I write to you from my 10x10 tent pitched on a platform perched on a hillside overlooking an emerald valley—GreenEdge, obviously! Cocooned here beside one of the farm’s 3 ponds, I’m serenaded by the whole gamut of outdoor sounds—frogs, insects, bats, distant dogs, coyotes, raccoons, deer—you’d expect to find on the Rondys’ picturesque plot; there’s nothing quite like awaking at 5:45, descending into the valley and disappearing into foggy orange sorbet sunrise, and looking forward to tending the fields and houses now dormant in ethereal haze. I’ve worked here since May 15 as a summer intern/apprentice and have enjoyed, by sleeping, eating, working, and languishing (only after a full day’s work!), a thoroughly magnified view of the cogs and gears that energize an active organic farm. I came here to absorb the process from seed to shipment, respect the tireless man- and womanpower mobilizing production, meet and work among remarkable people, and finally bathe in a sea of produce we produce ourselves.
Tomorrow, the 23rd, marks my final day I’ll spend this summer on “paradise found”, so I haven’t been enough of a fixture to have had a true agri-blood transfusion! I’ve seen, though, many of our crops’ impressive life cycles: those little sprigs of basil are now in their stemmy golden years, chard is still scooting along in the fields, and mature squash and potatoes are now grappling for field space with a weed thicket. Our 4 tomato houses are rife with the aroma of ripening beauties and the vines are clamoring up the strings and looking like landscape privacy shrubs! Kate debriefed on much of what we did last week, so I’ll echo her invite to Open Farm Day Sunday the 27th so you can slice into the “food intimacy” I’ve had.
I’ve learned enough things here about farming, food-friendship, and flotsam-and-jetsam to write a small textbook, but I’ll just choose 5 statements from the file of GreenEdge theses:
- When working here, I entreaty you to consider this: you pick it, someone eats it.
- On 90* days, remember to aerate the greenhouses at so as to not pre-fry the tomatoes. This is called opening. And disengage the electric fence so as to not electrocute Kip Rondy.
- Do not keep food in your tent. The mothmen smell it.
- Mind your P’s and Q’s. It gets back to you- aim for semiperfection
- Don’t shove out the renegade thoughts that butt into your potato hoe-down.
As for what I’m doing post-farm, I’ll be easing into life as an Athenian and OU third-year student of cultural anthropology (crops of people...like crops of plants. darn interesting), having studied my first 2 undergrad years at
Vegetable vitality to everyone, and see you in the area!