My favorite part about walking around Blue Heron Farm is the houses. I see the way people have established roots, some deeper than others. There is a little twelve by twelve cabin inhabited by a man who spent only $1000 to build it. The house has all the basic needs, shelter, a stove, a toilet, a shower, and a bed. He requires so little, and a lot of those needs are rough definitions: A toilet,meaning a hole in the ground, a shower, meaning a hose hanging on the back of the house, and a bed, meaning a mattress sitting on a wooden crate.
For the past few weeks, Taylor and I have been living and working on Blue Heron Farm as Wwoofers. For the month of December, we are house sitting for our neighbors, who are away visiting family. Built by an old farmer, the house is cute and cozy, although, quirky and simple, in lack of traditional comforts. Fortunately, Taylor and I are used to living without things like plumbing and heat.
Meredith, owner of Granite Springs Farm, took a mesh bag full of spinach out of the washer machine. It’s a common practice among the local farms, to wash vegetables in a bathtub and put them on spin cycle in the washer.
Spinach at Granite Springs grows both outside and in the hoop house. It was the first time I had ever seen spinach before sitting in bags in a grocery store. Growing up, it just appeared in my fridge, and my whole life I never wondered where it came from or what it looked like before that point. Working on a farm, I find myself infantile. My questions of, what’s this? This is broccoli? These are brussel sprouts? THIS is SPINACH?!
Everyone knows the saying “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” which has been repeated throughout history by Confucius, MLK Jr., Jesus, among others. Sure, I’ve always believed it to be true, but never have I truly understood it until now. Growing up, my family and I kept to ourselves; we were good neighbors by respecting property boundaries and giving no reason for complaints. In college in Pittsburgh, the residents in my apartment were like ghosts.We’d hear muffled conversations through the walls and heavy bass music on weekends, but we didn’t hang out. Nothing but head nods in the hallway.