Anna-Gray’s Semester at Island Farm

Hi! I’m Anna-Gray, a junior at UNC, and I had my internship this semester with Island Farm. Island Farm is a site under the Outer Banks Conservationists, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people of the Outer Banks’ rich history while also working to conserve and preserve historical sites and land in OBX. (Check them out:!! My wonderful mentor is Ladd Bayliss, Island Farm’s director. Island Farm and Ladd were the perfect matches for my future interests and goals. Speaking of goals, my goals for the semester at Island Farm were to make an organizational plan of what gets planted at the farm, and to create different activities for NC Schools for when students visit!

My first project was to create agricultural and organizational plans for the farm. I did this by making different charts that had crop information and logging information that included what, when and where crops were grown on the farm. This project was fun for me because everything had to be historically accurate for the site time period (1847), and I got to explore my interest in sustainable agriculture. This project was like dipping my toe in the pool of agriculture and now I am ready to jump in!

The second project I worked on was to help create lesson plans for when students come to visit the site! I am still currently working on this project as I put the final touches on lessons for different grade levels, all while making sure what we teach them matches up with the NC Public School Systems curriculum. I  enjoyed this project because I got to tap into my creative side to make fun, engaging, and interesting activities to help students learn about life in Manteo in 1847.

I have had so much fun at Island Farm! My favorite part of the internship was my “farm-time”. Farm-time happened every morning on internship days and was the time I spent on the farm planting crops and helping out where needed. I would be surrounded by over a dozen squawking chickens while I got to get my hands dirty planting different crops and completing other farm chores. I also enjoyed feeding Roxy the cow. Roxy’s favorite snack to munch on was sweet potatoes grown from the farm. (Also, I once had to clean out Roxy’s bed and bathroom area!)


Overall, my days were filled with farm-fresh eggs, Alphie the farm cat, and lots of fresh and interesting history. Island Farm is a place where I got to explore some of my main interests and a place where I got to disconnect from the world and reconnect with the Earth. Thank you to all the teachers, Corey, and Ladd for making this such a positive experience!