As the morning sun was coming into view Saturday morning I was preparing for our first workshop of this season here on the farm. It takes a bit to get back into the flow of hosting these workshops and having people here on the farm especially during our busy spring planting time, and especially during a time when we are so far behind in our planting…thanks to our free-range chicken digging everything we planted up. Over the course of the last couple of weeks I have been interviewing new potential farm crew employees for the season. This is a very important process for those that work here on the farm are truly the face of our farm and we want only folks that have the kind of love of organic farming, people and the relationship between them both that Mark and I have. It is a hard, hot and can be a tedious job at times. Weeding, planting and watering can take a toll on anyone. The market days are fun and the events and workshops are the cream of the job, but there is another end to farm that is not for the faint of heart. Mark and I split our crews into 2 his and mine (see marriage & farming post) with a couple of crew members working part time each during the height of the season so with so much to do here on the farm and so little hands to do it we work hard and we have to be very picky about who those folks may be. I had spent all last week running 3 person crews all new to the farm and all trying out for the job. After I hope next week I should have a fairly good idea who my 2010 farm crew will consist of.
Now back to the workshop; We had about 25 folks sign up for the organic gardening workshop. Most of which are just beginning their gardens and want to learn more about how to grow their homegrown food without the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides. There was a good mix of folks in the class all eager to start growing.
Most of the group were all new to the farm…only a couple have actually been to the farm during the season. Many were local some came as far as Louisville Ky. I was trying to get my head around around what it is that I myself would need to take away from the workshop if I was just starting out planting my first garden with little or now access to my own compost, or good topsoil and amends. Mark had spent all evening Friday repeatedly bashing me for not having any help scheduled for the workshop…he, I know thinking he was going to have to be my assist during the class…I kept telling him as I was roasting red bell peppers and chopping fresh basil and garlic preping the lunch menu for tomorrow workshop that I had asked everyone of the new crew if they could work on Saturday but they had other things scheduled already and with just coming into the training faze I didn’t want to push it. ” I am fine” I kept reassuring him. I have it taking care of …you don’t need to worry. Mika (farm crew) and I had cleaned the farmhouse kitchen from top to bottom on Friday daring both Lucca my seven year old, her brood of 3 young boys that were playing with Lucca on the huge dirt pile here on the farm no less and the big boys as in Mark and his farm crew to step one foot into house with muddy boots after mopping what seems like a football field of floors twice. You have to make lunch for 25 people …do a 4 hour long workshop on organics and your fine! Mark said cutting me those…yea right eyes of his. Yep..I said…you married up babe, get use to it! Of course now at 5am Saturday morning I am thinking holy cow… I need some help. My mother, my sisters and myself all fall under the “Gone with the wind” attitude of Scarett O’Hara…”I will think about it tomorrow”. Today the sun is shining and whatever happens it’s going to all work out and be a wonderful day:) my side of the family just don’t spend a great deal
of time worrying. We are the get it done type…not the oh…I can’t or I don’t have or the it’s too much type. We are the seat of our pants, jump right in the deep end type…good, bad…not the sharpest tool in the shed attitudes…but we are there full force. Things tend to find their way of working themselves out…worrying…that never helps anyone but the drug companies. I was in the middle of checking my list of topics for the class as the sun broke through the dawn mist. It was going to a lovely day here on the farm for the workshop. The menu for lunch was written on the chalkboard along with the days agenda. For lunch I had prepared a tortellini spinach and tomato salad to be served along side of the smoked cheese, pesto and roasted red pepper panini’s…these are like a grilled sandwich, warm and delicious. The workshop would start around 10am so I decided at the last minute to throw some oatmeal raisin cookie dough (ready made) into the oven to kick start the morning with coffee and water as beverages during the hello and welcome speech that was at the top of my notes I had scribbled the night before. As the attendees began to arrive and get signed in things began to settle in…riding a bike I thought…it was a familiar feeling having my farmhouse kitchen full of people and even old farmer Mark fell into a broad face grin and handshakes. We are a people farm here at Madison Creek Farms, sharing the love of nature, good food and friends.
Having folks here sharing that with us is what makes this place so special and thriving.
Amending the beds and diggin’ in!
We would like to thank all of our workshop participates. Now get growing:)