posted by Addie Eichhorn, June 8 2013
This week marks our first CSA pick-up of the year. As people were collecting their vegetables on Tuesday I recalled many details and small memories of the last few weeks. It dawned on me that CSA members and others need to know some of the stories behind the interns’ experience at Eighth Day.
I would like to share some small, simple stories so you can get a taste of what life on the farm looks like. Over the weeks the vegetables that you are eating and will eat have turned into a meaningful representation of all we have experienced and learned on the farm. The following memories are short and simple, yet they are so vivid in my mind and have helped me develop a better appreciation for God’s creation.
Although it’s summertime, the weather has not been summerlike. Some days it is rather cold and rainy. Despite the weather, it is necessary for us to continue working so the vegetables can be harvested in time. Much of our first weeks consisted of planting, weeding and shoveling in the rain. We sloshed through the muck in our boots (all the girls wore their rain boots). On a regular basis our boots got stuck in the mud causing us to fall in the newly-made beds.
On some cold days we got sunburned because it didn’t cross our minds that we could get burned in the cold. Working in the rain and cold has helped me realize how tough farmers are. Rain or shine they must complete certain tasks. On those cold days we interns came home feeling tired, accomplished and satisfied with our work.
During our first week we had a couple of memorable encounters with wildlife. Our first was with an almost overly protective bird, a killdeer that had built a nest under our bean trellis and laid four eggs. As any mother, the bird was sure to protect her babies. Whenever we came close to the nest to weed, the killdeer would squawk loudly to prevent us from invading her territory. The bird would also limp away from her nest to draw our attention elsewhere. We needed to plant in the area so we gently moved her nest (with a shovel) ten feet away. Unfortunately the killdeer did not identify the new location of her nest because she was too busy squawking at us.
That same week we had another encounter with rabbits. While weeding again under the trellis, we came upon a nest of baby rabbits. The rabbits sprang out of the ground and startled us all. We chased them down. Actually it was quite hilarious watching Jeff, Trevor and Kyle chasing the rabbits through the parking lot. Though cute, rabbits cause a lot of damage to the crops so now the baby rabbits reside at the growth center. We haven’t agreed on what to name them. These encounters have taught me how important it is to protect your crops in a humane way, even from cute animals.
Although these stories may seem anticlimactic, we interns have learned that even the tiniest details are meaningful. These simple events have helped the interns bond with each other and with Jeff and Gary. We are learning to be attentive to creation and to the very character of God. Your vegetables from Eighth Day Farm are special and have a story. Please appreciate them and eat well.