my final farm day: by J


Farm School this Saturday, began with a rich hued sunrise and an early rainbow.

We walked the small acreage, surveying and readying to harvest the labours of our 5 months.

Then, it poured rain, the sky a relentless oppressive grey.

We headed to and uncertainly stayed perched under the tiny cover, anticipating the rain to stop or at least ease.

A few, brave or with better rain preparedness determinedly started picking peppers, beans and eggplants.

Eventually the rain eased, and we skittered out. I picked purple beans from small bushes, so packed with beans it seemed like a neat trick. Squatting tightly in rows of bean bushes, my quads burning, my hands neatly snipping off beans, each bush taking longer than I would have imagined to remove each vibrant bean. If you’re too rough you’ll uproot a small plant, too delicate and gentle and you’ll spend much longer than is right or reasonable.

The rain started up again, heavier than before, so we found plastic bags and made long rain tunics, perfect for us if not horrible for the environment.

We stayed harvesting, until we were wet, chilled, and satisfied with the piles of harvested vegetables.

After sorting and boxing, and filling containers for ourselves, we heard the lovely and unnerving news.

Sammy, the owner of Bi-Rite, who was making us a lunch that was to be served at the farm, would instead be having us in his Sonoma home.

To be clear, all nervousness came from the realization that we were all certainly wet, some certainly dirty, and for me, my unwise choice of moccasins were nothing if not disgusting.

We drove over a caravan of us.

At his home, we tidied ourselves on the porch, entered, welcomingly warm, with the smell of good food.

Sammy and Anne, his wife, were gracious and friendly.

A plastic cup of rosé in my hand, barefoot I settled onto a bench, and watched as the food was made ready.

We were invited all around, to the beauty of heaping dishes filled with vegetarian food prepared by his family, from the harvest of our season. Our delicata squash with delicate butter lettuce, romano beans strewn with velvety peppers, new potatoes tossed with pesto made from basil grown in the yard, roasted beets with their greens and goats cheese. Accompanied by fresh bread and finished with still warm chocolate chip cookies.

The truest beauty was not simply in the deliciousness of the food, but in my connection to it, in the welcomeness with which it was made and served, in the lingering earth on my skin and clothes.

A day made perfect in the way that only a heavy rain endured can.

I still feel the sweet spot left in my heart.

xo J




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