One of the most attractive things is their circle idea. They grow food in the garden and eat them. Portion which is left goes to worms or sometimes animals. Pea pods become food for rabbits. Bones are fed to chickens. Animals provide food such as milk, eggs, and meat. Animals also enrich compost with manure. Compost makes rich soil and helps garden with growing food. I got surprised how things around St. Francis Farm go round and keep the cycle. In this world, people are likely to buy products at a store and throw away what they do not need. They burn or bury litter without thinking of the terrible effect on the environment, and then they buy new stuff. Unfortunately we have lost the sense of connection because of technology. We can get convenient life without knowing who makes products, who gets damaged, and who really supports our life. I do not think that everyone should grow their own food or everyone can do that. The important thing is to know the situation around you and behave with caring and concern. Experiences at St. Francis Farm will give visitors a sense of how they connect to the world.
In addition to such a wonderful circle, they taught me the way to enjoy the wild nature. A lot of plants which grow wild can be good for animals as food and even for human beings as medicinal herbs. Many flowers smell lovely. Various birds are fun to watch. Especially I got to pay attention to how a bird looks, flies, and cries, which I had never noticed. In this world filled with materials, we tend to forget how great the “original” is. Once people get away from what they have, they may realize the greatness of the nature which is there originally; such as how beautiful is the harmony of birds, frogs, and the stream, how many wild plants are edible or medicinal, how good the simple food is with its freshness. I do not want to deny technology but I think that knowing itself can make our life better.
These six weeks became an important experience for my life. I really appreciate sharing the St. Francis Farm life. I hope many more people will get a sense of connection with nature from visiting St. Francis Farm. Finally, I want to say thank you to Lorraine, Joanna, and Zach for all of their help and kindness, and asking a lot of questions about Japan and teaching a lot of things about America. Thank you for the wonderful six weeks!