This summer presented an important opportunity for me to begin working multiple acres and managing people in an agricultural setting. Although I have been farming to get by since the beginning of pandemic lockdowns, my farm is less than one acre and isolation has taken its toll on my sociability. I had been fretting about how I was going to get experience managing people, the government checks for being laid off had run out long ago and I wasn’t getting any of the jobs I applied for. By the time I saw the IU Campus Farm job posting I assumed all the agricultural jobs would have been filled. Fortunately I was exactly the kind of candidate that the farm was looking for.
IU Campus Farm has 11 acres of property leased from the Bloomington Historic Society. There are mostly annual row crops and a few small fruit planting of donated fruits. There are apples, pears, peaches, pawpaws, blackberries, and raspberries.
There is some heavy equipment that will be a change from working almost entirely by hand at home. On top of that there are some no till beds managed with a broadfork which I have been dying to try.
Another opportunity I am very excited for is sheltered cultivation experience in several of the high tunnels on the property. There are two stationary and two are movable on tracks. I have been interested in movable high tunnels since reading about them in an Eliot Coleman book 11ish years ago.