Page through photos from a communal farm in Bluffton, OH, a summer camp in Cassopolis, MI, and a community food organization in Nashville, TN.
This is Jorian Mast–he’s seven years old. Jorian showed us around Bucksnort Farm and talked with us about some of his experiences being out in nature.
When I asked Jorian if I could take his picture he insisted that we go outside. He asked me to take his photo in his favorite climbing tree.
Anna Besecker-Mast, Jorian’s sister, weeds around a row of carrots at Bucksnort Farm. In addition to telling us about the cooperative, she talked with us about her experiences as a camper at Camp Friedenswald.
Bucksnort Farm in Bluffton, Ohio is a 20-acre organic farm run by community members who work together to tend the fields in exchange for food. Ray and Elizabeth Person started this project with a vision of fostering biodiversity on their land and building relationships in their community.
Curly onion tops growing at Bucksnort Farm in early October.
We visited the farm on one of the group’s harvest nights. These colorful peppers were one of the first things to be picked.
Neat rows of lettuce line the fields.
Jonah Agner and Nancy Corle Agner, members of the cooperative, walk through the fields looking for produce to harvest.
The farm is vibrant and full of life. Colorful buildings dot the landscape; wide varieties of plants, insects, and people mingle; friends and animals chatter.
This is the entrance to Bucksnort Farm. To the left are the pastures and to the right are the edges of the vegetable fields. The driveway leads back to the old barn where the animals are sheltered.
Maya Fischhoff, a member of the cooperative, sits in between rows of carrots, weeding.
Chickens wander around the farm, weaving in and out of people harvesting crops.
Tiny flowers cover the pastures on the farm.
Jonah Agner and Nancy Corle Agner, members of the cooperative, stand in front of the vegetable fields on Bucksnort Farm.
Shifting Climates host Michaela Mast helps harvest gourds and other veggies between interviews.
This camouflaged cat was a cuddly friend, rubbing up against the legs of all the workers on the farm as they weeded and harvested vegetables.
As the sun sets and the work day comes to a close, Maya, Jonah, Michaela, and Nancy separate the harvest into bins for each member to take home.
Bucksnort Farm is an organic farm. As this leaf of Swiss chard shows, not using pesticides makes produce more vulnerable to insects. By taking this risk, however, the farm fosters more biodiversity, allowing for a more circular system to take hold.
In his interview, Ray talks about the ways the farm’s eco-system self-regulates. Chickens, for example, add fertilizer to the soil and eat insects that would otherwise eat the plants. Though it may seem like more work to have more animals, having a variety of species can actually reduce the need for intervention.
Maya sits among the harvested vegetables, chatting with the other members of the farm while sorting the produce for distribution.
Ray Person, owner of the farm, helps gather up the harvested vegetables at the end of the night.
Ray and his wife Elizabeth have owned Bucksnort farm for seventeen years. In addition to his work on the farm, Ray is a full-time Bible professor at Ohio Northern University. After the harvest night he sat down with us to talk about how his faith and his work on the farm inform one another.
Tallu Schuyler Quinn, Executive Director of the Nashville Food Project (TNFP), stands in one of several gardens started by the organization.
Tallu started the Nashville Food Project 10 years ago. Part of Tallu’s strength as a leader comes from her dedication to creating strong relationships with community members and local agencies.
This map on the kitchen wall at TNFP shows all the different projects the organization is involved in and the partnerships they have made.
The Nashville Food Project’s mission is to “grow, cook, and share nutritious food”. The organization has a variety of initiatives related to food including food rescue operations, community meals, and farm sponsorships.
Volunteers prepare a fresh meal for community members.
A large percentage of TNFP’s food comes from a partnership with Wholefoods. Through their food recovery programs, TNFP is able to pick up and use good food that would otherwise be thrown away.
This is one of several gardens cared for by TNFP. Walking through the rows of plants, you’d hardly know you’re in the middle of a city.
A line of gloves hangs above a workbench in one of the gardens. Many different hands are involved in planting, weeding, and harvesting the food in these gardens. As Tallu says in her interview, TNFP is just as much about community building as it is about food.
A sign in the garden reads, “pollinators welcome here”. Though the garden plot is located in the middle of a bustling city, bees, butterflies, and beetles fill the air.
A butterfly drinks nectar from a flower in TNFP’s garden.
Not only do the gardens provide food for community members and habitat for animals, they also add beauty and color to the neighborhood.
Artwork decorates the walls of Tallu’s office.
We sat down with staff members Amy Huser (left), Naomi Graber Leary (center), and Jenna Liechty Martin (right) to talk about the mission and vision of Camp Friedenswald.
Shifting Climates hosts Michaela Mast and Harrison Horst follow Amy Huser to the lakefront on a tour of the camp.
Fog rolls in over the A-frame chapel at Camp Friedenswald.
This sign sits at the entrance to the camp grounds. It reads, “Camp Friedenswald provides people of all ages the opportunity to grow in relationship with God, self, and nature.”
A trail on the camp grounds winds through a fen, or marshy area.
Being outside is an integral part of the programming at Camp Friedenswald.
Shavehead Lake is a central part of life at Camp Friedenswald. Worship, campfires, and group games all take place along the lakeshore.