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A Day in the Life of an AMI Fellow

By Tess Jacobson, Phase I Fellow

Every morning I wake up around 7 am, maybe a bit earlier if I’ve got farm chores going on that morning. Everyone seems to wake up at their own time, at their own pace. Some get up rip roaring, ready-to-go (they are the ones that go running and do yoga in the morning). I am more of that person that rolls out of bed, only after laying there for 30 minutes, swearing to myself that I had just laid down to go to bed no more than 20 minutes ago. I scramble around under my bed pulling out random articles of clothing with barely a glance before putting them on.

It can be tricky putting on an outfit in the morning knowing full well that the weather is going to change at least 5 times that day and trying to figure out what to wear that will be sufficient enough. Most days it really doesn’t matter what you put on though, because you know that you will be in the kitchen or working in the garden all day, and by the end of it, you’ll most likely be covered in unidentifiable stains.

Once the daily morning routine is over with, most head to scarf down some breakfast and coffee before starting work at 8 am. I, on the other hand, even after discovering how unhealthy it is for you to do this, skip breakfast. Unless there are bagels. I do love bagels.

Most mornings consist of going down to the garden and working there until lunch. Work on the garden is an incredibly rewarding experience, because you get to see the positive changes you are making on it everyday, whether it be seed starting, bed prepping, transplanting, mulching, or even weeding! All of this work (and much more!) culminates in a beautiful bed of vegetables that you have watched and cared for since they were little bitty seeds.

There is something not only impactful about being a part of this growing process but also in the way these vegetables are harvested, sold or donated, and especially in how they are cooked or prepared for consumption. Cooking has always been a major part of my life, but I have never really had the opportunity to cook food that I have also been helping to grow. This produce is truly as local as you can get!

Speaking of food, after the morning work session, it is lunch time. By the time noon rolls around, my tummy is a grumbling and one plate full of food isn’t gonna cut it. The great thing about this group of people is that one plate usually doesn’t cut it for anyone and we all go back as many times as needed until our stomachs are happy and full. I just want to give quick shout out to the rest of my cohort because they are really killin’ it with the meals. Everything has been AMAZING! Recently, we have been eating our lunches down at the garden, which I find to be a nice break. Lunch in the garden gives us all a chance to talk with one another, learn what each one of us is up to and working on and share any new stories or advice.

After lunch we usually have a lesson on specific topics or just continue work in the garden. Either way, each day consists of new learning experiences and hard work. By 5 o’clock, everyone is pooped and it takes the rest of your energy out of you to walk up the hill from the farm to the village area. Well, at least it does for me!

Everyone (but the cooks!) get a nice one-hour break and relaxation period before dinner is promptly served at 6 o’clock.

Again, I have about two whole plates full of food, forcing my stomach to expand to an unnatural size, and spend the rest of my nights relaxing, reading, or just talking and hanging out with the other Fellows. Then it’s time to crawl into bed, get all cozy, and hit the snooze on your alarm going off at 7 a.m.

It’s the perfect night to end the perfect day, everyday.

**This is just a generalization of what I as a Fellow do on the daily. Our days often very in pace and activities, there is also something new to do and learn on the farm! For example, Wednesdays are workshop days, where we go somewhere or stay on the farm to learn about a specific topic in detail from a professional in the field! It is a wonderful change of pace and great learning experience! This past week we have learned about chicken processing!

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