Sunday, January 8, 2012

Los Endos - Pt. 2

"And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make."

Those who engage in local, sustainable, and organic farming are not, to borrow from Frank Zappa, in it for the money. This point is being restated in the context of an 'event' at Z Food Farm back on Labor Day. Labor Day was started as a day that 'celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers'. During the farm season, farmers labor on a daily basis and there is no time off. And too often there is more labor to be done than time and paid employees can get done; at times farming can be 'physically and personally unsustainable'. That's where volunteers come in. In the spirit of volunteerism something called a Crop Mob has taken root in various states. For a full description of this movement is go to

To quote from the article for this post, a "Crop Mob is a word-of-mouth (and Web) event in which landless farmers and the agricurious descend on a farm for an afternoon..." The volunteers assist the farmer in whatever tasks and chores need to be done on that particular day.

There were a few rows that had been planted with various berries, rhubarb, hops, and asparagus that got lost in the weeds. Despite David's good intentions this area remained under weeds and there was little anticipation that David with Greg and Oscar was going to get around to cleaning out this area. Well, Mary Jo, a friend and volunteer to David, upon hearing about David's needs, and about Crop Mobs, took the lead and helped to organize the first ever Z Food Farm Crop Mob. That the event took place on Labor Day, a supposed day of rest for workers, is a testament to the commitment of the people who volunteered their time. Weeding is not glamorous work, but it is essential; especially since organic farms are not allowed to use chemicals to kill weeds. So, great thanks and much appreciation to Hannah, Richie, Matt, and Piers. Their efforts were of great value as they helped to save most of what had been planted but had gotten overwhelmed by weeds. Without their efforts it is quite possible that all the plants would have been lost.

Why did Hannah, Richie, Matt, and Piers, why do others, volunteer their time in this manner? I can only guess that it is because they, as David and most others who farm in a local and sustainable manner, have a passion for what they do, a compassion for the land that provides some of their sustenance, and a love for the world in which they live.

Below are a few pictures commemorating the day.

On the left you can get a sense of the extent of the weeds. On right center you can see the results of the weeding.

This is what first year asparagus looks like. It takes three years for asparagus to reach the stage at which it can be productively harvested.

Here's David trying to hide behind a weed,

The next three pictures show the 'mob' weeding away. A strong back is a requisite of farming.

Peace, good health, and hopefulness to one and all.

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