. From seeding and transplanting, to harvesting and sales, and all that comes between. Farm construction has been a very valuable part as well. Helping with High Tunnel construction and irrigation systems show the various skills required to be a successful farmer. There’s no better way to find out if farming is for you then by getting out there everyday and seeing what it’s about. And that’s what Ozark Craft does, with a great sense of community.”

One intern who brought his family to the farm, and spent a year and a half learning and living on the farm, said:

“Having the opportunity to be an intern on Millsap Farm has been an amazing and educational experience. The farm is a very open and friendly place. Everyday provides an opportunity for another great conversation, learning another technique for growing healthy organic vegetables, or losing one’s self in the many rows and fields of vegetables. Curtis is a great teacher and openly shares his knowledge of farming and farm life, usually while out in the field working with you.

There is a good balance of hard work and laid back work. There are opportunities to learn about several different aspects of farm work, such as row crops, no-till, high tunnels and greenhouses, fruit trees, cover crops, soil blocking, farm construction, community living, running a 90+ member CSA, and all sorts of other subjects. Curtis is an innovator and he’s always trying some new method or approach to farming in order to increase the abundance and quality of his farm. It’s a wonderful place to live, learn, grow, and make new connections.”

Christian, who spent a year with Urban Roots said,

“I have learned that life on a farm is a wonderful paradox. As you watch the things you have planted grow, you learn that life moves at a pace all its own and we, as farmers, learn to live to this same pace and rhythm. But there is a conflict between the slowness of life growing and the speed at which stomachs demand its sacrifice. I have learned the valuable lesson of living in this tension; knowing the difference between what I need and what I want, and finding that what I need is always abundantly provided. This knowledge has since seeped into the many cracks of my being. I drive slower, I stay longer, and I find that most of the things that I used to do quickly, misinterpreted as chores or necessary drudgery, have all the while been hiding in themselves a beautiful joy and wonder.”_MG_6390

Eric and Trisha had this to say,

Our experience with Millsap farm was one of excited anticipation and great learning.

The journey started with a crash coarse in community living.  Although we struggled at first, the Millsaps and other loving families there made us feel more comfortable.  Work started at once with lessons in planting, soil blocking, vegetable harvest and presentation.  I went into this internship knowing very little about growing plants.  But with Curtis’ knowledge and guidance I gained knowledge quickly.  The lessons in planning, soil preparation, successive planting, pest control, land management are something I could never have taken in reading books alone.  There are many diverse ideas and projects going on that make farm life very far from dull.  There are green houses, high tunnels, the new Chinese high tunnel, orchard, CSA preparation and deliveries.  There are market days, outdoor wood fired pizza nights, monthly farm outing/educational opportunities, school greenhouse project and many other social opportunities that are family could not keep up with.

Curtis may not have many animals on farm right now but his knowledge and encouragement in that area are not lacking.  Building on our interest in animal production he encouraged us to grow turkeys and chickens for sale.  I had book knowledge of these enterprises but the knowledge from Curtis put feet on it and made it a success.  His many connections gave a much needed jump start to make the turkey sales a delightful success.

Because of this education we are now embarking on a dream that started many, many years ago when we read “You can farm” by Joel Salatin.  We have been given a wonderful start that has encouraged us to continue on.  This year we are members of FMO (farmers market of the Ozarks).  We will be supplying the market with chicken and related products.  This is a wonderful community of like minded farmers.  Had we not the opportunity of this education, we would have been frustrated and burnt out soon after we started.

A note from a wife’s perspective on our internship at Millsap farm.
We, as a family, also learned many lessons on the farm while Eric, my husband, was interning.  First of all, the graciousness of the Millsap Family to take on families is incredible and their sensitivity to our needs made the initial adjustment easier.  We have learned many lessons on farm hospitality from the Millsaps.  They open their home and kindness to many, many people each week.  Cooking for a crowd was a lesson soon learned!   We were able to share the duties of the community lunches throughout the week.  It has been interesting to scale back down to cooking for only six now! Sarah has given me many helpful lessons through daily conversation and life.  These are dear to me.  It was greatly appreciated that Curtis always welcomed us all to be out in the field, greenhouse or at Market together.  And while we learned about farming through, and at times with Eric, I think what we learned most is what it is like to be a farm family.  As Eric said about farming itself, we would have soon been frustrated and burnt out early on without the internship; I believe the same is true for family life on the farm.  We learned a great deal that will keep us together working for the same goal with a unified heart. And we have been able to enter the farming community as a family- what a joy!

Baron, a young and energetic intern on Millsap Farms, had this observation:

“Participating at the Millsap farm was more than work. it was a true eye opener to many aspects of life. Every day you learn how to do a duty with enjoyment for the work, and to develop persistence at finding the most efficient way of going about it. For example, I was using a ladder one day on a slope and I couldn’t find good angle for the feet. It had been raining that morning so Curtis came over and stomped the feet into the mud, which made it sturdy enough to climb. That may seem like a simple explanation to my situation, but still, I hadn’t known what to do. Now I do, and I know a lot more simplistic routes to complete a given job. Community thrives at this farm, and not like a neighborhood community, but an energetic, accepting community where everRy member would help their diverse family with any hard learned lessons, or skills. This farm would be right for you, whoever you may be. I dare you to give it a chance and put your two cents into this farm, and learn from it in your own way with the help of these awesome people.”

going to market

going to market

Food = Hard Work = for me a Life of meaning and Redemption“, says Rachel,  a Millsap Farm intern in 2011. Her blog entry continues:

“After only two and a half weeks on the farm, I don’t think I will ever take a full plate of food for granted again. Guess what I realized?? 🙂 Genesis 3:17-19 is still in effect.”To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.'”Here is the equation (well most of it anyway)long days + sweat in the summer + freezing in the winter + hours of planning + hours of building + hours of weeding +hours of planting + hours of watering + hours of fertilizing + hours of harvesting + hours of feeding the animals + hours of watering the animals + hours of caring for the medical needs of the animals+ hours of butchering + hours of washing the produce + hours of bookwork + hours of just plain back breaking work = foodThat is right; I realized food doesn’t just land in your fridge. Furthermore, there is nothing you can do to easily produce food.Here is the embarrassing part. I grew up in a family that had a vegetable garden every year and every year we canned and froze our produce. A few times throughout my life, we even had chickens. Nevertheless, not until today, after having completed the nasty job of pulling plastic up from underneath three inches of mud (leaving me looking like I had purposely rolled in mud) and moved wet sheets of plastic that smelled like dead fish (leaving me smelling like a dead fish) did the light bulb come on. Every single piece of food I have ever put in my mouth took the same amount of work to produce as I am enduring every single day. WOW! Let me just say, I will never take even a single leaf of spinach for granted again. It didn’t just appear on the supermarket shelf or in the drawer of my refrigerator. It took work! Hard work.

Even though God cursed the earth after Adam and Eve sinned, and food takes toil and sweat to produce, I believe that working the land and producing food has to be one of the most rewarding jobs created. Well, next to being a wife and mom, which is still my ultimate aspiration. But, until then, I love the fact that God has allowed me to be able to endure good hard work, day after day, to produce real food to nourish all kinds of people. ”

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