Reflections From Fall Intern Jackson Pittman

Intern Jackson Pittman relaxing fireside.
By Jackson Pittman

As I prepare to say my goodbyes to the farm after a two-and-a-half-month internship, I'm taking a minute to reflect on some of the things I've learned. As things stand now, I'm hoping to be back to continue work at the farm next summer.

Things I learned at Better Farm:
  • How to split wood
  • How to stack wood
  • How to use an old-school washing machine
  • How the bottom of a compost bucket smells
  • The subtleties of chicken squawks
  • How to identify standing-dead trees
  • How to design and build an earthship
  • How to design and build a garden
  • How aquaponics and hydroponics work
  • How mulching and permaculture work
  • The joys of owning dogs
  • How to use a wirewheel
  • How to use a sawzall
  • How to start a fire in and maintain a woodstove
  • How to fill a wood ring
  • The joys of working with chickens
  • How to clean and maintain chicken coops
  • The power of perseverance
  • How to drive a three-wheeler
  • How to make pasta sauce from scratch
  • How to make a compost/worm bin
  • How to remove porcupine quills from a dog
  • How to build stream systems and direct flows of water
  • How to care for chickens
  • How to balance art and science
  • How to dance
  • The benefits of chicken poop
  • The importance of safety during serious projects
  • How to garden during the winter
  • How to tend to broccoli plants
  • How to grow potatoes vertically
  • How to integrate creativity into technical projects
  • How to write a blog

Seriously though, my experience at Better Farm was wonderful.

The real beauty of this place lies within the love that the people here have for working together and they’re constantly refocusing on positive ways to change and grow. Here at Better Farm, we work to enrich our lives and it is that driving force that allows us to cooperate so fluidly and enjoy our labor and its fruits so much. I am proud to have been a part of this family and I know I will be back! The depth of the care here is tangible. See you all in 2013!

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.