By: Madison Rios, junior, Community, Environment, and Development
It’s been a thrilling and tiring three weeks on the student farm. Early mornings, long days and plenty of hard work to be done, each shift at the farm is rewarding. There are many things I love about being on the student farm: hearing the birds’ songs, watching them fret around, overlooking a freshly prepped bed, and breathing in dewy morning air. Yet, harvesting is an experience I am particularly fond of. The season is still quite early, so much of the crop isn’t ready for picking. Thankfully, the interns and I have been able to harvest from the high tunnel and the greenhouse. In the high tunnel there is a bounty of spinach. Travel to the greenhouses on campus, and you’ll find tomatoes, eggplant, and basil, just to name a few. Harvesting produce is exciting.
Now, how can spending time awkwardly crouching in the dirt or tangled in vines be enjoyable? Well, for me, it is humbling to understand how much effort goes into bringing food to the table. The process of cutting rows of spinach, washing, drying and weighing is a tedious task. However, the job gets done nonetheless and always pays off. The real ‘fun’ aspect of harvesting is thinking about the possibilities all of the produce has. The green tomatoes instantly inspire a southern fried green tomato dish. Picking the best of the basil leaves reminds me of garlic-y pasta with a simple tomato sauce. The chives and spinach are perfect ingredients for my beloved breakfast omelette. In my eyes, harvesting is the final step to the main event: cooking and eating. As summer rolls on, the plants will grow like wildfire, and we will be ready to harvest the delicious ingredients for brunches and dinners all around town.