I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you to everyone who has been there to listen and to offer their support and guidance as I’ve made my way through the many mullings that have led me to Berkeley to work on an urban farm, and which are continuing to help craft the path I find myself coming to accept and acknowledge with a renewed vigor.
Enough about me: let’s talk farming. This weekend, we had our first big work day at Urban Adamah, and what a day it was! We had almost 20 folks on the farm working in small groups to help mound beds, wheel mulch, haul soil, fill trenches, whack weeds and plant trees. The Ber-man himself, Adam Berman, can be seen kicking the day off here:
I had the pleasure of helping lead a group of folks who were charged with the delightful task of filling large blue barrels to the brim with sandy soil, in preparation for the planting of our gobo crop. I had gotten things prepped during the week with a bit of my own elbow grease, and it was awfully nice to turn the task over to some fresh arms.
All around, folks seemed to be having a great time, and I overheard a number of people saying how much it meant to them to come out for the day to help out on the farm. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but I honestly feel that farming, when done right, is medicine. When you’re surrounded by things that grow, how can you not want to do the same?
And when you’re around smiles like this, how can you help but smile?
Now that’s how you graft. Already – we’re seeing buds on the trees we grafted two weeks ago! I couldn’t help but take a peek at a couple of my own grafts, and indeed, there are some tender leaves timidly starting to poke out the top. The feeling of accomplishment in seeing a successful graft is unlike any other sort of success I’ve known – and it’s wonderful to know that there’s more to come. That tree, if it does grow up to be healthy, won’t bear fruit for at least the next 3-4 years, if not longer – but what a great day to look forward to. Planting trees is the sort of investment I can see myself making again soon.
Today, we began flying on our second greenhouse. I’ve always been a fan of symmetry in life (like moving from Portland, ME one year to Portland, OR the next), and it makes me happy that, as I approach the end of my time here on the farm in Berkeley (for now at least), we’re working on a new greenhouse, and getting the chance seeing how far we’ve all come.
Already, within two days, we’ve made so much progress. I wasn’t even here for the first, and came in today blown away to see a fully finished frame, ready for side walls, doors, and hoops.
After finishing a cover for one of the pipes that was sticking up from our irrigation system, I had the chance to hop up, and put in the first of our supports for the side hoop and wall unit. Admittedly, I ended up making a notch in the wrong place, which was rectified with a quick chop and some glue. ’cause really, what can’t you fix with some glue, am I right?
I’m a lucky man – this week is all farming. I re-certed my CPR training tonight, and it feels like things are picking up all around. I’m putting it down in words so I don’t forget – tonight is a good night, ’cause I’m right here.