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Community

“Ah!  So beautiful!”
Intern Hanne is gleeful as she peels back the soil-y layer of garlic skin to unveil a spotlessly white and smooth layer beneath–garlic!

“You’re rubbing off on her, Jenny,” Farmer Scott remarks.  (“So beautiful!” is an oft-used comment we have at the farms.)

“Well, what else can you say about our veggies?”

“You could say, ‘That’s freakin’ awesome!!!’ “

I guess both serve the same purpose.  

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And so, garlic cleaning and emphatic expressions of wonder and awe continue…

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The very first day, Monday, March 16th. When mornings were still cool enough for dewdrops.

Well, it’s been over four months since this Adventure first began.  How is it that this journey has past the half-way point?!  Over mountaintops of gatherings filled with stories and laughter, through valleys of muscle-sore days and endless beds to prep, and frolicking amongst meadows of fragrant lavender and parsley–this experience has been so full. 

At times tiring, at times overwhelming, but at all times plein de meaning and refreshing joy, there have been so many gifts.  This week, I thought it’d be a good time to pause and share some of these gifts, through some photos (before they begin to gather digital dust).

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It is a daily joy to be able to work alongside a group of people such as ours.  The people in the Fresh Roots community are some of the liveliest, most passionate, empathetic, fun, easy going people I’ve had the privilege of working with.  Mondays mornings are always a challenge to get out of bed and out of the house on time; but, even in the hustle, I always look forward to yet another week of being together.

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Oh, and we’re hardworking, too!  As you can tell from this shot.

Many of these faces show up often in my posts, but hey, why not do some semi-official introductions?

I enjoy talking and learning with my fellow interns:

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Intern Gerson likes his Amethyst radishes!

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Our favourite Gerson-quote: “I like to wash totes, because every time I use the hose, I see a rainbow.”

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Looks like Intern Hanne might prefer carrots.  Hanne and I are GRS-buddies, proudly carrying on the Faculty of Land and Food Systems legacy of Fresh Roots 😉

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Intern Cass is one wise woman.  Always thankful for the conversations we have on harvest days.  She’s also one of the many people I’ve accidentally (!) sprayed with a hose–so snapping this shot of her with hose in hand, at this angle, was risky!

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Gerson, Cass, Hanne, and one of our volunteers, Emily, wash totes under the glorious morning sun.

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It may be raining, but these people make wet harvest days fun!

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We love lunch.

Jessica (right) is how our food gets to you.  She’s our Distribution Coordinator, and she’s awesome because makes her own chocolate!

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The SOYL 2 crew, led by the lovely Shoshana (right), has been working in the fields a lot after the start of summer.  They are the master chefs behind our weekly Community Eats lunch.  This week they made a tangy salad with wild foods foraged from the weed patches and flower beds at the farms.  It had fireweed flowers, rose petals, chickweed, lamb’s quarter, purslane, turnip greens and lettuce.  Amazingly good.  And so aesthetically pleasing!

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Michelle is one of the youth participating in SOYL 2.  Her official job title is “Carrot on Slocan and South Grandview Highway” (so it says on Facebook–which means it must be official!)  In compliance with workplace attire, sometimes her carrot top needs help being straightened up.

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One of our market volunteers, Sapina, lends our brave Carrot a hand.

It’s as if the farms are gathering places for lovers–lovers of the earth, of food, of people, of life.  I’ve loved getting to know the volunteers that we get to work with.  Our conversations are rich with travel stories, city happenings, cherished memories evoked by certain vegetables, and recipe ideas (such as how to use all those turnips coming out of the ground!).

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Many hands make light (and pleasurable) work.

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Javi and Hisayo strike a pose after an afternoon of clearing some beds at DT!

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Team turnips!  Jess, Natalie, and Steve (Farmer Scott’s dad!) spray the rooties down.

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(See the resemblance?)

Of course, none of this would be possible without the amazing Farmer Scott.  Sometimes us interns feel like he knows about and how to do everything.  (Not only can he grow garlic, he can build the curing space, make kimchi with it, and probably make a website and accompanying music mix in celebration of garlic.)

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Farmer Scott loves garlic harvesting season.  Second garlic harvest: done!

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Last week was Scott’s birthday!  Belated birthday hug!

 

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(Photo by Scott Bell)

Another thing Farmer Scott is skilled at is arranging flower bouquets.  He showed me the basics one week, and this is what I made.  Hopefully one day mine will look something like his:

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(If you want one, you better make it to the Wednesday Good Food Market early!  There’s only a few of these gems every week.)

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Well, I had many other gifts of the field that I’d intended to share about.  But as I was putting this post together, the gift of people really surfaced to the top.  The people who are a part of this summer Adventure really are the most meaningful gifts of all.

Before being a part of Fresh Roots, “community engagement” had just been a nice-sounding scholarly term for me; now after these months of actually engaging with the community through growing food, I’m realizing just how nourishing and tangible, personal and universal, relationships can and should be.  Stewarding the “cord of tenderness” (J. M. Coetzee, Life and Times of Michael K) between ourselves and the natural environment that is our shared home, together, sits so right with what we were meant to be.

 

Your presence is a gift.

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