Thursday, June 16, 2011

Farmers Tanned

Starting Monday morning I will be living on a farm on Eastern NY for a week. I am incredibly excited about this. I didn’t get the month position that I wanted, but school has been intense this semester so maybe it is for the best. I went for a “working interview” a few weeks ago. This was clearly just a way for them to see if they liked me and get some free labor.
My hands. Authentic farmers tan. Yes
farmers tan 003
I also had a serious burn across my back from where my sweatshirt was riding up. It looked awful, but I'm still proud of it. It was such a bright red that a month later the strip is still there, a little tanned fading strip.
When I arrived we went right to it. I was not asked any questions, just welcomed and put right to work with a sharp knife and few words. Even after I raised my hand and said “I’ve never been on a farm before?” there was no concern. We sat harvesting mesculin for the first couple of hours and then moved onto pea shoots. These are tough and time consuming. I was doing a horrible job (hence the volunteering position over paid position), but I improved later on. Joe had to go get a bucket and I had a few minutes to myself to look up and around the 60 acre farm admiring where I was and how beautiful it felt. It is hard work, but I felt completely relaxed and at home the entire time, bent over or on my knees, my back and legs on fire, sweating with a sweatshirt and jeans soaked from wet soil clinging to my legs. All smiles.
Some Kale
I ate mustard greens that tasted like horseradish, delicious pea shoots and sweet, sweet stevia leaves. I was eating the pea shoots like candy while we were in the field harvesting, right there, with the bugs and sweat and sun. When I was asking how I could be sure that I was pulling lettuce and not weeds they told me to taste it. So I tasted and sliced as I went. Eating food right from the earth. It was great. These people hustle.
I had to leave before we went into the chicken coop, but this week I’ll be there and I’m psyched.
I can’t even imagine what the stars must look like at night. The farmer commented that the field of fluffy soft pea shoots makes him want to roll around on them. Yes, please.
My hunter boots got a work out that day. And this week is going to kick my ass into shape.

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