Why Sign Up for Homesteading?

Luke Vargas July 11, 2022

I’m not normally a photographer. 

But when one of the photo staff members needs a sub, I’m one of the first to come off the bench to fill in. 

This afternoon, I rolled up to the farm to photograph the Homesteading skill. As my golf cart crunched down the dusty gravel road, I wondered why a camper would ever choose to sign up for Homesteading. 

It’s one of the furthest skills from the cabins. You do farm work in the sun all day, and you could be playing Pickleball instead. Why would anyone willingly sign up to work the farm?

But when I parked the golf cart in front of the fields, it all started to make sense. 

The scene I stumbled on was straight out of a story book. 

There’s a little farmhouse nestled between the great Black Mountains in the distance. In a valley of small hills, sat rows of luscious plants and vibrant flowers. 

It’s likely the most picturesque garden on this side of the Mississippi.

Then I saw small teams of boys running from the field and back to the farm house carrying trays of fresh produce or handfuls of sweet-smelling flora. 

There were campers cleaning green beans to be cooked on a wood-burning stove, others tending to the mules and chickens, and still more building bouquets. 

It amazed me how willing they were to work.

It deeply contrasts the world of convenience our habits of consumptions have built. This is the age of fast food and Uber Eats. I can subscribe to “healthy” meal plans that are shipped to my doorstep. 

At Homesteading, the virtues of hard work and patience reap tangible and delectable rewards. Every minute spent picking vegetables or cleaning the fields translates to the satisfaction of a day well worked and often freshly cooked meals. 

This is why campers sign up for Homesteading.

Between the perfectly mulched rows of plants, there are eternal lessons being passed down that eventually travel from the earth where food is grown to the tables in Eden Hall where we eat. 

Much like the young men who choose to pour their time into the Homesteading skill, I was forever changed on Monday afternoon. 

Luke Vargas 

Assistant Marketing Director

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    Great to see young people interested in gardening, especially my grandson.

    Love this story. I was raised on a farm in Arkansas.
    Great experience for every young person. S much of this has faded away. Thanks got sharing.
    Nana from Mississippi

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