Over the weekend, I volunteered to help collect sap from maple trees at the Seed Song Farm & Center in Kingston. What I expected upon arrival was the opportunity to do community service by doing something cool like sap collection which I had never done before and to learn something new. What I didn’t expect was just how much of an immediately welcoming and compassionate experience the Seed Song Farm provided.
Farmer and Executive Director of the farm, Christopher “Creek” Iversen explained that the simplest, shortest version of Seed Song Farm’s mission statement is “beloved community,” based on the words of Dr. King.
At their core, the workers of the Seed Song Farm hope to provide education, community and cultural experiences. They are committed to sustainable agriculture and agroecology. They offer “all people access to quality food, shared meals and farm-based arts and education experiences,” according to their website. They host community events, provide internships, careers and onsite living arrangements.
Even within the two hours that I spent on the farm, we were immediately welcomed to the intersection of education and community that the farm hopes to provide. We were joined by Iversen while we collected sap, who explained to us how to identify sugar maple trees and why we had gone on one of the best days for sap collection. It was a warm February afternoon and the night before had been below freezing, this provided perfect conditions for the sap to be released from the roots and flow freely up the tree.
The experience would’ve been lovely enough, but upon returning from the trees we were welcomed back with a snack of apples, cheese and maple syrup which was made on sight. Then, Iversen and another worker even picked up a guitar and sang us a song, which they said emphasized the name “Seed Song Farm.”
As a non-profit they always need help from volunteers, especially as it starts to get warmer and more farm work is able to be done. Visit their website www.seedsongfarm.org/volunteer1.html to register to volunteer.