Places to Go

Farm to Table…

One of my daughter’s favourite games to play is “Mama, tell me all the jobs you’ve had.” This is only fun (and funny) because it really is a very long list.  I have been many things for many reasons (balloon artist, event planner, barista, caterer, cosmetician, chamber maid, pastry chef, etc…) but it is the job I fell into almost by accident that has become so much more than work and pay.

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I found myself (through complicated circumstances that will someday require their own post to clarify) working in an urban catholic school with a group of people so talented and dedicated to learning and growing that I was unable to imagine doing anything else.  Twenty years later, although I now work in a different school, I am still inspired by and in awe of the work I get to do and the people I get to do it with every single day.

And that brings me to the farm.

Every life has it’s moments of flux. (This is something I learned in a particularly poignant episode of Facts of Life.  Thanks Natalie.)  The great joy of the work I do is that in those moments of pause, on the brink of change or in the wake of it, there are amazing people to inspire and carry me through to somewhere that I am unable (or occasionally unwilling) to get to on my own…

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This moment of change in my world was sponsored by a friend/co-worker who brings such a storm of enthusiasm and positivity with her that there is no way to ignore it or “sit this one out”: to start the school year off this fall, she wanted us to work on a farm.  And so we did.

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All forty of us traipsed out in the early morning, wearing boots and hats and gloves, ready to work but not really knowing what kind of work we would do.

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We headed out into the fields, past the crates of vegetables and vintage farm equipment, to see what use we could be on a farm, doing a very different job from the one we do on regular days…

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“Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”

Henry David Thoreau

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What we found in the fields, besides weeds and dirt and bugs, next to the zucchini and pumpkins and assorted squash, was each other.  Forty hot, sweaty friends working together for the sake of kindness, motivated by the joy in each other, and inspired to look around at the world we some days take for granted as the storm of life swirls around us…20141027-120844.jpg

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“Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”

Henry David Thoreau

In all the different jobs I’ve done, and with all the different rhythms that have driven the pattern of my daily life, I have never been able to work a day like the one we spent on the farm.  For the forty of us, it was the chance to work according to a slower sort of beat, and to adjust our internal clocks to measure according to nature and not the rapid fire of events that rushes by in busier moments.

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All around us is a beautiful world, and in it with us are people just like us, learning about, working towards and hoping for a future we will be proud to leave for our own children…

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

Henry David Thoreau

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One thought on “Farm to Table…

  1. Pingback: Crescent Beach… | martinistyle

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