The end, of sowing.
The beginning, of something new.
Last week was our last harvest day as Schoolyard Farm Interns. 7.5 months – gone, just like that! But, oh, the life that’s grown through the cracks and open spaces of the in-between…
For next year, that is!
We spent part of the day planting cloves of seed garlic into freshly raked and indented beds.
‘Twas pretty special to have garlic planting as one of our closing tasks, as harvesting/cleaning/stringing/hanging/curing/walking between the tall stalks of… garlic (woah–that’s a mouthful!) has definitely been one of the highlights of my experience at the farm.
This season has been a harvest of knowledge for the head, and new movements for the hands and muscles, to commit to memory. A season’s worth of accumulated strength was put to the test as we prepared the farms for winter. Farmer Scott taught us how to bend metal…
These hoops are for the row tunnels that will house overwintering kale, parsley, chard, and the like as we all huddle in to hibernate–crops and farmers alike. Bending steel–a failsafe confidence-booster!
“Community” often conjures thoughts of small, spatially-connected relationships. However, the people I’ve met at the farms have, together, woven a lively tapestry of the global in the local, macronarratives in the microstories.
I’ve learned, and been intrigued to learn more, about Japan, Germany, Ontario, Michigan, El Salvador, Salt Spring Island, Belgium, Chile, hidden gems in own province of BC… all from the storied people that make this farm what it is. Our space may be small, but our hearts for celebrating and protecting the beauty, vegetation, and sacredness of the earth are big.
The field crew could testify to my predilection for photography (everything is just so, so beautiful!). I’ve taken great pleasure in capturing some of the moments dotted throughout this sweaty and abundant season of learning, connecting, and growing. Here’s to one last celebration of these moments:
Cass and Dennis standing amazed as the new organics bin is delivered.
At the end of the growing season, I am left in awe of the finesse and grace with which seasons change.
I started this Adventure with a hope and desire to engage with how the small informs the big, how natural life cycles inform human thought–to learn to be wise and diligent, feeling and loving.
This blog has been for me a space, not only to list the hard skills I’ve learned–the smooth hand motions of transplanting chard, the force in staking hoops into hard ground, the delicate act of digging up horsetail roots–but also a space to process deeper events, thoughts, and memories that have died, been deconstructed, fell to the ground; and have been pushing up new shoots in my heart. I’ve written in a number of posts of some of these things. And I am thankful to have had the opportunity to explore them synchronously with the experience of learning to be a cultivator and grower of food. It has been so healing.
Working and learning in an intergenerational, intercultural setting has been rewarding and beautiful in itself. From grandpas on their morning stroll who don’t speak English, but give us a “thumbs-up” and a smile; to SOYL students who get pumped up by the thought of pulling turnips, or who bake the fudgiest black bean brownies, or whose reaction to buzzing bees is “AHH!” every single time (Rico, Michelle, Melvin, you guys rock!); to the youthful but wise Fresh Roots team–staff, volunteers, fellow interns–who have taught me so much about laughing, storytelling, and appreciating each other.
Thank you, for sharing this journey with me.
And Thank you–to anyone who is still reading this, after all that scrolling…! No, but really, sometimes words and photos can connect community too. Thank you for joining me on this Fresh Roots Adventure.
Now winter is coming, and it will be time for all that has been harvested from the soil to be stored, canned, eaten, remembered and anticipated. For the land to rest from its work and productivity.
Before we know it, spring buds will begin to push out, and the next season will begin. Out of restedness. Flowing like a river.
Until then, let us not despise Adventures of Small Things in a big, big world.