Down on the farm

You don’t see this on Wheeler Road everyday.

Don’t worry — that’s not a crash. The Re/Max balloon here is in the process of being inflated for balloon rides as part of Farmapalooza, the 2008 Harvest Home held yesterday at the Brigham Hill Community Farm.

I unfortunately had to stop by the event early so I could make it to my son’s last flag football game of the season — and then the in-laws stayed for a visit — so my photos really don’t do the crowds justice. I drove back up Wheeler on my way home to snap the balloon and the place was mobbed.

Even though I was early, however, a nice man on a tractor offered me a ride from the parking area to the farm proper. That was fun.

Harvest Home is the time when the farm gives thanks for a successful harvest. In the case of Brigham Hill, that means another year of thousands of volunteers dropping by to tend crops that yield tens of thousands of pounds of vegetables for the Worcester County Food Bank.

Coordinating all those volunteers is a big job — one that will be open in a few months. I talked to the volunteer coordinator Michele Woz, who explained that she will be leaving the post because she’s found the commute strenuous since moving out of state. She was passing out fliers describing the post.

The job runs late February through September, with flexible hours, and requires good interpersonal skills and some computer skills. The volunteer coordinator works with the farm’s 25 volunteer team leaders to ensure coverage for all volunteer visits; recruits and trains new team leaders; schedules volunteer groups; keeps an email list of volunteers and sends out weekly announcements of volunteer opportunities; develops content for newsletters; makes presentations; and plans volunteer appreciation activities and programs. Compensation is commensurate with experience.

Interested? Contact Linda Casey, 774-278-8178.

Back to the farm — next year, I really want to get photos of revelers actually creating the May pole.

Inside the greenhouse, you could vote for your favorite scarecrow. Michael Phelps was my immediate favorite, but this was kind of fun:

Politicians show up in the darnedest places these days.

This is Solomon Murungu, playing an African instrument called a mbira, which is a series of metal keys affixed to a tuneboard.

This being a working farm, naturally, tractor rides were a must.

Or you could opt for the more classic pony ride. You know, it’s funny — I was looking at this kid’s hair, and I was mentally critiquing how the color looks faded, and wondering if the roots showing was a statement, when it dawned on me that, as a parent, I should be thinking “huh! Kids these days” instead of “Should I suggest he try Manic Panic next time?”

Hopefully many of the families who dropped by yesterday were inspired enough to volunteer to help the Community Harvest Project’s efforts during the growing season next year!

Want to know more? Drop by their website here.


3 thoughts on “Down on the farm

  1. I was hoping you’d post about the event! We waited OVER an hour for the balloon ride and were warned they’d have to stop at 4:15 but they’d do their best to get us on but there’s a chance we wouldn’t all go. The kids wouldn’t give up hope, so we all waited. Rather than pick a person and say – no more after you, they let us all wait, and it was cold, the kids were tired and cranky, and they finally came around and said “you are last” to the people in front of us. Needless to say our small children cried and sobbed. I think they held onto the hope they’d get to go on the balloon but really the operators shouldn’t have let us wait in that long line in the cold for naught. I’d have been far happier if they had said “no more ” before we waited in line. I’m sorry to say that we were extremely disappointed for this reason. We missed the festival waiting in line, and missed the balloon ride…

  2. Ugh! That’s not well-handled at all.

    My daughter wouldn’t even get out of the car when I pulled over to snap the balloon. She was freaked out enough by it landing on the ground; I can’t imagine what it would have taken to convince her to go up in it, nevermind wait forever in the cold!

  3. Well I’m really disappointed, and I wished they had said something like “we’ll be at this place next month, you get first dibs on rides” but all they said was “well we’ve been telling you that it was possible not everyone would get to go.” My 4-year old had been talking about the balloon ride ALL week and didn’t mind waiting …

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