Farm friends, family, and supporters:
This week, Angela, one of our summer interns from HECUA, has written about her experience on the farm. I just returned from an exciting and inspirational weekend at Growing Power in Milwaukee and am full of ideas for more infrastructure projects, mushroom cultivation, community outreach. I will write more later. We have a busy week ahead of tomato pruning and weeding after so much rain.
With further ado, here is Angela:
Hey y’all, my name is Angela, I am Organic Horticulture student at the University of
Minnesota, and intern with Stone’s Throw. As my time with the farm is just begining
I have already been exposed to the plethera of projects that occur simultaneously
literally on the soil and off the field. On the ground everything from harvest,
processing, packing, CSA coordinating, staking, composing, hoeing, and of course
weeding all goes down. It has been quite mind blowing how everyone plays to his or
her strengths to keep the organism that is Stone’s Throw moving.
With all the rain this week our focus was to weed like crazy, racing to rescue
various plots and put them in a strong condition to outcompete non-crop plants.
Grass tends to be the main target, with once being lawns the grass can come back
with vengeance. As the team weeds together quickly as possible it can boggle the
brain, yet provide therapeutic qualities with the idea we are tending to a crop that
will soon become nourishment for urban dwellers. This thought keeps floating in
my head, and how straight up amazing it is to care for and harvest fresh beautiful
vegetables in a city. It is a practice more commonly done in rural areas, raising
plants that have been crossbred for human perfection, defenseless, and delicious.
Grown within soil that is constantly being rejuvenated with compost, turned by
human hands and critters. It has helped me connect to land even when surrounded
by city infrastructure.
Constantly working outside is physically demanding but has its treasures, in
particular I witnessed pollination on a salad mix crop gone to flower. Letting
crops go is not always a negative in this case is providing much needed pollen and
nectar for environmentally valuable pollinators. While finishing up composting at
the Galtier and Sherburne site in St. Paul, I wanted to take in the wildness of the
overgrown salad greens. Walking closer to observe the clusters of yellow and white
flowers there were bees buzzing. As a lover of these pollinators it was exciting to
see them out foraging the field. Even better they where native, my best guess is a
Miner bee for it being early in the growing season, the smoky wings, and the large
amount of pollen she was carrying. With the weather really heating up and tomatoes
growing rapidly bumblebees should be in masses soon.
In this picture (from left to right) are Abdul, a University of Minnesota graduate student (you will hear more from him later), Anna, a hard-working, vibrant volunteer, and Angela, your week’s correspondent and weeding extraordinaire