Monday, July 5, 2010

CSA, Part Deux

I previously wrote about the CSA I joined, and how much I am enjoying the abundance of organic produce I receive each week. I have since begun to truly get to know where my food is coming from (and how it's grown) because I have begun to fulfill my work-share obligation.

Twice a week I strap on my overalls, pull on my gloves, and go to the farm for three hours to do whatever the farmer asks. I am continually awed by how much I am learning on each trip to the farm. But I am even more impressed by the vast amount of produce that comes from a seemingly small plot of land, a few horses, and one man's know-how. All the work on 'my farm' is done by hand or with old-fashioned tools and equipment that are purchased from the Amish in Pennsylvania. Yes, people actually do farm successfully without combines, pesticides, or migrant workers! It is an amazing feeling to be a part of something like this. The sense of community is fascinating and inspiring, that's why I can't encourage people enough to join a CSA.

Here's what I've been up to down on the farm...

My work experience started last Monday morning with a quick tour of the farm by owner and expert farmer, Charles. by the time he was done showing me around, his hired farmhand, a college student, arrived and Charles sent us to weed potatoes. Charles explained that the rows must be weeded so that the piece of equipment that digs up the potatoes can be used efficiently. It was about 9:30 by then and the temperature was quickly approaching the 90 degree mark. two-and-a-half hours later, I was covered in dirt, my hamstrings and back were killing me, and I had weeded one ridiculously long row of potatoes. I felt accomplished, but I was also hoping that every day I worked wouldn't be spent weeding potatoes!

I returned at the end of the week on a harvest day. I met other work-sharers and together we picked from the fields, and bagged each vegetable into the allotted number of shares. After that Charles gave us assignments; mine was to hoe the weeds from a row of celery. While we worked, I got to know some of the other work-share members and watched as Charles turned over some soil using an ancient piece of farm equipment and a Clydesdale horse named Pickle.

Work on the farm isn't easy, but it is turning out to be as rewarding as I hoped it would be. I just hope I don't have to go back to weed the potatoes any time soon!

Hope, Love, FARM.

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