It was just Frith Farm in Beverley for me this week. Getting over to Nafferton is too challenging with summer holidays unless I’m very organized with the kids’ activities. It was a quiet morning on Wednesday, only one other volunteer working alongside me, a woman I’d never met before. She is a yoga teacher. I do meet all the right people at these farms, with interests similar to mine.
Ben had us harvesting onions all along a very long bed. It was like a treasure hunt – we could barely see anything among the grasses, simply because many of the green tops were getting thinner and the onions weren’t tremendously big. The ground had been very wet all Spring, so the onions got planted a good five weeks later than ideal. But the more we searched, the more we found. Each little onion seemed small, but as we kept pulling and adding, the barrow slowly filled. How satisfying to see a nice large pile all together.
It was a good metaphor for me about how all the little things we do over and over do contribute to a much larger whole. My Wood and Metal wanted to ask – what more little things could I be doing every day to achieve my goals and desires? – they might not seem important enough to do on their own, but if done consistently, something significant can result. And, what little things am I doing every day that perhaps aren’t so beneficial that could be adding up to a really less-than-desirable outcome? Bears thinking about. I like how time gardening reflects human patterns.
And then, because the farm is not in sunny southern Spain, we could not leave the onions out but instead needed to put them in the covered hoop house to dry. The space was a little crowded for them but we arranged the bulbs in as much of a single-layer as possible. It felt like we’d just plucked them from one field only to create a new one –
The afternoon was spent very differently. The yoga teacher left; two other volunteers and I, plus the two farmers Ben and Matt set to work moving a large pile of woodchips. We shoveled them in to wheelbarrows which we then wheeled over to fill the trenches between the raised salad beds. I’d had enough after a dozen or so of these trips – still getting over my summer cold and I didn’t feel so energetic. Plus it was quarter to three and I had a date with the plum tree.
I walked pretty slowly and spent likely an hour picking up the windfalls. What a windy morning it had been – plums were everywhere!
I only picked the good ones, of course. Two types of red and two of yellow. These were the smallest, but the yummiest. I do hope I manage to process them all – I carted a good twenty or more pounds of them home. Wish me luck. And many thanks to these beautiful and bountiful plum trees.