The Farm; Chapter 1

27 Aug

Our Garden
The greening program, a farm that is and extension of a inner city neighborhood. A little about folks,farm.
(The people)
This day a man in is working on a piece of equipment , he his wearing beautifully colorful attire- sporting a bandanna, Dashiki top, too his funky shorts, create a explosions of color that enhance his vibrant personality. His striking eyes dance with mischief and mirth, his rapid fire cadence adds a element of comedy to his banter- that is fills with humor. The fit, furtive little man is working on a piece of equipment that aid in are cultivating at the farm. When he’s done working on the equipment, he pick up a hoe and perform yeoman like works clearing the weed between rows of vegetable. His earnest effort taking on the task is done, drench in sweat he take a break with the others for some more banter. This likable man is not unlike most folks that come here ( a very youthful looking in his sixties) he volunteer his time, giving to the farm- something he plied most of his life, honest work, tinker and fixing equipment. With that being said each participant has their own reason for coming out to the farm, whether often of infrequent; both are equally welcome out here.
A couple of summer student work to augment the group by doing ‘a bit of the heavy lifting’ in the form of weeding, watering, moving equipment hoses here and there, wheel barrel compost (weeds) to it’s destination; plus any other ad hoc task whether mundane (weeding, watering, counting plants) or something that require youthful energy and muscle. These young individuals are a welcome component of the team. There unbridled vitality and youthful boldness couple with respectful deference to all- make them a good teammate and considered friends.
At the garden/farm participant works in pairs and in solitude. There is a synergetic rhythm to the team, at the days beginning, folks spills out of the van and cars and in a uncanny way fall quietly into roles on a whim or gravitating to their strength, history or passion. The mentors drops into pragmatic role testing the soil water retentions in rows of vegetable, subsequently turning on the appropriate drip line that’s require water that run through the row.
In a perfect environment on a farm like this there is no leaders and followers. But the oldest ones are look at as mentors and granted due respect for their displayed common sense and sage fairness. The group moves forward in a welcoming, collaborate, learning, adapting environment. As a whole the group gravity to the mentors occasionally whom will make suggestion, with in hand the folks are off doing another simple task. If one could imagine seeing the farm and participant through a bird eye view, sans the noise the pantomime will tell the story-serene cooperation-a bit of Jungian unspoken spiritual guidance pulse would see people all shape and sizes,age- going this way and that that, somehow there is a method through actions. Not to suggest it’s a utopian environment…like any workplace ego bump into each other…but dignity is respected and valued.


There is a common dominator out at the farm (for the most parts) folks come out here with a wealth of streetwise skills- survivors.
A middle age man’s is “holding court” with a couple participants. His booming voice lace with conviction, humor and a bit of (tongue in cheek) bluster with and ever present twinkle in his eye, as quick at that, he turns on a dime- pull a headset over his ears, and gives equal measure proficient work (of a production worker) cutting the grass between rows, that’s is in step in line with his cadence and principles. A lady come out weekly for a day, her knowledge of plants dwarf us, -the farm is grateful for her knowledge,and for the seeds and plants she save and nurture respectively- the farm is for the better for her contribution.
Like a sport teams that’s lose people IR-Injured Reserved. Ideally folk come and go out our (farm) at their leisure… other may go on the injured reserve of life that move with the ebb and flow with the month peaks and valley. Nirvana would be, to see folks that come out to the farm and contribute (in a way that fit what they are able to do) and take back with them a fair measure of produce, most likely to a area like inter city neighborhood- an  targeted community . The balance to congregated meal program kitchen  more re- distribution for people that come to the meal program.. The goal -of the farm-can be boil down to one words WELCOME everyone and anyone, anytime. The stewardship of the farm echoes the angency believe and values.
If the spine of the farm is boil down to a few general principles:( 1-to provide fresh vegetable for  congregated weekend meals programs 2- for folks and others, who may on a fixed income can participate (at any level)and can have access to fresh healthy vegetable to take back with them.3-sell the vegetable at the kiosk  in a more than digestible price/quantity meant for folks that budget barrier , the neighborhood that have mini obstacle to access fresh vegetable and fruit . 3b. to share surplus with like minded agencies and churches).
Then the heart and soul of the farm is considerable more for folks and takes in different form and reason.
-to nurture
and many more…

(farm-at large)
The organize planning and the sweat equity for those who contribute (big and small) is echoed in controlled weeds among the vegetables, straight row with healthy plants, buds and flowers emerging into vegetable and fruit on unfetter plants, fields of foliage leaves swaying in the wind reveal endless golden flowers soon to be food, to picture perfect well-kept rows of cut grass between rows. Humble pride is reflective in modest garden/farm. One’s perspective is to be thankful for whose contribute now and before, the infrastructure and good will built up over the years. Benevolent donations the land its sit to the plant that grow on in the farm to the Muskoka chairs (where folks take the refuge from the sun) and many more equally values donation- vast and small.

Folks drift toward a certain vegetable- in a way and seem so natural; could be life history, nostalgia, palate, geographic (harvest crop of this nature back home). There is personal- plant relationship- this is a good thing.
Folks like there vegetables……
D-likes beets
T-like tomatoes
M-like hot pepper
j-like cucumbers
r-like strawberries
…….on and on its kind of instinctive natural unplanned way to shepherd the (vegetable) flock to harvest.
(conversation- humor-resilient)

Conversation develops here unforced, folk learn a little about each other (whilst weeding, planting, and watering) at the same pace that plants the folks are growing –slowly in layers. There always is humor, (it’s the straw that stirs the drink), and at the end of the day it’s the last line of defense. It gives folks balance, perspective; humor come in many forms, at the farm it comes in the form of absurdly this summer, the folk speculate that we drowned tomato in the midst of a summer draught (curly- leave gate). It all taking in stride the folk adapt try to make the wrong right at best as know-how. The tomatoes survive producing fruit…not unlike the people who tend for them.
People are resilient-a segment of folk that may (or may not) come out to the farm for reason take on various form; maybe they have some life bruises-flirt with morality- … whatever. The fact that people come out to the farm is nothing but a good thing, its encompasses a wide range benefit ;maybe be being a part of something bigger than ones selves and be attachment to a program one believe in, maybe a place to make a springboard to something more, maybe a practical exercise to prove to one selves something , anything is still possible if one stay the course, maybe could be community hours for a program, maybe is a lifelong passion for gardening, maybe an easy place to come for ones state of mind, maybe as a therapeutic place for the soul. Maybe there is element of a tender pushes back to life in the form of gardening- reminiscing Dylan Thomas -“Do Not Go Gentle into the Night’ without the ragehere in the garden .
Maybe it’s the vegetables! lots of vegetables for folk who appreciate it


2 Responses to “The Farm; Chapter 1”

  1. Kerrie August 28, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading about the community that works together on this amazing project, Dave. I have seen some of the fruits of their/your labour, and it is wonderful.

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