Across the fields, you can see a strange shape among the tomato plants. It’s big and gray with a long limb and something strapped to its back, wandering up and down the rows. Is it the mythical Farm Sasquatch? The East College ghost gone astray?
Never fear, that’s just Kelsey Horowitz ’18, suited up in her pesticide “groutfit” and working tirelessly to find new ways to defend the tomato plants against pests and disease!
Kelsey may have graduated from her time on the Dickinson College Cross Country Team and Track and Field Team, but this Environmental Science major certainly hasn’t left her running days behind. If you’re driving down Park Drive after the work day, you may catch a glimpse of her daily long-distance run down the road or through the fields. Luckily for the farm team, the Apprentice position helped Kelsey find a way to fit farming into her busy schedule. Although the Dickinson College Farm was one of the reasons that Kelsey chose Dickinson, her commitment to the Cross Country and Track and Field teams made it difficult for her to volunteer at the farm while she was a student. That made the post-graduate Apprenticeship program a perfect opportunity for her to finally experience farm life after four years at Dickinson!
Although she tends to all the crops with care, Kelsey’s true love are the tomatoes. Kelsey is our “Tomato Apprentice,” charged with trellising, pruning, clipping, and sorting tomatoes. She also scouts for pests and spent the summer researching new pesticide treatments to see which were most effective in preventing disease. When she wasn’t working with tomatoes during the planting season, Kelsey took charge of transplanting. That means organizing seedlings, taking charge of transplanting days, and inputting data to help the farm plan for next season.
Kelsey thrives on the busyness of farm life. Her favorite memory from the Apprentice position is the day that the farm crew harvested 1,000 pounds of cucumbers! On top of the reward of realizing just how many cucumbers the crew harvested, Kelsey says that it’s a great farm story to share with friends and family. Kelsey’s other favorite days are when the farm crew tackles a challenging day in the fields, like a large harvest with a skeleton crew, and comes out on top. She also loves spending time with the farm animals (Bella, Roscoe, Munchkin, and Grey Puss) who can always put a smile on her face.
Like many of our student workers, Kelsey had no experience farming before taking on the Apprentice position. However, her hard work, organization, and bright attitude made her a natural addition to the farm team. Kelsey’s work is so invaluable to the farm that the team is happy to announce that Kelsey will be returning to the fields as next year’s Second Year Apprentice! We are so excited to benefit from Kelsey’s baking and farming skills for another growing season!