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Friday, September 18, 2009

A Patch of Garlic

Yesterday, Thursday, I hiked up the hill to the farm, unsure what project we'd be working on that day. I hoped we'd plant some more garlic, maybe finish the 8 rows Rocco wanted to plant in that particular spot, but it was also a particularly hot day and if we did something else I wouldn't be too disappointed. That was one thing I liked about the farm, the variety of tasks we were assigned to one day always differed from the next. Oddly enough, while I like to have a definite sense of order in my life with carefully lined up tasks and scheduled appointments and while the unexpected often throws me off course and upsets my day, I did not find this to be the same up at the farm. Maybe it was because I wasn't working in my area, or maybe it was just because I loved doing all the interesting things we had done so far.

When the concept was first introduced to us about working a couple of hours each day on the farm, I was not too thrilled about it. I figured I had already "put my time in" as a student at the college and why did I need to waste their good money pulling weeds and cleaning out dusty sheds? I must admit I was rather reluctant to throw myself wholeheartedly into this new project and unsure why it should be required. I was also feeling quite overwhelmed with the beginning of the new school year, so I obtained permission from my boss to participate in the work education program only twice a week. About three weeks into the semester, my mind had already changed, however.

Our first project was simple enough: cleaning up the prayer garden, raking, and dumping all the extra pine needles behind the grounds department. Then we spent the next several days up on the farm doing a number of different projects. I was working with Dr. J, one of my old-time good friends, and quickly grew to know students Rebecca and Shaina (Kylee was part of our original group but was transferred to the academy as assistant girls' dean). I found myself looking forward to 3:15 pm when I would slip into my jeans and t-shirt, jam a hat onto my head, and, with a filled water bottle, escape from the rush of life and slip into a calm rhythm. The hearty exercise, the sun's rays generating vitamin D, the companionship, the learning of new skills, and the focused hours of mind-relieving time became my favourite part of the day. I worked hard to finish my projects in the office so I could return to working four afternoons instead of two and was surprised to realize how much I enjoyed that time.

Yesterday we did do one more row of garlic, then spent the rest of the time "shelling" garlic heads, or separating the individual cloves so we could have more seed to plant as we were running low. I'm looking forward to next week already, as we have been promised that we'll get first chance at picking the fall apples and hopefully we'll get to finish planting the garlic.

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