Two of my lovely fellow apprentices load flower bouquets into the box truck to go to our market cart around 10:00am on harvest morning. We harvest flowers and make bouquets in the Farm Garden that are sold at our cart. We also harvest veggies to sell at cart. Other garden/farm sites in the program make bouquets or harvest veggies for our CSA program.
My chore rotations lately (dish patrol and kitchen patrol) have also been more time consuming; they included setting up our post-meal dish station, drying and putting away dishes, putting away food from meals, and washing dishes used to serve food. I was also on a subrotation for three weeks focused on propagation in the greenhouses and hardening off tables. Along with three other apprentices, I was responsible for sowing seeds, pricking out plants into larger containers, watering and keeping baby plants alive! It required a good amount of time during the day and week, and in the process, I learned a lot about how to care for plants from seed to seedling ready to move into the "real world" of the garden or field bed.
I've also been starting to brew up some ideas of what I might do after the apprenticeship, which is a little more than halfway over already! Ideas include launching a small business that would allow me to make some money from baking bread, growing food and flowers, creating art and crafts, making jams and jellies, and gardening. I'm also envisioning finding a gardening or garden education job after this program. Regarding the business idea, I've begun researching what it really means to start a business, what logistical steps I need to get through (licenses, permits, etc.), and what I can be doing now to develop a strong business plan, including how to finance it! On top of all of these activities, I've been working a couple hours a week doing landscaping at a nearby home garden.
I baked my first pie recently, a blueberry pie with berries from the Pleasanton Farmers Market! It could be the first of many since I had so much fun making it, and it was yummy.
I made my first batch of spicy dill "quick pickled" cucumbers, using cucumbers from Green Guy's backyard. It was a great way to make something interesting out of a crop we had excess amounts of, and I was able to share the spicy sour deliciousness with my friends at the Farm!
A fellow apprentice helped me bake some bread the other night when I had a meeting. I prepared the doughs and he shaped them and added rosemary. I baked them when I returned from my meeting, and we served them at lunch the following day. They were an aromatic and scrumptious outcome of teamwork!
Finally, we have our one assignment of the program due soon, a partial CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) crop plan for a fictional farm or garden. It involves a lot of spreadsheets and poring over seed catalogs; I'm having a lot of fun with it!
So many exciting things going on every day here! I've been trying to post photos and captions regularly to Instagram and Facebook, so if you are wondering what I've been up to since it's been pretty silent here on the blog, check those pages out: Instagram.com/greenbeangal and Facebook.com/greenbeangal
Garden Poetry by Jeune Gal
A couple weeks ago, my sister Jeune Gal rediscovered and shared two beautiful garden-related poems with me that she wrote in January 2015. She asked me to share them with you all on my blog, so here they are!
Breathe in courage, breathe out fear. Open your mind and soul and all will be clear. The trees and the weeds feel yourself present. This is real. Let your soul sit with the flowers. The garden will help you heal. Talk with the basil, the kale and release negativity as you exhale for the lady bugs and the leaves shall take with them the air that you breathe. The birds sing their songs to you, my child. When you listen with your heart you’ll see that the wilderness isn’t so wild.
You are the Earth. The Earth is you. You are the sun, the sky, the moon. Welcome to the clouds, to rain and shine for in Earth’s garden all are welcome. Everyone, every kind.
"Message from an Earth Fairy"
Gratitude for this day, for this life, for this body. In the garden I shall pray
to God, to the Universe, to our planet, our Earth
I give thanks for my life, my birth.
For the trees, for the oceans, for the cats and the dogs.
For warm sunny weather, for the rain and the fog.
For the beauty of summer, spring, winter, and fall. As I sit in the garden, I hear a faint call.
A voice becomes clearer from a path of daisies it seems. I see an Earth fairy looking over at me.
Her presence is brief, for most humans can’t see her. She smiles at me and says with a whisper:
Don’t worry my dear, for the world will be fine. Just be who you are and value your time. For while you see death, destruction, and darkness, there is so much more light. Light you have the power to harness. Just open your heart and find different ways to find the beauty and light in each and every day. Us fairies are everywhere. We are hard to see, but we live in spirit in the flowers and trees. Everything is alive, here to inspire and heal all of the pain and the sorrow, all of the sadness you feel. Every plant, every flower, every minute, every hour, nature is waiting for you to bring you light and power. When you are in tune with the plants and the Earth that surrounds you, you can feel the light in everything around you. So stop by the garden to meditate and to feel. We love to see you at peace, nature will always help you heal.
You can find Jeune Gal's blog here or follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/jeunegal.
Thanks for reading, and happy summer!