|Overhead view of part of our garden.|
Over the years we've had a wonderful variety of interns come to our garden. We worked first with a non-governmental organization which provided interns for 9 month stretches. Eventually we changed to working through the WWOOF organization (Willing Workers on Organic Farms). It's a world-wide organization and gives wonderful opportunities for those wanting to learn about a variety of farming or gardening techniques. This garden year we've hosted 2 WWOOFers, each for 6 week periods.
Anthony came to us from Pennsylvania in early April after working on a farm in Virginia. He arrived just in time to help with the garden clean-up, tilling and bed preparation. He had not planted a garden before so learning about seed depth and spacing were his first lessons.
He's also an adventurous cook and lover of hot sauces, so while he was here, he worked with me in the kitchen, learning to make homemade crackers and hot sauces. Because of his background of working in a pizza place, he had a feel for working with flour and within a few days, had perfected crackers, making more beautiful and crispy crackers than I had in the past. (Recipes from my book, Easy Homemade Crackers Using Herbs).
|A few of Anthony's crispy crackers.|
Our next intern who also quickly became a good friend, is Charles. We were his first WWOOFing farm and he was eager to learn every aspect of farm life. He took over the daily chores with the goats and chickens and learned the process of making goat cheese and yogurt.
Charles also had a love for hot sauce and since we're growing 40 varieties of hot peppers this year, I quickly put him to work learning how to make and can hot sauce (recipes from my newest book, Make Your Own Hot Sauce). We also canned tomatoes, something he'd not done before. Josh taught him about sourdough bread making and Charles quickly learned that, as well.
Charles is a vegetarian, not because he dislikes meat, but because he really likes vegetables, so I took on the challenge of learning to be a better vegetarian cook. Our interns fix some of their own meals in the guesthouse kitchen, but lots of our meals are combined, especially at dinner time. I really enjoyed learning new recipes and finding ways to have balanced-protein meals without meat. I was surprised that I didn't crave meat and went much of the 6 weeks Charles was here, eating no meat.
|Charles playing guitar and singing.|
|Josh, Charles and Anthony, discussing the affairs of the world.|
Almost without exception, the interns we've had over the past 10 or 12 years, have been passionate about food, eager to grow their own, thirsty for knowledge and willing to share what they know, as well. I admire them for their willingness to take risks, do new and interesting things and discover what they want to do in life. I feel as if I learn more than they do, each one bringing something new and interesting with them. Here are a few more of our interns from previous years.
|Paul the pie man|
|Adam, who has been back 3 times working.|
|Yakof Smirnoff, with intern, Gabe|
|Seth, who came by bicycle, and mastered cracker making, too.|