Getting my hands dirty for foodMay 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
Tags: CSA, farming, food
I took the plunge. I am a farmer.
Well, not a real farmer. But a volunteer.
As a vegan, all of my food comes from the ground, one way or another. Whereas I usually go to the grocery store and buy my tomatoes from another state and my fruit from another country, I figured that is neither sustainable nor economical. I mean, right here in Pennsylvania are tons of farms — mostly dairy farms but still, farms.
And lucky for me, in my little sprawling area, there is not one, but at least THREE CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) that I can purchase from and take part in to reap the benefits of local food.
Well, I decided to jump in and see if I could save money. One particular CSA, Goldfinch Farm, has a program where I work 80 hours in 20 weeks and I get a share of food when it’s harvest time in return.
Yes, you heard me right. Me, a city girl, working on a farm. In the dirt, with the bugs.
I’ve had some pretty exciting episodes in the past two months since I began (we started just after my birthday in April.) The first week, after I got home, I couldn’t even stand up because my muscles hurt so bad. It took me four days to recover, two of which I could barely walk.
But the pain got easier, and it usually hardest on Thursdays. All the crouching, kneeling and squatting really gets to your lower half.
I am even sitting in the dirt now, if need be! I put my bare hands in the earth and let the soil get under my nails. I am addicted to it.
Last week was the most interesting. It was a rainy day and had been a rainy week. The ground was a muddy mess but we still planted. Everyone took off their shoes to walk in the mud but I refused. That is one thing I can’t handle, as of yet. Well, kneeling was hard because you would get covered in mud. Up until 11 a.m., I tried to stay clean but at some point I got a little muddier than I wanted to and didn’t care.
Well, the rain came. We tried to take shelter but decided to go back out when it started to drizzle only. That was fine for me, until it down-poured. Twice. I was soaked and we just kept on planting, shouting over the loud noise as the rain fell.
I felt exhilarated! I have never been this dirty and this connected to the earth. I feel the difficulty it takes to grow food, to harvest it, to feed masses.
But don’t expect me not to flinch when I see something fly around my head. City girl still at heart, just with dirty hands.