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White Violet Center: Though the world may pause, life always moves forward

While the world seemingly stands still, it has been reassuring to watch the life cycles of the farm continue to spin on. Winter still turned into spring, which still turned to summer, and will turn to fall soon enough. While our human world shrank and shuttered in March, the first seeds in the greenhouse were busy sprouting. The earth has much to do in the spring, and so did we on the farm!

Harvesting carrots in the high tunnel

We tended to the greenhouse as it filled with young plants and prepared the plots in the garden where they would be transplanted. Spring is the time for babies of all kinds, and soon I found myself watching over little chicks and a newborn alpaca! All around me, the natural world was being reborn, unbothered by our human worries – the days got warmer, the hens started laying more eggs, the trees budded with new life, and the barn swallows came back to their nests. After the last frost passed, we spent our days transplanting, and soon the garden was full! We waited and weeded and watched the plants continue to grow, and it wasn’t long before the flowers bloomed and the first harvests were ready.

Tony getting his first trim

By the time summer was in full swing, the zucchinis, cucumbers, and tomatoes seemed to fruit faster than we could harvest them, and the weeds were growing faster than we could pull them! And all this time, the animals were busy growing too – the chicks grew into pullets and started to lay eggs, and little Tony got his fleece sheared for the first time. It is late summer now, and I can sense the earth preparing to shift again into fall. Some of the summer fruits have slowed, and the greenhouse is once again housing little seedlings. We harvested our first round of winter squash last week, which may have been the most exciting moment of my seven months here! I am looking forward to my next few months here, and all that fall will bring.”

I came here with the simple idea that I could learn more about farming and sustainability, but I have been learning so much more! I’m learning to see plant biology through a wholly new perspective, how to live in mutual respect with animals that are not pets, and what soil actually is and how to keep it healthy. I’m learning firsthand where food comes from, the labor that it takes to produce it, the strategies behind selling it, and the planning that goes into keeping the excess from going to waste. I’m learning to live in reciprocity with the world around me, and that doing something well means making the time to do it right.

Picking pumpkins and winter squash

But perhaps the most important thing I have learned here is that I am never done learning. I am so thankful for my friends at the White Violet Center who remind me to stay curious, to ask questions, and to never stop being amazed at the little joys and intricacies of the world around me!

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Libby Robinette

Libby Robinette

Libby Robinette, White Violet Center intern, has her B.S. in Biology and minors in Studio Art and Spanish from Indiana University in Bloomington. After college Libby served with EarthCorps (AmeriCorps) in Seattle. She began the internship program with White Violet Center in February 2020.

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  1. Avatar Maureen Abbott, SP on September 9, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Great piece, Libby! Sure miss seeing you and the other interns. Keep up the good work. 👍

  2. Avatar Donna Butler on September 9, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Libby, thank you for a wonderful description of your experience. I hope the day will come when we can have meals together again.

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