At 5 Loaves Farm, we play many games with our youth employees, but one of our favorites is a game called “The 3 Abilities.” It is a team-building game that highlights a combination of values such as connection, generosity, responsibility, and growth, that we try to highlight here on the farm. Art on the Farm, the farm’s summer fundraiser, is also a perfect picture of what this combination of values looks like.
During the game, each team is composed of three members, each with different limitations and abilities. The first can’t see but they can move, the second can’t move and is partially blind, but they can speak, and the third can’t move or talk, but they can see. Their task is to send the “mover” out into a field to collect a ball and hit an opponent with it. Nobody would be able to accomplish this task on their own with their unique set of skills and limitations, it is only through coming together that each person can be successful. This game, like many we play on the farm, is about teamwork. It’s about realizing and embracing the gifts that we have, the unique attributes that we bring to the farm. But, it is also about learning to recognize our limitations and the places where we must rely on others.
To me, this game is a picture of many of the values we try to embody at 5 Loaves Farm. We encourage people to recognize in themselves that they have gifts to offer; that each person has something special about them that makes the whole so much stronger and more beautiful. We acknowledge our personal responsibility to offer those skills, as with all gifts, we strive to receive the talents we have as blessings and in turn, bless others. We appreciate the fact that we can’t accomplish the mission on our own, we need each other. If the farm is to be successful, it needs the minds of the staff planning and throughout the winter, it needs the hands of the interns to pull the weeds and shovel the compost, it needs the willingness of volunteers to show up every week and help with the planting, it needs the neighbors to encourage us in our work and to accept the produce we are growing. It requires those who can give their time to give that and those who are able to give their finances to give that.
Art on the Farm, our summer fundraiser, is a perfect picture of what this combination of values looks like. The art show will be displaying work from many artists associated with the farm with a wide array of works including paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, quilts, and photography. This type of collaboration is a beautiful picture of individual pieces, from many different artists, coming together to form something new, something beautiful, and something much larger than each piece on its own. The show, much like the farm, is a tapestry of sorts, made up of different pieces and people with different sizes and shapes, ages, and cultures, the individual lines becoming slightly blurry as they meld into the whole.
So, we hope to see you at the Farm August 8th, between 3 – 8 pm as we celebrate this “coming-together” of talents and people.