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.
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.
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. :))