It’s tough to nip the travel bug in the bud it would seem.
After a stroll around the farm on Friday, getting some juicy design tips and suggestions from a visiting permaculture expert John Valenzuela, I set off in Gloria (yes, my red Prius has a name, and yes, this name is based on her relative glory and that of the adventures we’ve shared) towards Santa Cruz for a reunion with folks from Camp Tawonga.
As expected the Tawongan party was raucous and full of old friends, and for the sake of us all, it is one of the few times I refrained from taking photos. I did however get some nice shots the following day at the Santa Cruz farmer’s market.
My kind of girl:
Also my kind of girl – Molly!
Compared with other farmer’s markets I’ve been to, I think it would be safe to describe this Saturday morning market as compact and relaxed. Rather than the long rows of the Santa Barbara marketplace, the farmer’s market (which I gather is just one of many in the area) at the west end of Santa Cruz was arranged as a rectangle of stands, surrounding a central area where folks could sit and listen to the live bluegrass band that was playing.
For one, I love that there always seems to be live music at farmer’s markets – so much better than the dull melodies of the supermarket. Secondly – I stumbled upon the “Homeless Garden Project,” and amazing project that’s been happenin’ in Santa Cruz for the past 20 years.
I have given a great deal of thought to various ways that gardens and urban farms can benefit communities, especially those struggling economically and socially, and I was inspired to find a working model that was putting homeless folks to work, while teaching them job skills and giving them a basis from which to start anew.
There’s something about the immediacy of the connection between work and result in gardening that I think is a particularly compelling when looking at rehabilitating folks who feel or seem stuck, whatever their circumstances. Often in community gardens, there isn’t that added layer of money between your work and its reward – you weed or prune or plant, and the result is food that you can eat. There’s no typing, or looking at a screen, or talking into a headset to some distant person – there’s your hands, the earth, and the harvest. Even if you don’t eat the food directly, it’s hard to miss the connection between the work that you’re doing and the benefit it is producing, be it for yourself or others.
I am hoping to explore and identify similar programs here in the Bay, and if there aren’t any, the time may be ripe for one to get started. If anyone has any good leads, or is interested in joining or starting a program like this, let me know!
Lastly – here’s a pic from Katrina’s birthday out in Lake Cachuma, just north of Santa Barbara. Keepin’ good on my promise to get out at least once a week 😉
Can’t get enough of this love (baby),
P.S. Also love to see local folks at Cafe Delmarette supporting local farms and farmers in times of need:
Now that’s a cafe with good taste 😉