Last year my husband, Brian, offered to have the New Farmer Academy interns over to our house for a welding lesson. He forgot all about it, but they sure didn’t! Last weekend we were finally able to make it happen.

First the interns learned about the different types of welders and tips, the kinds of projects they are used for, the general costs of home equipment, and basic safety considerations. Then Brian fired up his oxy acetylene torch for a demo.

The interns got to try it out, too. Here are Trish [first image] and Dylan [second image] heating and bending the stem of a welded rose.


We also went outside to check out some practical welding applications on the homestead. Brian made the fencing for our chicken run and garden from rebar and galvanized steel mesh panels.

It’s a durable, attractive, and fairly inexpensive alternative to traditional fencing options. Here’s a nifty bit of custom fabrication he did on the latches.


The interns then practiced a few types of welds and even worked on their own welded roses. India was so excited to take hers home and display it on her desk!


As the 2021 New Farmer Academy season draws to a close, I am again reminded of the importance of the networking component of our program. Beyond the welding lesson itself, the interns now have a resource for questions about their own future welding projects, and a shop they can work in occasionally. It is through these exact kinds of relationships that we build a thriving, sustainable local food system!

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