Thursday, July 15, 2010

circling up... with renewed purpose and community

Yesterday, we tried what I thought was a new process: to start our workday, we circled up at 10am and went over the day’s tasks. Not only did circling up clarify and organize the projects, I think it actively created a renewed sense of involvement for the whole group—veteran and new volunteers alike. After we broke the circle to start work, the day seemed to move forward with even more purpose than usual. And then to end our workday shortly after 2pm we circled up again to tour the farm and acknowledge the progress we made on each project. Too often, I forget that this place has grown into what it is today from individual volunteers coming together for a day at a time to transform this empty lot into a full-fledged farm! After touring the farm, I could very concretely see the growth that happened after just one day of work. I was very pleased with how this simple practice reaffirmed and tightened the bonds within our community of volunteers. Thus, I will do my best to give you a condensed blog-tour of our work yesterday.

First, just as you enter the farm the previously bare welcome bulletin board, has recently been transformed with lush shades of blue and green and a painting of beans. Yesterday it began its actual function as the primary place to find information and news about the farm. We posted two press articles as well as some newly found pictures of the church that used to stand where our farm now stretches out its roots in the soil.

Page and Susannah began construction on The Free Cart, which will be a mobile cart to transport and present the free farm’s Saturday food giveaway.

We also had a group of five beautiful women transplanting newly sprouting seedlings into larger temporary home all day.
I continued the ever-evolving project of organizing and cleaning up the so-called ‘outdoor shed’ in the bottom left corner of the farm that was bravely started last Saturday. Next Saturday Hannah will help us start labeling the sections, which will help to keep the area neat.

The outhouse also went through quite the transformation. What started out the day as just a bare structure, gained a colorful door (painted by Jason and Jamie), a window to allow for some ventilation near the roof, and half of a covered wall.
 Hannah and Coco have been working hard recently on painting colorful stakes to label what is growing all over the farm and when it was planted. This is all a part of Hannah’s ambitious project of creating a crop plan for the farm to monitor the plants.

Lastly, for the past week John and his team have been working on remodeling and extending the plastic covering over the tomato plants and the new beds to their left.

That is all I can recall for the moment. I hope this gave you an update on how much we (the community and the farm) are growing each day. Yesterday confirmed for me how the beauty of the farm doesn’t just grow over night; it is planted, painted, transplanted, watered, cleaned, fed, built, and cared for with the hands and hearts of our volunteers each day. If you haven’t been by the farm in awhile, do yourself a favor and drop on by to see for yourself.

Until next time…

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