The Farm Crew Reminisces
This chilly November morning is quiet here at the farm. As I sit at my desk, completing work under the role of Education Assistant, with bookkeeper Annie to keep me company, I can hear the soft voices and upbeat, content giggling of the last remaining farm crew members: Maya, Alaina and Jordan. They are sorting beans in the library and they must be excited to be inside and more stationary than they have been all summer. So I jumped on the opportunity to pick their brains. I decided to speak with them, to get a sense of their reflections of the season as it slips past.
Maya says she wanted to work at Cedar Circle because her family had always been interested in local and organic food. She figured it was about time to get her hands in the dirt. She says there is something amazing about seeing so many varieties of vegetables growing in the field. Alaina feels similarly. She learned a lot about sustainable agriculture in college but had never gotten into it physically. She is the only one out of the bunch who has never worked on a farm before. She is from Lyme and has been coming to Cedar Circle her whole life to pick strawberries. She felt the work was fun and especially liked working outside. Jordan, a grandson of farm manager Will Allen, has been coming to and working on Cedar Circle from California his whole life. He seems to be naturally at home here and his work is indispensable. His roles include property maintenance, irrigation moving, flame weeding, rototilling, tomato staking and so many other important tasks. He is currently in school for computer engineering and coding but says he may eventually decide to farm, especially after cultivating a love for working on the land.
The crew continued sorting beans as they discussed the season, separating small twigs and bad beans from the good ones. Our winnowing machine can only be so specific. Maya explained that her favorite crop to harvest is radishes because it is so satisfying to make that perfect bunch that looks gorgeous in the Farmstand. Broccoli is her favorite vegetable. Alaina was remembering all of the carrot harvesting the crew just finished recently. She loves the process of harvesting them because they are so beautiful when you pull them out of the ground. And… you get the bonus of being able to munch on them while working. One of Alaina’s favorite aspects of the farm work has been that she has learned about vegetables she has never before tried and how to use them, including knobby celeriac and crunchy kohlrabi. Jordan loves harvesting kale because it is easy, quick and peaceful. He doesn’t love to eat it but he loves our tomatoes. He was explaining that before coming to Cedar Circle he didn’t like tomatoes because they only have one variety in California. Here, he finally learned of the sweet, complex flavors of heirloom tomatoes and it made a world of a difference.
As they carefully sort, they contemplate memories of hot summer days, that seem oddly far away but so recent at the same time. They laugh at stories that illustrate the physical nature of farm work. And they shed light on the inevitable inside-jokes after a season of long, hard work. This year’s best: The Bucky and Dingus Show.
We thank them for their hard work, smiles, and great attention to detail in harvesting the beautiful food we sell. Here’s to all of the Farm Crew at Cedar Circle Farm, past, present and future!
-Lauren Harris, Education Assistant
photos: CCF staff