Life Lessons from Quebec

By LAVENDER BILLINGSLEY | Contributing Writer

Palisades Charter High School student Lavender Billingsley received a community service award from the Pacific Palisades Rotary Club after completing an apprenticeship on a farm in Quebec. Here, Billingsley shares some of her experience.

During my time volunteering on the farm in Quebec I learned various different skills.

These skills included growing, harvesting and selling the organic fruits and vegetables from the farm. I woke up on a daily basis at around 6 a.m. and worked a 10- to 12-hour day about six days a week for three weeks.

I worked with my hands and with the produce five days out of the week, and the sixth was selling them to the locals around town, all the way until dusk.

I learned and helped turn some of the produce into packaged products such as basil and cilantro pesto sauce.

I slept in a bunkhouse with about four other traveling worker volunteers from around the world.

During the group lunches we’d sit together and learn about each others’ cultures, languages and past experiences working on various other farms.

Since the farm was in Quebec, I used it to maintain speaking French at a fluent level. On a farm I learned everyone must chip in until the job is done, unless you lose product and money.

Lavender shared photos from Quebec
Photos courtesy of Lavender Billingsley

I was so impressed with the work ethic of the farm owners and I was amazed that they could push themselves at such a hard level while still being a loving and inclusive family.

Being a young and innovated teenager has made me open to traveling and experiencing the many things our beautiful world has to offer. I wouldn’t have traded this incredible experience and meeting so many awesome people, and learning vital life lessons from a business/family point of view.