Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On the Way to Work

This summer, I took a job at Take Root Farm, a local CSA, after learning that they paid some of the employees with food shares. The Share Exchange spots were all taken, but I was offered employment of 10 to 15 hours a week from May through October. Employment = weeding, planting, harvesting, preparing veggies for the shares, putting down row covers, taking up row covers, hauling, digging, weighing, measuring. I figured it would be a good fitness program in addition to providing oodles of veggies and fruit.

It is and it does! Even the sheep have benefitted by getting pea vines, bean plants, sunflower heads, carrot tops, split carrots, and reject squash.

I love the drive to work. It's all on back roads, the opposite way of most of the traffic. There is just one stop sign on my way out, and it's only 6.5 miles each way.

My drive takes me past Lake Tapps - getting more and more built up every month. It's not my favorite part of the drive. The "favorite" parts start after I leave the arterial and turn onto the back farm roads.

I've watched the farm below transform from rough field to neatly manicured pasture. This barn is on my "would be really nice to have" list.

The farm is on this little lane which heads through the trees and up a short hill. It's my second favorite part of the road. It's so quiet, and I seldom even meet another car on this section.

Just up the hill and around the corner is my favorite part of the drive. Mt. Rainier dominates the skyline, and the road wanders past a dairy farm that still lets the cows graze in the fields.

Mt. Rainier is prominantly visible from Take Root Farm. "The Mountain" has been out many of my workdays this summer.

The first week in October, this was the scene as I arrived at work. Jen had decorated for fall with corn stalks, pumpkins, gourds and ...
... a little pointed organic humor. The link at the bottom of the sign is :
The more I hear about GM (Genetically Modified) foods, the scarier it is. Needless to say, I want to know as much about where my food comes from as possible.
Here's a little closer look at the poster and the 2 "scarecrows".
... in case you can't quite read "John's" lab coat:

And "gourdman's" tee is the leading photo in this blog entry. "Food grown in harmony with nature and each other." Take Root Farm is not only an organic farm, but sustainable, utilizing compost, open pollinated seeds, cover crops, organic fertilizers and old fashioned covers and picking to reduce insects.

Below are three fall photos of the farm. First, the tomatoes, finally with ripe and ripening tomatoes, not long before the first frost took them out. In front of the tomatoes are some of the flower beds - zinnias and statice.
Here are two of my coworkers, Julia and Randy, trimming leeks for the weekly shares. One of the dalia beds is in the foreground.

And here are some of the myriad of gourds from the "gourd tunnel". The winged gourds are especially fun!

There are only 2 more weeks of "summer share" at Take Root, and with them, only 2 more weeks of work for me. I'm sorry to be done, and at the same time, ready to move on.
- Franna


Donna said...

Wow- what a great job! And a terrific commute to boot! Great photos- thanks!

Kathy said...

What a neat post and pictures! There's something like that here although the farms involved are in Phoenix -2 hours away. I so wish we were in a more local agricultural area here. Even to be able to sell my grass-fed pastured lambs I have to drive 1 1/2 hours to Prescott to the nearest USDA inspected facility. At the price of gas it adds quite a bit to the cost/lb. of finished product. Bummer.
Kudos to you, Franna...for finding such a beneficial job. Will there be someplace similar near ERN?

Gone2theDawgs said...

I just love all the CSA farms there are here in WA! I try to only buy local and I know it is the healthiest for me.

I used to live in Bonney Lake, when I went to visit a friend in Buckley I couldn't believe how built up it had become! I can definitely understand people wanting to live here but at the same time it is so sad to see it get so crowded!

Michelle said...

I had no idea what was occupying part of your time this summer! I am strongly against "frankenfoods;" I think their true danger may stay undercover for a long time to come. I also think I get more of it than I will ever know - yuck.

P.S. Can't wait to pick up Franjean next week!

Dave said...

I have had a great time getting re-acquainted with cooking again this past summer. Franna seems to enjoy that too :-)

Tina T-P said...

What a beautiful drive to work - I have a view of Mt. Baker on mine - I never tire of it.

My sister (the Republican) tries and tries to convince me that there is nothing wrong with genetically modified foods - sorry, sis, I'm not buying it. All plants naturally modify themselves to fit with the enviornment of where they are, but I think what "the big boys" are doing is wrong... T.

Dave said...

I don't think that being in favor of genetic modification of food is just a D or an R issue. I think that many folks on both sides of the aisle are in the pockets of these big corporations that are trying to foist this crap off on us...

Franna said...

I hear there are several CSA's on Whidbey Island. We might even become part of one, though now I know how much work it is.
What's even scarier about the GM foods, is that after the initial generation, none of the subsequent generations have to be labeled as GM. We won't even be able to identify them by reading labels!

- Franna

Franna said...

Awwwww, Tuesday was my last day of "work" for this year. It was bittersweet. I'm ready to move on but will miss the physical work and people.

I went today to pick up my last box for the summer and it was odd coming in "normal" clothes and shoes.

Jen says she wants to thank all of us workers by having us over to her new house for a private cooking class and supper. What a great boss!

- Franna