Sometimes, when a rain shower arrives unexpectedly or a cool May wind blows the gardeners into the barn, there is a chance to speak to the students or workshop participants about what they would like to grow. It is a way to pass the time and make a connection with the folks visiting and investing their time in the garden. Very often, on a field trip tour, students are given lots of information or at an after school program, there is a greater desire to dig for worms, seek a nearby swing or just pinch and nibble spinach that happily overwintered.
I am however, drawn to asking folks about what it is they would like to grow. In asking them, I am encouraging them to grow excited about food, flowers, fruit and herbs. If kids, reluctant to green things on their plate, become involved in the growing, then I hope they will enjoy eating the product as well. It is no guarantee, but a hope for good food.
The growing process starts with throwing a banana peel into the compost bin at a Scituate town race, which benefits the public schools. The process continues when kids add the finished compost from a worm bin into the garden bed with carrot and salad seeds. And on it goes with pulling out some weeds, watering and scratching the soil. Gardening and growing takes time.
2nd graders read about the carrot seed and the boy who wonders if it will ever come up. Some sit in the cafeteria staring at warm chicken nuggets wondering if a local, organic taco Tuesday is at all possible. (It is with black turtle beans, corn for tortillas, cilantro and tomato for salsa and lettuce on top). Many things are possible in this seasonal climate. Root crops can be stored. Tomatoes can be canned. Herbs can be dried. Pumpkins can be saved.
This weekend, the farmers at Holly Hill are opening the barn doors for the season (until December) and featuring greens and produce grown on our Farm and by others with the same intention of healthy food.
Busy, hard working day jobbers are spending their weekends baking, mainly staying local for their ingredients. Coffee baristas in Cohasset are sourcing New England roasters for their beans to grind, drip and brew.
And the plant sale with a great many variety of plants will be available for the next two weekends at the Farm, where people come and go, seeking to grow and answering farm teacher questions with possibility.
There is no promise of an end to gun violence, but a plan to keep protesting and asking for some control. And we have the control to raise tomato, pumpkin and cucumber seedlings. But when someone asked for the farmers here to grow bananas, all I could say was, yes, we have no bananas, and even though the planet is warming, our New England weather is better for raspberries, garlic, peas and parsnips. Thanks for asking and engaging.