“The Best Summer of My Life” according to my pretty great boss (which is true, but I’ll never admit)
Photo: Justin demonstrates harvesting technique to group of visiting high schoolers
By Justin “Jus’ One Strong Man” Frederick
Summer 2021 Intern, Great Kids Farm
I am a rising senior at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, or Poly (if you’re cool). I first heard about the internship from my mom, who is the Community Schools Director at the Baltimore Design School; which means she knows pretty much everybody. That everybody includes Laura Menyuk, who told my mom about the opportunity before she brought it to me. I’m used to being drowned in “opportunities” for this camp and that event, so I’ve gotten pretty good at saying no after half listening to the prospects. But this time I decided I’d try something new.
The many days I spent working here on the farm were all great, but no two stand out quite like my first and last days. On my first day, I cleaned out the chicken coops, first thing in the morning. On my last day, I cleaned out the chicken coops, first thing in the morning. What was the difference? The first time, the coop was dry, the weather was cool, and I had help. This time the coop was damp and mucky, bullets of sweat rain down my face and mixed with the dust and dirt that lives in the air of the barn, and I was alone. Thankfully, this coop was smaller, but the smell, the fat chicks screaming bloody murder and running around the coop, and the sensation of my boots sliding around on wet poop will stay with me forever; certainly, my fondest memories of my time here.
This summer was certainly eventful, and I learned a lot at this internship. For example, I learned how to drive and operate several pieces of equipment, and I only crashed the tractor once! I also learned a lot about planting and harvesting crops, the disastrous effects that pests and animals can have on a farm (may my cucumber patch rest in peace), as well as keeping farm animals like chickens and goats.
This job has been nothing if not enriching. I am so grateful for the opportunity and the people. The other interns were all good to work with and fun to be around. Somehow nicknames became a running joke around the farm (by the time the internship ended, I think I had five or so, and none of them were good or made sense.) Our boss, James, and the other employees were very good about keeping us safe and happy. Each one was very informative, patient and reliable. I have no complaints. I would recommend this job to others for all these reasons. And talking to some of my friends about their jobs, I definitely made the right choice. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to grow and learn.