By Jarren Rogers
The animals are fed. The plants are watered. The pens are cleaned. Senior Dominic Obunaka steps inside to get warm. He is alone and enjoys the peace and quiet. Obunaka takes some time to warm up, then returns outside to finish the chores. Snow covers the ground and classes are canceled, but someone still has to tend to the Urban Farm.
“The animals don’t care that it’s Christmas,” said Jason Adkins, environmental projects coordinator. “They still want food like every other day of the year. It’s not by principle. It’s by the nature of what we’re doing,”
The Urban Farm is open year-round. Students and faculty work to keep the farm going over the weekends, on holidays, and on snow days. The snow days this month were no exception.
“This last freeze was unusually cold,” said Adkins. “We had to bust ice for the animals to be able to drink. We had to carry water from where water wasn’t frozen.”
Even though they must work when other students are off, that doesn’t make the farm workers bitter. Students at the Urban Farm take the time to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Obunaka enjoyed the time alone at work on the farm. “I can do things by myself to see how well I can do it,” said Obunaka. “I’m not really outgoing, so I enjoyed being by myself. Hanging out with the animals is a beautiful feeling.”
Caring for animals is a small part of what the Urban Farm hopes to accomplish. It focuses on reconciling that which has been torn apart. Not only do they seek reconciliation between humans and nature, but also humans with other humans.
“One of the aspects of reconciliation that we’re really keen on is reconciling humans with the rest of the created world,” said Adkins. “It’s important to us to have people with a lot of different ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds coming together around a common work.”
The students who work for the Urban Farm share in this vision. It has inspired some to continue farming after they graduate.
“I want to go back home with all of this knowledge,” said Obunaka. “I have a dream of having my own ranch, a place where I can produce food for my community and a place I can teach people the right way to grow food.”
The Urban Farm not only has an influence on the students involved but its significance can be seen by students in other fields.
“The Urban Farm is unique,” said Brady Smith, senior Theory, and composition major. “It’s always fun to see the goats or the dog around campus. It’s part of what makes Trevecca Trevecca.”