An Intern’s New Year Reflection

Tshimidu & Hasenick

Although our campus stand is closed for the year, our supply of stored produce has allowed us to continue sales through email orders. Students and staff were given the opportunity to order any of our remaining potatoes, onions, chard, and popcorn that were then delivered to the customer’s office or home. Popcorn sold out quickly, so we will increase the quantity grown next year to better meet the demand.

We were pleased to interact with Pastor François Tshidimu and his wife, Felly, visitors from the Democratic Republic of Congo with ties to the Goshen area. They were hosted by Pastor Nina Lanctot of Florence Church of the Brethren Mennonite in Constantine, Michigan, who organized visits to several sustainable farms in the area. They are exploring ways to put to good use agricultural land owned by their church and were interested to learn of the experience of the Benin Bible Institute. In the photo they are accepting a gift of fresh vegetables from Dale Hasenick of White Yarrow Farm.

Compost & cat

Increasingly cold days and approaching winter necessitated the completion of a variety of projects. Perennial weeds were removed from the pathways of the kitchen gardens. Additional layers of leaves and manure were added to the compost bin (look out, Sluiceway the cat!). Several rotted posts in the grape arbor were replaced with black locust, a highly rot resistant wood that can last upwards of 70 yrs in the ground without any chemical treatment. Our area is still experiencing drought, and a walk through the nut orchard reminded us to give the trees another watering in order to nurse them through their first winter.

Oshtemo sunrise

Winter has brought cold weather and snow to Merry Lea. Time is spent indoors planning for next year’s cropping season, and carrying out strategic planning for the expanding programs and opportunities of coming years. But we also find time to enjoy the beauty of winter. In the photo the winter sunrise is reflected in the west window of Oshtemo cottage. The head house and green house are in the background.

Happy new year to all!

– Dale Hess and David Stoesz