“Do students help out with field work?”
Posted on December 6, 2013 by Christopher Thrall
Doug Lyseng, farmer and friend of Augustana, had an odd request. The result surprised him!
The owners of Maplewood Acres, a market garden in Armena, asked if we could find a group of students to help with the potato harvest. Almost all of their summer work force had returned to high school or university and could only offer a few hours per week through the fall. There were not enough labourers to bring in the vegetables.
Vikings Friends stepped up.
“Vikings Friends is a Christian fellowship group aimed at creating a greater synergy between Chaplaincy and the rest of the student body,” says Ryan Lindsay, student chaplain and one of the group’s organizers. “It has been most valuable for people who perhaps cannot attend worship or other spiritual based groups due to their athletic schedules. The group provides a great fellowship of friends as you grow in your faith, opportunities for service in the community, and potlucks!”
The newly formed small group blanketed the fields with almost 20 potato pickers over a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Cars on Highway 21 slowed noticeably at the sight.
The team gathered about five tons of potatoes. They shared a huge pot of chilli on Friday evening and the Lysengs ordered pizza on Saturday to celebrate the harvest.
The question about students helping with field work was posed by a rather puzzled high school student and neighbour of the Lyseng family who was also helping with the harvest that weekend. “The answer to that question was not a straightforward yes or no,” says Chaplain Craig Wentland. “It was straight forward that this was a life-giving event for all.”
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