Do you ever get an idea in your head that wont go away.  A thought that consumes you regardless of where you are or what you are doing?  Let me tell you about my current thought.  I’ve been thinking about the likelihood of being able to grow enough food in part of our back yard for a 4 (or so) member CSA.  CSA stands for community supported agriculture.  It’s a farming model in which a person will buy “shares” of the farm for a season.  In early spring people would pay the farmer their membership money, then every week throughout the growing season the person would pick up their “share” of veggies.  CSAs are great ways for people to connect with their food, and it helps the farmer financially during the beginning of the season.  Every CSA is a bit different because every farm across the country is different, but it’s common to see a 20 week CSA charge $500.  Studies have been done to research the cost breakdown of the CSA model vs. grocery and natural food stores and the CSA always proves to be a cheaper option.  The downside is that you have to be able to put the money up in the beginning of the season, and if devastating hail comes through and wipes out the farmers crops, then that affects the food the people will get that week.

I’ve had a few conversations with some friends about me growing veggies for them, but it didn’t really click until Friday.  I was talking with my friend Chris and when he asked about buying any extra veggies I had in my garden my mind went right to a backyard CSA.  We have about a 20′ x 100′ strip of land behind our fence that is technically part of our property.  Our landlord is happy for us to take the fence down and use the land, but she isn’t really interested in having more grass.  She’s said that if we wanted to convert the reclaimed land into a garden, she would be on board with that.  For the last two days I’ve been thinking of taking the fence down, turning compost into the soil, and sewing a cover crop/green manure into the ground to start preparing the soil for working it next year.  I’ve been wondering if I could grow enough in that space for 2 or 4 shares (a full share is generally meant for 4 people), which might mean growing for 8-12 people.  I’ve been thinking about how to irrigate back there.  I’ve been thinking about how I would charge people.  And the most consuming thoughts have to do with whether or not this is a ridiculous idea.

What do you think?  Is this a ridiculous idea?  If you had a friend willing to grow veggies for you in his backyard would you trust him enough to pay him to do it?  I need your thoughts.

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[Editor’s note:  I started this post about a month ago.  The day before the first hail that decimated my garden and my positive outlook on life.  I had a rough couple of weeks bouncing back from the weather.  This post is unfinished, but it can offer a bit of an update for those of you looking for one.]

The past month has brought new life to my soul.  I’ve tried to put a finger on it, but I don’t know if there have been specific things that have caused the change for me.  Here’s a couple of highlights for you.

The stress of my 19 credit spring semester ended much better than I expected.  I don’t know if this is because my professors were extra lenient with grading the final papers and exams, or if I had finally felt confidence in the material we had been covering all semester.  I had a pretty heavy load with a lot of 100 level classes I needed to get out of the way.  I felt like I struggled more with my 100 level plant biology class than I did with a 400 level vegetable production class I took last fall.  I think this is because I have a really hard time getting my head around information at the microscopic level, but if I can put my hands on something I have a much better grasp on it.  The majority of classes that I’ll need to take are the hands on/ I can see with my naked eyes what’s going on type classes, so I’m pretty excited about those.  I will be taking Organic Chemistry over the rest of the summer.  The class will start in a week and run for 8 weeks.  I wouldn’t say I’m looking forward to this class at all, but I’m glad I’ll be taking it by itself.  And I’ll be glad to be done with it.

I started a summer internship about a month ago.  I’m working on an 8 acre, certified organic farm that has a 75 member CSA program as well as does research on green manures, no-till planting, organic hops production,  and variety trials of a bunch of different vegetables.  I really like being able to be out on the farm every day.  I love the feeling of dirt under my nails and the sun on my face.  I love the fact that my body reminds me of the work I’ve accomplished.  I love the rhythm that cultivating land leads too.  To be honest, there has certainly been a fair share of hard, frustrating work.  I spent nearly an entire week fighting with drip tape for our irrigation system.  I would try to unroll the tape off of a spool (that would inevitably get snagged on itself), walk off 450 feet of tape (the length of a single row), hook up the tape, and then try to patch all the holes. Four days of this drove me crazy.  I’ve also had a good amount of time to work on tasks like weeding, which allow me time to do a lot of thinking.  Having the chance to work on a farm is giving me great fodder for thinking about issues surrounding organic, local, and sustainable food systems.  I started another blog as a way of focusing my thoughts on these issues as well as reflecting on my time on the farm.  It’s called Field and Table and you should click the link and join me over there, too.

I’ve been driving less and less these days.  We live about a 1.5 miles from campus and about 9 miles from the farm.  There’s a grocery store about a block away, and Old Town Fort Collins is about 3 miles away.  Because of the close proximity to the majority of things that I do or need on a regular basis I’ve been able to bike or walk most days.  I have an old Gary Fisher mountain bike that I’ve been riding since 1996.  It’s served me well.  It traveled with me through 4 states and has been a reliable work horse, but it’s pretty outdated  as far as components go.  I had been looking for a bike to replace the Fisher; one that would be a bit more road worthy.  The knobby tires on the Fisher are great if I’m hitting up a single track or wanting to hop off a curb or roll down some stairs, but it sucks energy when I’m rolling on pavement.  I thought about getting a new set of rims and tires with some road slicks on it, but the gearing was still set up for mountain rides.  I started looking for something used, but didn’t really find what I was looking for.  I wanted a bike that I could have a rack and bags set up on the back and maybe one day have a trailer to pull behind.  L and I stopped at Full Cycle and I found the perfect bike for what I wanted.  I rode a few different models and fell in love with a Kona Dew.  It sat right in my modest price range, and had most of what I was looking for.  I slapped some fenders and a rack on it.  I’m looking around for a pannier for the rack, but I’m not sure I really want to shell out $120 for something that I might not use all that much.  Here’s a pic:

BikePretty slick huh?  I think it needs a name, though.  Any suggestions?

Let’s see, what else… Oh yeah, the weather, more specifically, the rain!  It has been a wonderful month of spring weather.  With the unusual amount of rain we’ve seen over the past month I’ve been reminded of how much I miss rainy weather.  For nearly 5 years I have been slowly forgetting what it’s like to live in wet climate.  I’m certain that the cool, rainy weather wont stick around for too much longer, but I sure am enjoying it while it’s here.  Since it’s been raining so much, I’ve gone out to buy a new book to read.  It’s been great to sit and read and listen to the sound of rain.  Also, the rain has reminded me that if I will have a farm of my own one day, the dry climate of Colorado is not for me.  Because of the small amount of annual rainfall we receive, farmers are forced to rely on irrigation to ensure that the crops are getting all the moisture they need, but the water laws are so ridiculous and the cost for water rights are so expensive it makes it really difficult for a young farmer to secure the water that they need.  I’ve got a few more years before I need to really think about all that stuff, so I’m enjoying the rain while it’s here.

I really love this time of year.  My weeks are long and filled with exhausting work, and when the weekend arrives I can rest.  I haven’t had this feeling in a while.  Throughout the school year my weeks are filled with classes and homework (and a little work), but when the weekend arrives I don’t feel as though I am really resting from anything.  Perhaps that’s because I still have home work and projects to work on, but I think it’s largely due to the fact that my body isn’t engaged in physical labor like it is now.  Winter itself is a form of rest from all the work done throughout the rest of the season, but over time I get antsy to stretch and tare muscles that generally are underused.  When winter slowly turns to spring and then summer and carries into fall my body and spirit rejoices in the work that’s needed to be done.

I’m not very good at resting, though.  For such a simple sounding thing, it can be quite elusive at times.  I feel the need to do something.  To check something off of a list.  To accomplish something.  But that is not rest.  So I force myself to sit and be still.  To listen to the sounds of the world around me and to the voice of GOD speaking in a gentle breeze.  Last weekend I felt very restless in my attempt to rest.  I decided to go for a bike ride.  I grabbed an apple, some water, and a book and took off with no purpose in mind.  I rode in the direction that the road guided me, and in spite of the 25 miles I rode I felt rest.  At times I had to remind myself that I didn’t need to push myself.  I needed to slow down and enjoy what I was doing.  The bike ride wasn’t a means of transportation; it was the purpose.

I still find myself waking up early on weekend mornings.  I might be able to sleep in until 7, but that’s usually it.  I don’t mind, though.  The mornings are peaceful and generally quite.  Songs of crickets and birds slowly crescendo as the morning moves on.  During the business of the week I stockpile articles and blog posts that show up on my Google Reader account or through recommendations given by my Twitter friends.  Saturdays are days for me to sit with a cup of coffee and read through things I didn’t have time for during the week.  I really like that.  Waiting until Saturday also allows for a type of “time filter.”  On a Tuesday I might save an article thinking that I will really want to spend time with it, but by the time I get to it over the weekend it seems much less important.

I spent a little time this morning reading an article on The Jesus Manifesto blog.  Their blog is one of a handful of Christian blogs I still follow because their voice cries out against much of the marriage between the Kingdom of GOD and the Kingdom of man.  So many “Christian” blogs seem to be trying to evangelize Christianity though the American Dream.  That doesn’t sit too well with me, and The Jesus Manifesto people live in a way that challenges that.  Here’s some links to a 3 part series:
Part 1: “Come to me, all ye who labor for a living.”
Part 2: “Freely you have received, freely give.”
Part 3: “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Another exciting thing for my upcoming weekends will be cheese making.  Are you really surprise?  L and I are now participating in a form of food activism by drinking raw milk.  Raw milk you ask?  I’m working on a post to explain all of this a bit clearer but here’s the gist.  Milk that is bought in a grocery stores has all been pasteurized, which means that the milk is cooked for a period of time at about 160 F.  Like cooking any foods, nutrients are lost in the process.  A benefit to the pasteurization process is that it lasts longer because there is less living bacteria in the milk itself.  (Bacteria is not a bad word, here.  There are good bacteria and bad bacteria.  The goal is to have enough good bacteria to kill the bad.)  Food scientists have used Ultra-High Pasteurization to allow milk to last for months…on the counter.  That really creeps me out.  Because raw milk is not pasteurized it has a shelf-life of about a week.  Our lovely USDA has decided that raw milk is unsafe and therefore cant be sold.  Every state has a different law on raw milk ranging from straight-up illegal to acceptable to sell if the dairy has a permit.  In Colorado the law says that you can drink raw milk from a cow that you own.  So we now own part of a cow and are legally allowed to drink raw milk.  Now that we have a source of good, fresh milk I can start making cheeses.  A while back, when a few dear friends were up for a visit we made some ricotta cheese and then made homemade ravioli.  It was a lot of fun.  I’ll be stocking up on rennet and cheese cloths and molds so if you want to come over and make some cheese with me let me know.

It’s 8am now.  Time to make some pancakes.  But I’ll leave you with a question.  Is resting an easy thing for you?
peace.

This afternoon a big storm came through and along with it pea sized hail.  We weren’t home when it it came through, but from the looks of it it hailed for some time.  I lost my entire garden.  Tomatoes, eggplants, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, beans, bak choi, red cabbage, broccoli, broc rabb, orach, peas, spinach, and arugula.  Not to mention daises, lavender, verbena, lobelia, and a few other flowers.  Here’s some pictures of the damage:

hail damaged beanshail damaged dasieshail damaged tomatoeshail damaged red cabbagehail damaged pak choi

I’m really sad that all the work and effort I put into starting all the plants from see was destroyed in a few minutes of hail.  Some plants I wont be able to put back in the garden.  Peas, for instance wont grow fast enough to get a harvest from before it gets too hot for the plants to set fruit.  I don’t think I’ll be able to grow tomatoes from seed starting this late in the season.  I think I’ll be able to put everything else back in, but it was frustrating because I was really close to being able to harvest some things.  It’s sad I lost my garden, but I’m worried for some of my fellow farmers whose farms are right in the path of the storm.  I hope that they didn’t see this kind of damage.  It’s sickening to think that a 30 minutes storm could wipe out months of work.

Oh well, I guess tomorrow I’ll start cleaning things up and planting again.

Did you spend your summers playing “out back” in homemade costumes?  Did you make up games to play that involved combining sports equipment from multiple sports?  Did you write a script and act out your own version of Star Wars and record it on your parents 8mm camera?  If you answered yes to any of these, then you probably grew up without the internet.

Today’s great example comes from Paul Soupiset:

Thirty years ago this summer, a cinematic tour-de-force hit the big screen. The year was 1979 and the country’s science fiction psyche was sandwiched in the liminal space between the first and second Star Wars releases. America needed more. And we gave them Laser Wars.

In the back yard / backlot of our childhood home in San Antonio, my brother Mark and I grabbed my grandfather’s Bell & Howell Super8mm movie camera, wrote a script, cast neighborhood friends, created paper-plate flying saucers, and tin-foil constellations. We had just turned 10 years old, and we were ready for the fame and fortune a space movie would bring our way.

To get the full experience, go to his blog and watch the video.  To enhance the experience, it might be helpful to get a big glass of KoolAid and drink until you have a red mustache.  Enjoy.

Let me clarify that title a bit.  I’m not physically moving.  I’ve started another blog, so I’ll be moving over there.  But I’ll still be posting stuff here.  I’ll be posting stuff that has to do with food at the other blog.  Man, that was confusing.  I should have used a different title, huh?

If you’ve been around me much you should know that I’m really into food.  I like to grow, cook, and eat food.  I know that some of you don’t really care about any of those things, so I figured I would put together a blog specifically for those things.  So I did.  It’s called “Field and Table.”  Click the link, bookmark the new site, comment often, and whatever else you do with amazing blogs.  That last part might be a stretch, but you get the point.  Stop by and say “Hi.”

In an hour I begin my internship on a 3 acre organic farm.  I’m really excited about the opportunity.  I spent last summer as a landscaper, which I enjoyed (for the most part), but I was often wishing that I was pulling weeds from vegetable plants rather than lupines.  Don’t get me wrong, I think there is great beauty in an ornamental garden, but that isn’t why I’m studying horticulture.  I want to be apart of solutions to fixing our broken food system and economies.  I want to work with people who are growing real food for people who aren’t used to eating real food.  I want to help people see that their kitchen has more than just a freezer for frozen dinners, and a microwave for “cooking.”  I want to help people see that there are choices that they can make that are better for their families health, their communities health, as well as the earth’s health.  I’ve been trying to write more and more about all of this stuff for the past year, but have struggled to find the right words to use.  I want to be able to share my thoughts with reasons and statistics, rather than simply conviction and passion.  I think that is why I’ve struggled to write about these things before, and I’m going to make a change over the summer.  For my internship, I’ll need to be writing reports and speaking about my time on the farm, and through that I think I’ll be able to fine tune my thoughts.

Well, I got to go jump on my bike and head to the farm.
I really like being able to say that.
I hope you all are well. peace.

This morning I will start my career as a farmer… sort of.  This year I will be working with 8 other people for the Rocky Mountain Small Organic Farm Project.  The farm itself is 8 acres of certified organic land that is used by Colorado State University for different research and study projects to better understand the particular micro-climate of the inter-mountain west.  I will be involved with two aspects of the farm: the 3 acre CSU CSA, and researching effectiveness of 150 different variety trials.  Along with these two projects going on at the farm, there is also some research being done on organic hops growth and overwintering processes, perennial small fruit production, and green manure and living cover crops.  Here’s a link to the specialty crops page at CSU.  I’m really excited about having the opportunity to be a part of what the school is doing.

I’ll be working there as much as I can over the summer and through the end of the season in October, but I will be taking an Organic Chemistry class for 8 weeks throughout the summer so I wont be able to work full time.  I’m particularly excited about this because I think it will help me think about some of the routes I will be able to take when I graduate a 2 years.  I’ve struggled with the idea of studying Horticulture for a few reasons.  First, my interest is mainly in food crop production.  I don’t have an interest into running a greenhouse for a nursery, or want to do landscaping.  And second, I don’t see myself farming.  Sure, I’d be excited to work with someone for a few years on a farm, but I am most interested in cultivating connections with people and food.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to spend some “off-farm” time connecting with CSA members through newsletters, maybe a blog, and through face to face connections.  I’d love to be able to interact with the members by swapping recipes for the more unusual (re: not found in most supermarkets) vegetables.

I should probably get going.  My coffee is gone, and I should grab a little breakfast before I head out.
cheers.

I started this morning by reading this email I received from my friends, Karin and Linford of Over The Rhine.  I guess I should be clear, when I say, “my friends,” I mean people who I feel akin to.  I’ll warn you, this is a bit long, but I’ve read and reread through it and never has it felt tiresome.

Enjoy his words, I have.


April, 2009

Hello friends and extended family,

I know of a glass blower who gets up every morning in the dark to do his work. Before the world wakes up, before the phone starts ringing, in the sacred remains of the night when all is still, he gathers and begins to fuse his raw materials: the breath from his lungs, glowing flame, imagination, dogged hope.

I used to work from the other direction. I loved the feeling of still being up after the rest of the city (and world) had grown sleepy, the light of a lamp making my third story bedroom windows glow while I leaned over my desk and sailed towards something I couldn’t name.

Someone sent me this little excerpt awhile back, in a beautiful letter of encouragement I should add, the sort of letter that makes everything slow down, hold still:

Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?
(GK Chesterton)

I’d really be okay with this being my epitaph.

When I was younger I would often write myself short job descriptions. I was thinking out loud about what might be worth hanging a life on, a life I was willing to sign my name to:

-Create spaces where good things can happen.

-Give the world something beautiful, some gift of gratitude,
no matter how insignificant or small.

-Write love letters to the whole world.

-Build fires outdoors, and lift a glass and tell stories,
and listen, and laugh, laugh, laugh. (Karin says I’m still working
on this one. She thinks I still need to laugh more, especially at
her jokes, puns and witty asides.)

-Flip a breaker and plunge the farm into darkness so that the stars can be properly seen.

-Do not squander afflictions.

-Own the longing, the non-negotiable need to “praise the mutilated world.”

-Find the music.

I still crave the extravagant gesture, the woman spilling a year’s wages on the feet of Jesus, the rarest perfume, washing his feet and drying them with her hair, a gesture so sensual it left the other men in the room paralyzed with criticism, analysis, theoretical moral concern – for what – the poor? Or was it just misdirected outrage in light of the glaring poverty of their own imaginations?

(Some friends of mine were talking about this scene the other night. We got to imagining Mary with a pixie haircut, which made the drying more difficult. We were drinking wine and Rob had made something to eat late at night: take a cracker, put a thin slice of fresh pear on it, then some sautéed goat cheese from the skillet, and top it with walnuts drizzled with honey from the oven. At midnight?!)

Someone once described our music as a mash-up of spirituality, whimsy and sensuality.

Thank you, thank you, thank y
ou.

Music and art and writing: extravagant, essential, the act of spilling something, a cup running over…

The simultaneous cry of, You must change your life, and Welcome home.

I’ve been trying to write songs again, and I’ve been hitting a maze of dead ends. I want the songs to reveal something to me, teach me something. It’s slow going. I’m not sure where I’m going. Uncertainty abounds.

But the writing works on me little by little and begins to change me. That’s why I would recommend not putting off writing if it’s something you feel called to: if you put it off, then the writing can’t do the work that it needs to do to you.

Yes, I think there’s something there. If you don’t do the work, the work can’t change you. (No one expects to change overnight.)

My sister Grace recently sent me this quote from a slim little volume called Art and Fear:

Uncertainty is the essential, inevitable and all-pervasive companion to your desire to make art. And tolerance for uncertainty is the prerequisite to succeeding.

A blessing for the writers among us: May all your dead ends be beautiful.

When I was younger and I found myself sitting down in a new season of writing, I would put my pen down and close up the pica typewriter (the only letterpress printing machine I ever learned to operate all by myself, the=2
0bell of encouragement and mild alarm ringing at the end of every line, I can still hear it) and feel compelled to clean my rooms, put my world in order. It used to take 3-4 days.

Now it takes 3-4 months.

Our messes get bigger. And bigger.

So, I’ve been getting “caught up” with taxes and filing, putting things away, making lists, getting more than a few lagging projects out the door that are overdue (the first Over the Rhine songbook?!). And on and on.

Someone in our Santa Fe songwriting workshop once confessed, I’m good at a lot of things that will kill me. For those of us who write, there are always so many options that don’t involve the dilemma, the extravagance of the blank page. When we sit down to write, there’s never a guarantee that we’ll have anything to show for it that we can touch with our hands, or see with our own eyes. In fact, life is a lot cleaner and more manageable when I’m not writing.

Yes, I’ll just admit it. I’m a writer that all too often is more than happy to run from writing. But sooner or later I realize something is dying inside. And then I try to get back to work.

**

So talk about extravagant. Spring has been trying to come to the farm. The red maples have been budding. Their branches almost seem to glow at times as if strung with hundreds of delicate lanterns. The go
ldfinches are turning golden in front of our eyes. Why do they fade for the winter?

Are we getting older? Yes. We are bird watchers. (We’ll jump out of the rocking chair for a red-headed woodpecker.)

Karin is now a three dog Mama. We took in two strays last winter on a bitter cold night. The mama cattle dog soon got adopted to a 36 acre farm with horses, a heated kennel, a family with two dog-and-horse-loving-girls. They named her Ruby. Ruby landed on her feet and has been living the good life.

The puppy decided to stay and adopted Karin. She named him Porter.

Hey Porter! (Dammit, Porter!)

So we’ve got the Great Dane, the Weimaraner and the mixed up Cattle Dog pup. Saul the cat observes it all, walks upstairs and goes to sleep. Karin’ll probably post some pictures up soon somewhere.

Karin has been twittering.

I still need four pages.

We had too good of a time and made many new friends on Cayamo, our songwriting cruise of the Caribbean. So much great music. Yup, we better had write some good songs. I think every pore of my body was rum-soaked by the end. We needed all that sunshine. Snagged a few good stories too.

Our cabin on the ship had sliding glass doors and a little outdoor oceanside porch on the 7th level, and I would sit out there at 2am and watch the moonlight on the endless waves and think of all the people who had20crossed the ocean on a boat back in the day, off to start a new chapter. Talk about sacred, all those moonlit waves, the deep rhythm of it.

And we still think fondly of the amazing 20th Anniversary weekend we had last December with so many of you. We’ve got a few more 20th Anniversary shenanigans up our sleeves.

But we are going to be home more for the spring. Hopefully we won’t grow too fond of the hearth for our own good. Hopefully we will get our work done. Hopefully we will still make more than a little room for the occasional extravagant gesture.

Which brings me to Texas.

We’re going to pack up the five-piece band and our crew for a week and head for the Lone Star state at the end of the month for a change of scenery, some old songs, some brand new songs, some camaraderie, something surprising. In this new economy we need music and real conversation more than ever.

We do hope you will join us.

Over the Rhine IN CONCERT:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009, Private Show, Austin, TX
Thursday, April 30, Granada Theater, Dallas, TX
Friday, May 1, Warehouse Live Studio, Houston, TX*
Saturday, May 2, Texas Union Theatre, Austin, TX*
Sunday, May 3, Texas Union Theatre, Austin, TX* (No OtR songs repeated from previous night.)
*(w/Special Guest Lucy Wainwright Roche)

Pls note that we are playing Austin not one but two nights. When we have opportunity to play
a city two nights in a row in 2009, we will not be repeating any songs over the course of the two nights. So there will be two completely different shows. Hope to see you!

Oh yeah, one more, and one of our all time favorites:

Saturday, June 6, 2009, The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI

Check out OvertheRhine.com for more details.

Well, we’re glad we’ve found each other. Thanks for sticking around. Hope our paths cross soon. See you in Texas!

Peace like a river,

Linford (and Karin) of Over the Rhine

PS Pls pass this letter around freely to your friends and family. Chop it up and twitter it. Crumple it in your mind, strike an imaginary match and start a fire. Print it out, line the birdcage with it and let the white doves crap all night long. Spread it on the floor and train a puppy to squat and pee. Make a paper airplane out of it and toss it off the Golden Gate Bridge. Slip it between the pages of an old Southern Baptist hymnal, or into the yellow pages of a phone booth phone book if such a thing still exists. Maybe a writer will find it, God help her.

I spent an hour on Wednesday afternoon playing in the dirt with 24 first grade students. It was a lot of fun. A few weeks ago I was put in contact with with this first grade teacher because she was hoping to start using a classroom garden to help teach her classroom about plants and food. I’ve been really honored to help out. When I met up with the class yesterday the kids were all really excited to be able to plant a garden and watch things grow. The excitement was contagious. They were really excited to be able to “play in the dirt” and “grow watermelons!”

The class was split into 4 groups so that we would be able to manage the kids a bit easier. Each group rotated in order to be able to do a coloring activity, start some seeds in paper cups inside, clean up and turn soil in a bed, and plant strawberries, onions, and peas.  Over the next few weeks we will be planing some lettuce greens, spinach, carrots, and radishes.  Then before the kids go home for summer break we will plant out our warm season crops.  We still have some details to work our, as in how people will rotate through helping maintaining the beds through the summer, and how the harvests will be shared by the class, but those solutions will come.  Ideally, as the kids move into second grade the harvest will be used to teach about healthy eating.  I think it would be a really cool way for students to be excited about entering the second grade.

We worked with the kids for about an hour, which isn’t a lot of time, when you consider the time it takes to turn some soil, plant seeds, and shuffle kids around.  On top of the time constraints we had to manage kids with shovels digging in the same spot where other kids are grabbing at worms in the soil.  Fortunately, we were able to finish the day with all finger in tact.  This is a new undertaking for the teacher, so there is a lot that we need to figure into the curriculum, however, excitement is one thing that is not lacking.  Next Wednesday I’ll join the class agian for another hour of gardening fun, now we just need to figure out what to do in that hour.

Any ideas?