At the end of April 2022 we welcomed a new Coworker to Glenora Farm, Mila Gillis-Adelman joined the team in the position of Garden Assistant. The first 8 weeks of this position was funded through Canada Summer Jobs Grant (CSJ), an initiative of the Federal Government of Canada that provides wage subsidies to employers so they can create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30 years.
As soon as she started in the role, Mila proved to be a natural in the vegetable garden and an invaluable member of the team. After the 8-week funding period ended, Mila stayed on in the Garden Assistant position and has played a crucial role in supporting our Garden Manager throughout this growing season. As we got to know Mila we learned more about her skills and experience, and why she decided to work at Glenora Farm.
While studying and traveling in Australia, Mila fell in love with working outside and building community through food and agriculture. The farming practices that inspire her most involve environmentalism, climate justice, ecological growing methods and land stewardship. One the reasons Mila was drawn to farming is the interdisciplinary, physical and multifaceted nature of the work.
Two years ago, after completing a Biology degree, Mila started living and working on a farm in Ontario and she has been farming ever since. She became involved with food issues when the pandemic hit, she wanted to work outside with people who had similar values and loved food that wasn’t based on Big Agriculture.
Last winter, Mila enrolled in the Community Herbalist Certificate program at Pacific Rim College, in Victoria; she was drawn to the program in part because she loves tea, plants and botany. This program taught her so much about the healing powers of herbs and how empowering it feels to use herbal medicine to heal yourself and your community. Mila became even more passionate about tea, starting a tea society where she met with a group every couple weeks to drink and discuss different teas – she even invented her own herbal bubble tea!
Mila found out about Glenora Farm through a friend and about Camphill communities through the Waldorf community she was part of while living in Toronto (she also went to a Waldorf school for a few years). Mila was excited to get back to farming when she started working as the Garden Assistant at Glenora Farm, she was happy to grow food again and incorporate all her passions – tea and herbal medicine, gardening, working outside, making and processing plants and living in a Camphill community.
When asked, Mila shared that she works at Glenora Farm because it’s an intentional community where people are open-minded, caring, creative, welcoming and fun. She loves working at the Farm because she gains a sense of fulfillment from contributing to this life-sharing community and from helping to grow food and, soon, herbs for everyone.
As good fortune (or synchronicity) would have it, near the end of her contract, the position of Herb Workshop Leader became available and Mila enthusiastically agreed to assume the role. Starting in early October, Mila will lead the Herb Workshop and live at the Farm full time. We certainly feel grateful for all of her contributions to date, and are very excited about what she will bring to her new role.
“I’m most looking forward to working with other people, Companions and Coworkers, who are also passionate about herbal medicine and are excited to be outside working with and processing plants. I’m also excited to bring my knowledge from school to grow new herbs, including ginger, milky oats and meadowsweet, and to create new herbal products. Finally, I’m looking forward to getting to know all the Companions in the herbal workshop, as they’re a fun, warm, beautiful group of people.”