Our last installment of Dani's reflections on her time with us on the farm, which ended about a month ago.
Today was foggy and a bit colder than the others, which honestly I enjoyed. If you are not familiar with the Pacific Northwest, humidity is minimal and I’m perfectly happy working in this kind of weather. We returned to the plot Laurel and I had just harvested, cleaned and bunched the most amazing carrots I have ever seen, just a day prior. Laurel, Steve and I spent the morning building raised beds. We each had our own job: Steve divided each of the plants into its own 2” x 2” cube, while Laurel and I worked together in planting the spinach by marking the middle of each bed, measuring a 6” gap between each, and dug three rows of holes in each raised bed. Within a few hours, we had planted hundreds of spinach plants in the same place that the carrots had just occupied. This is a simple process. Although, there is a technique and, like almost everything on this farm, there are procedures in place for a reason, but just enough wiggle room is left to spare. They do this so that each person can have the ability to apply their preferred method that works best for them. Laurel and Steve are wonderful at demonstrating their expectations with great detail, followed by an explanation of why.
SCSA doesn’t do something because it is how people say it should be done, they use their own skills and knowledge to rationalize each decision. If one of them is unfamiliar or has minimal experience with something they are trying to accomplish, they will look to each other for guidance and asking for one another’s opinion. Each person has something to contribute and will work just as hard as the other to make sure they get it done, even if it entails doing something they would rather not be a part of. There is an undeniable comfort and trust they bestow in each other that is easily seen by their interactions with one another. They approach each day with a general outline consisting of tasks to accomplish; some are a group effort, while others are completed individually. When deciding on which task should be tackled first, the weather typically is the leading factor. Followed by necessary man-power. As I mentioned previously, they are continuously promoting the use your best judgement and go ahead and try it out to find your own way. One of my favorite take aways from working on the SCSA farm, was how often I would hear one of them say, “I’m just gonna try it and see what happens, why not?”
The last 3 weeks on the SCSA farm has reminded me it is okay for me to ask questions, continue to be curious, and remain passionate because there are many of us that still are. Not only has this experience been a breath of fresh air that I needed, I have been given life-long skills to positively enhance my own life, as well as many others. I am looking forward to incorporating all that I have learned in my upcoming profession as an Registered Dietitian (RD). It is hard to believe this is only the beginning of my internship! Can’t I just stay on the SCSA farm for the next 9 months? ---Dani