Sunday, July 06, 2003

Farm Share

Peas, shell peas. That’s what the Haitian members of our farm program asked for the farmer, Chris, to plant. So along side the sugar snaps he planted English or shell peas. We agreed that when they ripened we would come pick them. Today was our day.

The day has been hot and it was a relief to get out into what counts for the country – the suburbs. Chris had planted one 100 foot row, both sides, the peas climbing up a six foot trellis. The picking was easy, taste a few pods to figure out the right size, what seemed ripe. A five gallon pail by our sides we picked 40 pounds of English and 20 pounds of sugar snap in about one and a half hours.

The sun was slanting through the pea trellises and the shell peas are especially translucent, the light glowing green through the shell and around the darker seed inside. The lengthening shade of sunset cooled us and accompanied our progress through the rows.

On our tour of the farm we saw our future dinners – newly planted winter squash, this week’s parsley, next week’s basil, green beans flowering, a stocky variety of eating corn tasseling, the watermelons that would benefit from a couple inches of rain. Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots, dill … to be shared among us.

Shared if the rain continues and the heat isn’t too extreme. Shared if there are enough hands to pick the harvest. There really is no existence that can be called independence, everything is dependent on some condition or other, some contingency or four. Interdependence is such a cumbersome term. Maybe it is simply community, in all its infinite detail, chaos and blessings. Maybe that is all it is.

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