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Eden Village Camp hosts Anafim: The Sustainable Food & Farming Internship for 5 High School Seniors

A month ago five high school seniors from different schools, arrived at the Eden Village Camp in order to participate in the Anafim: Sustainable Food & Farming Internship program, run through the Jewish Farm School. We instantly clicked as a group, the farm staff, and our supervisors. We were all prepared to open ourselves to the knowledge, skills, and positive energy these unique individuals had to offer us, and this openness is the reason we grew so tremendously as individuals and as a group over such a short amount of time. The Anafim program was unforgettable and we are eternally grateful for the opportunity to work with the staff of Eden Village and the Jewish Farm School.

{Cutting a red oak for Shiitakes, preparing community dinner, transplanting tomatos, flattening steel struts to build our geodesic dome}

The first week we saw the Peah garden on our tour of the farm. A few days later, we were thrilled when given the chance to plant this year’s vegetable crop in it. Our educators from the Jewish Farm School not only taught us about the technique in which these plants needed to be planted, but they also taught us about the beauty of the Jewish agricultural law of Peah, leaving the corners of our field for the hungry. It was incredible to see this effective educational tool turn into a dense sea of green after just a few days of rain, and we all felt a great sense of satisfaction knowing our actions would one day feed local hungry people. The next week, a group of Jewish home-schooled children came to the farm for Jewish Farm School's Youth Program. As we planted trees a few yards away in our orchard, we were proud to see these children learning about Peah in the garden we helped plant.

{planting our grape arbor, making granola bars, just being kids, planting in the High Tunnel at our neighbors, Glynwood Farm}

Another memorable experience from our internship was inoculating red oak logs with shitake spores. We learned the value of hard work as we cut three-foot logs from a felled red oak tree in the forest in the pouring rain. The next week we drilled holes in the logs and poured in sterilized woodchips mixed with shitake spores. The mushrooms will take a year to sprout, but we felt that this was a way to give back to the farm community that had welcomed us so warmly. We hope that these mushrooms will help the farm’s amazing chef continue to cook his mind blowing vegetarian and vegan food next year.

{Sourdough Bread Baking and Text Study with Rabbi Jacob Fine….on ABC television, planting sorrel next to an apple tree in our permaculture orchard}

{Dome is REAL!}

Now that our internship is coming to an end, we plan on taking the skills we have learned back to our communities. We have each mapped out ways in which we hope to add to our peers’ knowledge and understanding of the deep seeded connection between Judaism and ecology. If Eden Village and the Jewish Farm School have taught us anything, it is that education is the key to create change. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our thanks to everybody on the farm for opening our minds to the beauty of our world and for awakening within us the potential to mend the world and environment.

Best,

Coby Sloyer and Jacob Vivek Einstein

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