Like many churchgoers, I spent Sunday morning on my knees contemplating things much bigger than me.
Unlike most churchgoers, though, I contemplated weeds. And farming in New England. And how dirty, yet content, the two of them make me.
There are hundreds and hundreds of small local farms like this one in Westborough Massachusetts, although you'd never know it if you do all your shopping in supermarkets. Don't all apples come from New Zealand, onions from Chile and tomatoes from Mexico?
And, yet, hidden in plain sight, there are farms like Heirloom Harvest, an organic farm that supplies my family almost all of our vegetables from June through October. This season, I've shown you what my weekly CSA pickups have included. This week, in keeping with the Secret Spaces theme, I thought I'd show you the farm itself.
The purpose of Sunday's visit was to finish my volunteer commitment for the season (all CSA share members are required to volunteer seven hours at the farm; work share members work one day a week on the farm for the entire season in exchange for a share). Upon arrival, Farmer John set me onto the basil patch and instructed me to weed.
Let's play "Find the Basil!"
I quickly realized that without chemicals to spray on those darned weeds, the only way to save the tender vegetables underneath is to get in there and rip out their weedier relations. You can almost hear the sighs of relief.
There's a lot of lip service given to saving family farms and yet, short of writing a grant for a zillion dollars, what the heck can one person do? Well, you can join a CSA, shop Farmers' Markets, buy local at the supermarkets (you'll have to look real hard, but it may be there), or call up a local organic farm and ask if they'd like some help weeding. Chances are, the answer will be an unequivocal, "Yes!"