Looking out over the production fields, you spot a large straw hat bobbing in the distance. It’s Tim O’Reilly, hard at work. Though he is known amongst the crew for this single, iconic piece of headwear, Tim wears many proverbial hats around the farm. Whether cranking out wood-fired pizzas, scouting for insects, or generating biogas he is up for the task…especially if it involves weed whacking.
Tim graduated from Dickinson in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Science and a Health Studies Certificate. It was his research on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) during his senior seminar that originally piqued his interest in the college farm. However, post-grad life took Tim in a different direction: first to the west coast, then to Spain to teach English, and finally back to his hometown of Northampton, Massachusetts. It wasn’t until this spring that the opportunity arose for Tim to return to Dickinson, this time as a first-year apprentice at the college farm.
Tim loves the nature of farm labor, especially seeing his hard work come to fruition as the season progresses and acquiring new skills and knowledge of the environment and sustainable practices. When Tim is not working, he enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and cooking. If you peek in the intern kitchen at the right time, you might find him experimenting with sauces and different flavor combinations while an episode of Two Dope Queens or Fresh Air plays in the background. However, it isn’t the growing and eating of food that Tim will remember most about his six months at the farm; friends made, Viking boat races won, and views taken in from the hops trellis or solo tree are among his favorite memories.
Aside from his hat, Tim’s biggest legacy at the farm will likely be his jokes. Always quick to jump in with a pun or quip, the crew can count on Tim for a laugh…most of the time. Maybe its best that Tim’s post-farm plans don’t include stand-up comedy. Instead, he hopes to take time to travel with potential destinations including Northern Africa, the Western US (hiking and mountain biking, anyone?), and the Americas before returning home to spend time with friends and family. Regardless of where his travels take him, this apprentice will always be welcome at the Dickinson College Farm.