Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reflections on Planting

Well the season is moving right along, and amazing things are happening. Plants are slowly going into the ground, like parsley, tomatoes, melons, squash and peppers, just to name a few. This is my first experience planting, the system is totally new to me and it takes some time getting used to.
Planting can either be done by hand, or by using a tractor. For the most part the tractor is used, but once in a while you can find one of us out there with a shovel and some plants, digging holes and filling them back in with tiny plants or seeds. The process of planting on a tractor is very different, and I really enjoy it. Two people sit on these seats on an attachment to the tractor, which are low to the ground. A different part of the contraption is a wheel with spikes on it that, as it turns, creates holes in the ground and also supplies some water for the newly planted variety.
There is something about planting, though, that is very reflective, meditative and satisfying. There is always the aspect of helping things grow, which is very rewarding, but it’s not quite that…
There is a rhythm that develops; numerous partnerships between you and the ground, you and the tractor, you and your planting partner, you and the variety you’re planting -begin to develop and a delicate, slow dance of all these actions seem to form. As the tractor moves slowly your one hand gropes for the right amount of seeds, while your other hand retrieves them, puts them in the dry dirt and swiftly covers them back up. At first its tricky; the seeds aren’t coming out easily in pairs, your hands haven’t found that perfect rhythm, and sometimes you have to yell “STOP!” to the tractor driver so you can catch up some holes that were missed. But eventually your hands start thinking for themselves; the feeling of two seeds between your fingers just seems right, and the transition of them going into the ground as you slowly work down the row comes naturally. There are times where my planting partner and myself have time to talk and laugh and get to know each other better as we sit back there, and other times when the focus on our methodical movements are so intense and quick that there is no time for any conversations or questions; just the mantra of movements that interpret into planting.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Welcome to our new blog!

Hello! My name is Sarah, and I’ve worked for Pete for the last six months or so. I started before the season had begun, when all the paper work had to be filled out, certifications had to be renewed, crop plans had to be made and C.S.A. memberships were flowing in daily. My participation at the farm then was all office work, yet as spring began to show some signs of arriving, the outside work soon began to start as well.
This is my first experience on a farm; I came up from Queens three years ago to attend SUNY New Paltz and soon found that this town has a lot to offer besides an education.
Although this season has only begun, I am thrilled to be here, and am already working harder than any job I’ve ever had before.
I look forward to writing on this blog, to document this summer of growth, to share my experience of being on this farm, and share news and events with its readers.
We hope to hear from you, as well. The community is a large part of this farm, and we encourage you to leave your comments, and even write your own entries and send them to us so we can post them. We would love to share many perspectives on this farm as possible.
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