The Story: Part 1
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So, my side of the story starts on May 31st, 2011.  I pulled into Polyface ready for the adventure of 4 months living and working with like minded people and learning to farm.  On my arrival the first person I found was Eric Barth.  I remember exactly where he was and what he was working on.  Eric, a fellow intern, and another apprentice were working on a set of eggmoblies.

The egg mobiles!

The egg mobiles Eric was working on. :)

 

He had a strong handshake, a genuinely big smile, and deep blue eyes.  I had a strong sense at that moment, I better be careful!

Before I get a head of myself let me back up just a little bit and give you some back round.  This was my first time away from home and I had been teased prior to coming that I would meet a guy while working on the farm and get married.  It had happened at Polyface before and everyone that knew me knew that I would need to marry a farmer.  Or at least someone that loved the great outdoors.  I was trying not to think this way.  I wasn’t desperate, I was only 22 years old and I was coming to Polyface to learn how to farm, NOT to find a possible husband.

So after our handshake and mentally deciding he was dangerous in the way of being a possible prospect, (because like all enthusiastic Polyface fans I had read everything on the website, including Eric’s bio), I did the next logical thing.  I avoided him, whenever possible, for the next two months.  Avoidance was a hard thing to do though, Eric is a strong leader and was the head apprentice, which put him in charge of a lot of jobs.  Most of the time they were jobs I really wanted to be a part of in someway.

The view from the hay barn during my summer, 2011.

The view from the hay barn during my summer, 2011.

I had confided my struggles about Eric with my good friend Kristen.  She gave me the best advice possible, “Just be yourself.”  So easy to say, but it was hard for me to do!  But I tried and had a more enjoyable time with my internship.

Toward the end of my internship I approached the Salatin family about staying on in some capacity.  They were excited that I wanted to stay and they just happened to have some opportunities available.  Once the decision was put back on my plate, I struggled if my wanting to stay on was just because of Eric or if I wanted to stay on because I loved farming…(to be continued next time. :))

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About Leanna Hale

Leanna Barth, born and raised in NC, first came to Polyface in July 2010 to attend one of the Intensive Discovery Seminars. She loved it so much that she applied for an internship position and was accepted for the 2011 season, after which she took the inventory/gardener position. Before coming to Polyface, she sold produce from her family’s market garden, along with homemade baked goods. This venture was mostly inspired by having read “You Can Farm” by Joel Salatin. Having always loved the outdoors, animals, and gardening Leanna is excited about this coming year, all that she will learn, and how the Lord will use this job later on in her life.
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4 Responses to The Story: Part 1

  1. Jen says:

    What a cliffhanger, Leanna! Do we really have to wait a whole week for Part 2? Looking forward to next Thursday!

  2. Cyndi Lewis says:

    Oh, I love a good romance story!

  3. Erin Phelan says:

    Love hearing more details of your experience. Brings back memories of my summer and getting to know Grady… 🙂

  4. Ruth says:

    This has nothing to do with your story…which is a good one (cliffhanger indeed!), but I did want to say thank you so much to you and especially Brie whose brain was picked because she was in the store at the time. Anyway, I stopped by Polyface this past weekend (being out on a travel jaunt), and must say that everyone there was sooo extremely nice and helpful, especially you two girls. Thank you so much for being open and talking to an old gal :), it was much appreciated.