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Michaela Schwartz is a writer/producer living in New York. Originally from Boston, she graduated from Barnard College with a bachelor’s degree in Film and Gender Studies.
When her television job ended in April, she saw no return to normalcy in sight for entertainment — so she decided to pursue her fantasy of going to work on a farm.
In July she made this dream a reality: she left New York after getting tested for COVID, got tested again at home in Boston, and then set off for a farm in Maine.
She works 36 hours a week on farm tasks, and has learned the realities of the labor that go into the food supply chain — as well as the inequities within farming.
She’s not sure what her next move is, but she will be thinking more intentionally about her labor as she considers working post-farm.
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All through this winter, pre-pandemic, I had been fantasizing about going to work on a farm or in a small cafe in New England. I could see it all: I would spend my days bottle feeding baby goats, sitting around campfires, and drinking homemade lemonade in a field of wildflowers. I was itching to do a different kind of work than I was used to and take a break from the desk jobs I had been working since college graduation.

When my TV production/development job ended in April, there was no return to normalcy in sight for the entertainment industry. I sat in my NYC apartment from March through the end of June, reading and cooking and calling my representatives.

SEE ALSO: For 2 years I taught English in small, idyllic cities in southwest France — and it wasn’t the vacation I thought it would be

Finally, on March 26, I signed up for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), an organization that facilitates homestays and work exchanges on farms across the globe.

I paid the $40/year membership fee to access their network, and contacted a few farms throughout the US.

Eventually, I narrowed down my options to two potential hosts, one in Washington State and the other in mid-coast Maine. I decided it was not feasible for me (for many reasons, both COVID and non-COVID related) to plan a cross country flight right now, so I confirmed my stay at the farm in Maine.

Also joining the adventure was my roommate, who deferred …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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My job ended during the pandemic, so I left New York and moved to a farm in Maine — and it’s changed how I think about work and food

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