Boy time flies. Today while we were putting the plastic on the new hoop house, we reminisced about planting it during the first week of July and how it seemed like ages ago. On Monday, half the crew met downtown to help out at Loaves and Fishes (see Raffi’s section), while the other half went to Kestral Perch to glean currants. We gleaned and froze over 20 gallons of currants from Kestral Perch that we will access during the winter months to make our raspberry-currant-jalapeno jam. This is the fourth year that Katie Creeger has hosted us to glean berries at her beautiful berry farm. Thanks Katie.
Raffi recounts his experience at Loaves and Fishes that Friday (the half of the group, went to Loaves and Fishes on Friday):
Volunteering at Loaves and Fishes this year was a great experience. After the two crews moseyed into Loaves, we started work. The crew of volunteers that were in charge of running Loaves, were like a well oiled machine. We started out by bagging up bread for people to take home and setting all the tables. After a little break for breakfast, Simon dropped off two cases of kale and told us that the plan for the day was to make some sort of messaged kale salad for the lunch. Since this was my first year as a crew leader and most of the crew wasn’t exactly sure what a messaged kale salad was, I was taken a little off guard to say the least. Luckily my co-crew leader, Zofia, was a connoisseur of kale salads, so she led us to meet the challenge. Surprisingly in the end, without any help from adults, we were able to come together with a nice kale salad. Then Loaves opened its doors for lunch and although I spent the majority of time in the kitchen washing dishes, I enjoyed watching Youth Farmers eating and mingling with folks eating lunch. It was cool to come down to Loaves and Fishes as a crew and bring vegetables that we had helped grow. I would recommend volunteering at Loaves and Fishes for anybody that enjoys sharing a good meal with community.
In addition, to visiting two awesome community partners, we spent time with Emma Frisch at the farm, who helped a group of youth make some delicious snacks for us all to enjoy after we were hard at work in the fields. Check out a beautiful blog post full of pictures and recipes that Emma Frisch wrote after her visit. http://www.emmafrisch.com/2014/08/summer-squash-pasta-with-chard-mint-pesto.html. To top it all off, we learned about cover crops together. Using cover crop fact sheets, youth were able to predict what cover crops would be useful for various realistic on-farm scenarios that Rafa and I detailed. Afterwards, we explored the cover crops of the farm: a tall field of cereal rye, mowed pathways of annual rye grass, and a dense field of red clover, half of which was plowed under to fertilize field #4 filled with fall brassicas. Finally, we all took turns hand broadcasting annual rye grass in the pathways of field #4 and buckwheat around the potatoes.
This week we accomplished a lot on the farm: We seeded beets, radishes, transplanted fall crops, trellised hoop house tomatoes, put plastic on our new hoop house, and mowed and weeded. And most importantly we enjoyed each others company while doing it!
By the Amsili Bros: Raffi and Joseph
PS: Loved sharing my time at the Youth Farm this summer with my bro!