Work Ready, Gleaning and Thoughts on the Market

This past week was my eighth week as a Heston Intern. I spent the majority of my week at Work Ready, preparing a workshop that I will be giving the following Monday. I was given free reign as to what I wanted the workshop to be about, but at the same time I was also given some direction. I was told to make the workshop applicable to conflict resolution, or personal well-being. The time that I spent at Work Ready helped me to decide what I would make my workshop fairly easily. I decided to do a workshop on self-confidence. A lot of the time at my work, I am able to observe the clients, and how they behave. One of the most interesting things that I noticed is how the clients feel as if they are somehow lacking due to the barriers that they have. Clients feel that not having their GED makes them less intelligent, or that not being able to get housing makes them less of a parent. And while on the one hand I do feel as if there is a kernel of truth to these thoughts, it is also important for them to realize that it is not necessarily their fault that they have these barriers, and that in some cases it is somebody else who failed them at some other point in their lives. My workshop focuses on how a person must come to understand their personal barriers as something beyond who they are as a person, a goal that they must achieve. Dwelling on the negative thoughts relating to these barriers does nothing for the removal of the barriers, in fact it only seems to make it more difficult to remove the barriers. So in addition to a reframing of issues, the workshop will also attempt to teach the power of positive thinking, not so much in a ‘look-at-the-brightside’ sort of way, but instead as a tool that will help them tackle any opposing barriers as if it is something that they should be proud to achieve. I will be sure to write again next week to detail how this workshop goes.

Circles was cancelled for the week, but I got to spend time gleaning, which as always is relaxing and helps to pass the time. The farmer’s market was particularly fun this past week, as back to school shopping has increased the number of people who are around during the hours of the farmer’s market, and thus keeps everybody busy. As another interesting part of the farmer’s market, I was introduced to the idea of infighting amongst vendors, as the seasonality of farming leads to most of the vendors having the same produce, and thus the largest farms that could give the lowest prices tended to do the best, while smaller and more expensive farms did not sell as much. It was interesting to notice that the economics of farming go as deep as a local farmer’s market, and thus it makes an interesting question in the grander scheme of produce selling. If the smaller vendors did not do as well, due to pricing, then what is the argument for helping them? If you take this and apply an even larger lens, then it would stand to reason that people should just be buying their produce even cheaper from larger chains that import their produce. This strange disconnect between people who are willing to pay extra for the food from the farmer’s market, yet not willing to pay even more to help out the even smaller farms seems strange. Is there only so much that people are willing to do to help out smaller businesses, or is it just a case of people just wanting to do enough to feel good about themselves, even if it seems to only go so far?


Brandon McTigue