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Down on the farm - the funcrunch files


May. 24th, 2014 06:51 pm Down on the farm

I'm adjusting to my new work schedule this week, having put in two shifts at the 23rd St. garden, one at Alemany Farm and my usual at the Free Farm Stand (which I wrote about previously. It's great to be working outside this time of year. It will be more challenging when the weather gets really hot and, later, rainy. I'll need to invest in some proper raingear before winter comes.

Gardening in the Mission this week involved mostly watering and shoveling compost. The latter was actually more fun. I haven't yet gotten the knack of pulling a long garden hose around without getting kinks in it. Fortunately we have several hoses and a good supply of water, having a well on the property.

At Alemany Farm I helped harvest kale, some of which I took to make a yummy snack for tomorrow's Free Farm Stand guests. After that the caretaker said he needed to get some gardening out of us, which confused me as I thought that's what we had just been doing. He said no, that was harvesting; gardening is weeding. Ah, OK. So I weeded. Some of the weeds were edible; I pulled up quite a bit of purslane, which I found I could also make into a tasty salad. We also harvested chard and loquats.

I'm doing some work from home too, putting together handouts of vegan recipes and other information, and exchanging e-mail with the other volunteers about food sources and other matters. I'll probably be working on the web site too once it's updated; they need someone with specific WordPress theming skills right now, and I'm not up for that.

My daily Spanish practice on Duolingo (ID: funcrunch) seems to be paying off too, as I can converse a bit more with our Spanish-speaking guests and volunteers. Sometimes I find myself understanding something and responding to it without putting in much conscious thought or effort. For example today, as I was leaving the garden to catch the bus, I saw a kid running toward the garden and a man with another kid (presumably their father) called after him, saying "¿Está abierto? No podemos pasar." ("Is it open? We can't pass through"). I called out "Está abierto." (It's open.) I saw them go through the gate, and continued on to the bus stop feeling somewhat useful, even if it was an elementary school-level phrase. Gotta start somewhere!

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