Rodney an Army Cook served 2 terms in Iraq after he left here spending weekends at Shambala Farm, returned to WA to retire Army and is now fulfilling his dream at The Culinary Institute of America CIA in a Farm to Table cooking program. Check out this wonderful article: Rodney Harvey
“In the progress of personality, first comes a declaration of independence, then a recognition of interdependence” – Henry Van Dyke
Recently here at Shambala we had an intern by the name of Colleen O’Connor Toberman. She hails from the Midwestern region of Minnesota. She works at a think tank there writing and creating. We had many discussions about differences in weather, politics and apples. To all who didn’t know the Minnesotan Honeycrisp is the best. She worked in the rain helping to build a garden for a local islander and took care of the farm animals. Upon her return to Minnesota she wrote a bit about her adventure here in the wonderful world of Washington.
Thriving in Community
By Colleen O’Connor Toberman
I must have a weird idea of “vacation,” because I just spent mine slopping through manure and digging garden beds in the cold rain. For eleven days I volunteered at Shambala Farm and Nursery on Camano Island, WA through a Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) work exchange. Each WWOOF host farm provides room, board, and untold learning opportunities and adventures for a city-dweller like me. In exchange, I just have to pitch in on the daily work.
This was my third WWOOF excursion; each farm has offered unique perspectives and experiences. What impressed and moved me most at Shambala was the level to which the owners have cultivated a very intentional community of family, neighbors, volunteers, interns, and fellow farmers.
Their interdependence is expressed in many forms. There are the weekly family dinners, the monthly “barn-raising” work parties with neighbors, the constant stream of visitors. During my short visit we goat-sat, planted a fellow islander’s garden, had long dinner-table conversations, collected free compost, borrowed a neighbor’s greenhouse space, and sought others’ advice… just to name a few ways we connected with those around us.
At first all of this community can seem a distraction from the “real work” of getting plants in the ground. Just when you’re getting into a project a guest arrives or you have to leave your task to go help someone else. The community, however, is precisely what makes it possible for those plants to get in the ground: many people are needed to build the beds, till the soil, lend tools, give advice, and purchase the vegetables that result. Everything we gave to the community came back to make our own work possible.
I’ve long been interested in intentional community in its various forms but until my travels I hadn’t really applied that thinking to my work life. Now that I think about it, my nonprofit peers are a form of community. I call on them for advice, share my excess resources with them, and take part in big projects that I couldn’t complete on my own. A business incubator or chamber of commerce are intentional communities. I’ve always thought of it as “networking” but it turns out it’s more fundamental than that: it’s interdependence.
My daily work life may not involve chickens or compost but I can still apply what I observed on the farm. What would happen if each of us found a few more minutes in our workday for giving or receiving mentorship? Would our organizations thrive if we took the time to truly answer a co-worker’s question or pitch in on their project? Community requires a leap of faith to trust that if we extend ourselves to give, we will be nourished by what we receive in turn. I think it’s a leap worth taking.
I agree! Shall we take the leap together?
We invite you and your families to join us this year for a NEW and exciting way to leisurely ENJOY the Festival and the Greater Skagit scenic byways in luxury, without dealing with traffic chaos! Learn from an old Salt that knows the event and the flowers from the inside, after 40 years involvement, and enjoy special photo stops. We will provide of course Roozengaarde Tulip Garden immersion and shopping while enjoying our signature gourmet food to include a gourmet Gluten Free vegetarian lunch, then finish with a Bow Hill Blueberry Farm stop with Shortcake- programs/food hosted by Shambala Bakery!
Get tickets here: Brown Paper Bag
This article was written by Heidi Siegelbaum of Calyx, a local firm that connects the dots between natural resource and economic development issues.
Shambala, a word associated with a Kingdom defined by purity and emblematic of both visionary and spiritual intent. This is the namesake of Shambala Farm and its new Shambala Bakery and Bistro in Sedro Woolley.
Nancy Chase moves with spiraling energy, much like the interconnected world she lives in and shares with others. She sits still long enough for me to notice her deep green eyes, a metaphorical and explicit link to the green, vertical food world she inhabits. Nancy, with her husband Nick and a wild and wooly cast of friends and other characters are responsible for Shambala Bakery and Bistro with all the right stuff: gluten-free, vegan and non-GMO (genetically modified organisms).