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A helping hand. Or six

With all the garlic in the ground(nearly 200 hundred pounds) and Jen planting all of the tulips yesterday(about 800).  It is safe to say that we have all the bulbs in the ground and for the most part all the major plantings of 2022 are done.  Saying that it was easy may be a bit of a misstatement, seeing as farm work is always physical labor.  We would be hard pressed however, to say that it didn’t go smooth and with barely a hiccup.  Yes, there was the tractor stalling while moving leaves, an easy fix when you realize you just have to really tighten the negative cable on the battery(yet again).  There was also the not so bright idea of planting corn into landscape fabric and the epic afternoon of undoing that mess.  But the actual prep, planting and mulching of the garlic went off without a hitch.

Speaking of smooth the first “official” Star Light Gardens volunteer day was just that. The plan was to plant the remainder of the garlic in one of the high tunnels. We assumed it to be enough work for the day and that being covered(for now) we could wait to mulch them another time. We had hoped to start casually around 10 however, with the early arrival of our longest running and most enthusiastic volunteer, the pace of the day had been set. By the time Joel returned from uncovering and playing with the sheep at SLGNW (aka Middlefield). James and Jen were already diligently breaking apart the bulbs. With the triple J now in effect we began digging holes as some continued breaking up the bulbs. Before long David arrived to pick up the slack that coffee and snack breaks have a habit of creating. Nearly back on schedule, we were pleased by the sight of our second volunteer of the day arriving. Conversation and stories filled the air, as we moved quickly, filled with the joy of company. Many hands make light work, while working with good colleagues makes for an excellent atmosphere. An atmosphere made all the more pleasant when planting in a high tunnel on a sunny December day. Before we knew it nearly all the garlic was in the ground. Far ahead of schedule and still with the pending arrival of our last volunteer. Although the planting had been completed, there was still the need to mulch with leaves. Yes, we planned to save that for another day, but with the time and the bodies it was an easy decision to finish the job. So the stage was set, the tractor was started and as if planned that way our final volunteer arrived on scene. Jen finished up packing the Friday orders just as Joel began scooping leaves with the tractor bucket. She quickly joined the others and between the six of us the high tunnel was mulched with leaves in no time at all. With everyone in high spirits and still more light to the day we expanded our efforts to the wood pile which David and Joel had so diligently split(some 6 months ago) yet, neglected to stack in the shed. It’s amazing the power that community and food can have. We were reminded of it on this day and are so grateful to all those who help to make up this good food movement we are all a part of. Especially to our great volunteers on the 1st annual Star Light Gardens garlic planting and wood stacking volunteer day.

Thanks James, Sue, and Alex for lending a hand!! 

So that was our Friday, very pleasant as they go. Still a stormy Saturday loomed on the horizon. Sure Joel did have to awake around 5am to pack the coolers and load the truck. It was David and Jen who had to bear the brunt of the storm. Of course they would get to experience yet another example of the community that is this good food thing. Despite the weather customers showed up to the market in full force helping to remind all those wet and tired farmers and vendors just why they do what they do. And for that we have to extend our gratitude. You make what we do possible, providing hope and light in the dark and dreary days.

Have a great week

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