Harvesting Words Scholarship: grow into the writer you want to be

Harvesting Words: A writing workshop for farmers and gardeners

Have you wondered if you could be a writer?  

Have you ever felt your mind wander as you thinned carrots or pruned tomatoes, and turned words over in your head as ideas popped up for an essay or blog post — or maybe even a book?

Maybe you’ve felt the pull to add a blog to your farm website so you can better connect with customers, but you’re not sure if you’re a “good enough” writer to do it — or if you’ll be able to find the time.

The truth is, farming and writing aren’t so different from each other.

Plant one seed, write one word at a time.  Tend to the soil, tend to your creativity. Grow nourishment for the body, the soul, the world.

What if you could learn how to write just like you learned how to grow a garden?  What if you had a framework that could take you from the seed of an idea to a finished draft?  What if you could harvest words just like you harvest crops?

You can.

But if you’re not sure how or where to start, if you’re stuck in procrastination or writer’s block, I can help you turn that around and grow a flourishing writing practice.  

Whether you want to blog, write poems, essays, or that book you feel inside you — Harvesting Words, a writing course for farmers and gardeners, can help you grow it.

Here’s what students are saying about Harvesting Words:

“It was a great course and helped inspire me to actually start writing. It was the push I needed to take action.”  ~Janell, farmer

I came up with some new writing ideas that were inspired by the school garden we run, things I never even though of before. Thank you for doing this workshop, I feel the spark of creativity coming back in me!  ~ Rob, school garden educator

“I loved knowing that each morning I would find a new prompt in my email inbox. Hurray for prompts! I  loved how you wove the gardening/farming analogies all through the course. Your videos and prompts were thoughtful and inspiring.”  ~Sabrinajoy, farmer

The next session of Harvesting Words is January 27 – February 25.

I believe that creativity is just as essential as food, and for me, writing is a huge part of that.  I also believe everyone deserves access to fresh, local food, and access to education and creativity. 

That’s why I’m offering scholarships to Harvesting Words.  After graduating with a degree in English and Environmental Studies in 2009, I’ve continued to invest in courses on both writing and farming for the past 10 years.  

I’ve paid full price for some, but have been lucky to receive scholarships for others, and I know the feeling of possibility and relief and excitement that comes with it.  I also know the depth of growth that comes when you dig in and continue learning.  

Now, I’m offering you the same chance to keep growing your skills with a scholarship.

The Harvesting Words Scholarship

What it is: complimentary access to the Harvesting Words online writing course.

How to be considered: Write your answers to the questions below in a comment on this blog post.  Answers must be 250 words or less. No email entries will be considered.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 21 by 6:00 pm eastern.  The scholarship recipient(s) will be announced by Thursday, January 23.

Scholarship application questions:

  1. What are your writing goals?
  2. What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?
  3. Are you a farmer or a gardener?  If so, how long have you been growing, and how would you incorporate writing into your farm/garden?  

I’m looking forward to reading your entry!  Remember, the deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 21st at 6:00 pm eastern.  

The next live round of Harvesting Words begins on January 27th.   


Share this blog post on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #harvestingwords and let me know that you’re applying for a scholarship.  You can tag me on Instagram @goodheartfarmstead and on Facebook @thegoodheartlife.

Here’s a photo you can use to share on Instagram:

how to be a writer, Harvesting Words writing workshop

Happy Writing!

Scholarship Recipients:

Thank you to everyone who applied for a scholarship! Taking action and putting your words down here means you are a writer — you’ve taken the ideas from your head and put them to paper. And that matters. It may not have been easy, but you did it! And that means that word by word, you can do it again.

No matter what I want you to know this: your words matter.

You have the ability to cultivate creativity. You have something beautiful and unique to offer the world through your words. Keep writing.

Full Scholarship Recipients:

Fern, an urban gardener who works with the food bank and wants to use writing to inspire and deepen conversations about food justice.

Renee, a beekeeper, gardener, and new mom who writes as a way to deepen her relationship with her children and the garden.

12 thoughts on “Harvesting Words Scholarship: grow into the writer you want to be”

  1. What are your writing goals?
    My goals are:
    1. Become a better overall writer (I have an unfortunate affection for run-on sentences).
    2. Learn to balance the human story with the factual one so the reader both learns something new and feels connected to me, but does not get bored.
    3. Most importantly to set realistic writing goals and actually stick to them.

    What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?
    Quite simply my powers of procrastination. I try to tell myself just sitting down for a few minutes every day is a great place to start so I may begin building the habit of writing daily. What invariably happens is that I write daily for maybe a week before I start to put it off and end up missing a day here, a day there, until I realize I have not written a word in months.

    Are you a farmer or a gardener? If so, how long have you been growing, and how would you incorporate writing into your farm/garden?
    I am currently a gardener aspiring to start a farm this year. I started seriously getting into gardening just a few years ago, starting out with a few containers on my back porch. I have found the power of story is a power strong enough to make or break any size business based upon how much people feel connected to the business. As I prepare to start my farming business, I wish to harness the power of story to connect with my customers and really show them where their food comes from. A disconnect has arisen between food and the consumer and in my small way, I wish to help bridge that divide.

  2. What are your writing goals?
    I want to have the courage to share what I have written, and use it as a community building tool to inspire, soothe and facilitate people feeling witnessed in these chaotic times. I have wanted to be a writer since I was 7; the desire has never left me but my courage did. I want to nurture a more consistent writing practice with the hopes of being brave enough to publish something soon.

    What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?
    Two equal challenges that I struggle with are having a consistent practice with a heavy schedule, and believing that what I have to say is worthy to share.

    Are you a farmer or a gardener? If so, how long have you been growing, and how would you incorporate writing into your farm/garden?
    I am a city bound gardener who dreams of being a farmer. I grew up on a farm and the soil has never left my fingers, or my heart! I currently run gardens and garden programming at a food bank and am working slowly to bring more local food focus there to get more fresh food into people’s bellies. Growing food is inherently a collective experience (despite it being isolating sometimes!) and I want to use my writing as a spade, to dig deeper roots, and help heal through soil. I want to write about the shared experiences of working towards food justice while chronically broke and landless, and explore topics such as place making through gardening. I want to use my writing to connect and share stories from the garden, and use it to ground and inspire ongoing conversations as a key part of food justice.

  3. What are your writing goals?

    My primary goal is to nurture writing as a creative outlet of expression. Weaving words has always been an interest of mine, but I haven’t always practiced it. It is my hope that through a process of nurturing my writing, I can build confidence and start to incorporate it into other aspects of my life. I’d like to write more agrarian inspired poetry and essays and *possibly* create a blog.

    What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?

    My biggest challenge is a combination of writers block and lack of confidence. I have a deep rooted belief that whatever I write won’t be good enough or interesting enough to share with the world. It’s as if my self expression is being suppressed by this belief, therefore creating writers block. I’d like to create more free-flowing-forms of expression to nurture my confidence.

    Are you a farmer or a gardener? If so, how long have you been growing, and how would you incorporate writing into your farm/garden?

    Yes. I’ve been farming for 7 years now. I often have deep reflections while immersed in the garden, and I feel inspired to put them on paper. I find wisdom, beauty, and truth in the natural world and it can be a lovely form of expression to weave these thoughts into a poem, a story, or a reflection. I would love to start a blog that is connected to our farms website, or submit pieces to some of our local publishers.

  4. What are your writing goals?

    My writing goals are to actually sit down and write what’s going in in my mind. I’ve always articulated my feeling and thought so much better when I write them down. I can make sense of them and I hope that I can reach people and inspire people through words.

    What are your biggest challenges when it comes to writing?

    Procrastination is huge, I would like to make writing a healthy habit and just do it when I feel the need. Also a lack of confidence, like thinking what I’m writing about won’t be interesting enough or worth reading.

    Are you a farmer or Gardner? If so, how long have you been growing, and how will you incorporate writing into your farm/garden?

    I’m a gardener and I’ve been gardening for about 20 years off and on. I think the struggles and successes with gardening are relatable to living live. Writing about the hardships and the successes and finding the beauty, the little miracles and the rewards. Helping myself make sense of it and inspiring people to do the same.

  5. What are your writing goals?
    I would like to be able to write down my thoughts and observations about our garden clearly and concisely.

    What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?
    I sometimes get caught up in other thoughts while I am writing. For example, I could be writing about my observations on a garden pest and then get sidetracked on why something else is not growing properly when I should be writing a little more about the garden pest.

    Are you a farmer or a gardener?
    I am a lazy home gardener. I read a lot about gardening and don’t implement what I learn about. I tend to take shortcuts. We have a fairly large (0.92 acres) suburban property to take care of. I don’t think that comes across in my writing very well.

    If so, how long have you been growing, and how would you incorporate writing into your farm/garden?
    I have been growing vegetables since 1998. I have a blog where I share my gardening adventures and observations. Only my husband and two aunts read it. I would say it is more of personal journal at this point. I would like to become more knowledgeable about gardening. Maybe an expert in one area and then be able to have the blog become more visible. I would also like to get a Master Gardener certification when my boys are off on their own. I am on no other social media platforms. I really don’t want to be on more than one platform. My blog is on wordpress right now.

    These answers should be a good example of my poor writing skills.

  6. My writing goals are twofold. I want to start the herb blog that’s been swirling around in my head and heart since herb school. And I want to finally write the story of my son’s adoption.

    Aside from finding the time to write, my biggest challenge is actually STARTING to write. I often hesitate because I’m unsure where to begin or I fear that once I begin no one will be interested in what I have to say. I know that sounds very prideful and I don’t mean it to be. My hope is that through sharing about plants or in telling my son’s story, connections can be made, and hearts can be brought together.

    I am an herbalist and an herb gardener. My mom and I started an herb garden together when I was in high school. I’m now 41 and have a lovely little Vermont herb garden. I truly believe we should be able to step out into our gardens or onto our patios to collect the herbs and plants we need to nourish and heal our families. I would love to write about the joy found in working with plants and I would love to share how empowering it is to grow your own herbs, not just for healing purposes, but to incorporate home grown goodness into our daily lives.

  7. What are your writing goals?

    Phew. I have many! Some big, er, enormous, actually. Others not so big.
    My ultimate goal and priority right now, is just to start. I’ve been a writer for what seems like forever, in that, I have a lot to say and am adept at getting my point across. I have had people tell me my whole life that I need to write this, or that, and that I have a unique skill. I’m 37 years old, and I have never listened to them. But now I want to.

    I am a food-focused activist at heart and there is much I want to write at length about. I feel that writing, done properly, is a profound way to connect with people. Words spark emotion. Emotion resonates.

    But! If I were to choose two of my enormous goals to go after first? I’ve got a really cool idea for a Seasonal Cookbook and a separate, but equally cool idea for a market gardener/farmer log book and planner that I want to see get off the ground. The thought of publishing a book (or two!) seems impossible!

    What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?

    Honest to goodness, finding time. I have four kids. My partner and I own and run a vegetable market farm and year round microgreens business. I manage our local farmers’ market. The list goes on, and I’m incredibly talented at finding any justification in the world for not sitting down and devoting some time to writing. Perhaps this is a mindset? It’s probably my mindset. Maybe I need help accepting that taking some ‘me’ time to do what I want (read: spend time writing!) is perfectly ok.

    Once I make the time, I think my biggest challenge will be organizing my ideas into book format, and figuring out how to have my work published.

    Harvesting Words to me would be the start of a commitment, and it would be the push I need to start putting words, thoughts and ideas onto paper!!

    Are you a farmer or a gardener? If so, how long have you been growing, and how would you incorporate writing into your farm/garden?

    Yes I sure am! My partner and I have been growing our own food together for the past nine years, and we started our business, Happy Hills Farm, in 2017. We grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and microgreens on a mountainside in British Columbia. Something I am (also) incredibly passionate about is food education, and I want to be able to write more about the food on our plates, where it comes from, and how we choose it as a way to help educate people to make healthier food choices. I want to be able to write deeply about farming practices, and the way we choose to grow food at our farm, and why it is so important for people to know about it.

    I also, on a more personal level, want to start a creative art farm journal that I can use to document my family’s journey as we build our farm, and our life around it.

    Thanks for reading, and for offering this scholarship Kate 🙂

  8. 1) What are your writing goals?
    My goal is to use my writing as a means to live life more abundantly, deeper in meaning and connection. I want to destroy clichés, discover symbols, and resonate with the rich past through the threshold of writing.

    2) What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?
    I struggle with the feeling that I have nothing worthwhile to say. This often keeps me from finishing what I start writing, or from showing anyone what I have finished. Sometimes it keeps me from picking up the pen, even when I have stories banging on the inside of my skull. I struggle with the fear of being inferior, and it infects my writing discipline.

    3) Are you a farmer or a gardener? If so, how long have you been growing, and how would you incorporate writing into your farm/garden?
    I do both! The summer after I graduated college with an English degree, I worked on a vegetable farm in the middle of nowhere— practically the first time I ever touched dirt. Now it’s five years later, and I’m working in the agricultural field as an employee at a garden center and as a farm apprentice. But I still long to use writing to move deeper into these things, even as I work towards having my own farm. Writing is the missing piece!

  9. 1) My goal as a writer is to take the hurricane of words, plots, and characters that are constantly swirling around in my head and place them on a page where I can see them. I am a mother to a toddler and a newborn, and often my sanity is held together by creating other worlds with words, or attempting to mentally organize my own world. I journal to my children in the hopes of presenting them with a finished product when they are older. There are many things I don’t want to forget and have them never know- such as how warm my chest feels when my newborn gazes into my eyes so deeply I can feel our souls talking. It is easier for me to be vulnerable to them through writing.

    2) My biggest challenge is figuring out what I am trying to say. I have ideas that are hard for me to settle into neat categories or genres, and feelings that are hard for me to translate into words.

    3) I have been gardening all of my life. One of my earliest memories is eating a yellow tomato like an apple until a bright red ring was left outlining my mouth. I currently am mother to a vegetable garden and manage my own honey bee colony. I find most of my inspiration for writing from being alone with my thoughts while gardening. I plan on incorporating writing into my gardening by using the creative inspiration gardening naturally grants me.

  10. I have many different writing goals, some small (writing consistently), and others so big that they seem silly to even dream about (starting a blog). The common thread between all of these goals is an overwhelming desire to share knowledge with others that will help improve our relationship with the environment.

    My biggest challenge when it comes to writing is a fear of putting myself out there. I have written many, many things that I was proud of in the moment, only to delete them or tear them up later for fear of being judged. I would love to be able to get past the fear of others not liking my work and of not feeling good enough to start.

    I have had a lifelong love of gardening which eventually turned into an insatiable need to farm. I still consider myself a gardener in many ways, but it is my second year of running a small farm and trying to grow it into the sustainable and wonderful thing my husband and I envisioned. Improving my writing would help us to grow the farm and share our story with those around us. It would also allow me to start work on a second project that has long been on the back burner because it just seems too overwhelming. I have long wanted to start a blog and a collection of resources geared towards home gardeners that focuses on simplicity and systems in the garden.

  11. I’m a gardener, wishing to be a farmer. Two years ago, I took out every blade of grass in my front yard and created a lovely garden full of vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs and pollinators. In the past I had raised beds scattered throughout, but it seemed like such a waste of precious city space. I’ve been gardening since I was five-it’s one of my great loves and has led me down a path of herbalism and fine cookery. Breaking beans with my grandmother is my first garden memory.
    I would like to refine my writing skills so that I feel more comfortable writing on a blog or even for a local publication such as Edible. Because I make my own medicinals, I would like to write about those as well. My challenge, what seems to hold me back, is feeling like I don’t know the best sentence structure, the correct punctuation, that people will comment on what I write! I’d like to have a firmer grasp on my voice, my words. I’m a functional nutritional therapist, herbalist, bodyworker, yoga teacher, master gardener and cook-I have good, worthy information that I would really like to share with the world in a clearer, more vibrant way!

  12. What are your writing goals?

    I hope to be able to write on a more regular basis. I want to document our journey of working towards self reliance on our off grid homestead. The work we are doing is meaningful and I want to share it with others by writing daily about our farming goals.

    What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?
    I think my biggest challenge is staying committed to writing everyday. I have many half filled notebooks that I pick up and then put down again only to forget to write for weeks. I felt like social media was stealing my attention so I am taking a break and an determined to write more everyday.

    Are you a farmer or a gardener? If so, how long have you been growing, and how would you incorporate writing into your farm/garden?
    I am an aspiring farmer who just built our 100′ NRCS grant greenhouse with the hope of starting a market garden business. I have been working towards our land for 6 years now and finally have flat space to grow our food needs and hopefully help feed our community. I currently take pictures and write about it in a journal but I hope by winning this scholarship that I would have the writing ability to start a blog and make an income off my farming. Thank you for reading!

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