Saturday, October 13, 2007

sick on saturday

I've hit a wall. Friday was a little rough because the friend who was supposed to help me harvest the last delicate vegetables in the early morning didn't show up, so I had to really kick it into gear; even so, I was 45 minutes late with the delivery to the SF restaurant, Spruce. The executive chef (and part owner of the farm), Mark Sullivan, had been pretty adamant when the restaurant opened two months ago that the produce needed to be there no later than 10:30 a.m. so far, it hasn't seemed to really matter, but I feel a little stressed about trying to get it into him by then. It's quite a push: in order to get it to Spruce by 10:30, I have to leave the farm by 8:30 or so, go to the restaurant in Woodside, The Village Pub, and have all the produce unloaded by 9:30. The drive from there is about 50 minutes, so if I leave the Pub on time, it's cool. But getting out of the farm on time is difficult. It doesn't get light enough to harvest until about 7 a.m., and there are a few things that really do better if they're harvested the day of -- lettuce, dandelion greens, edible flowers. A last look around for any zukes and cukes that may have sized up. If push came to shove, I could just do lettuce and flowers, although flowers aren't usually asked for anyway. But the Pub happened to want them for this event on Sunday that they're doing, and it was just bad timing, given that my volunteer never showed. It was an extra-big harvest, so I had to cut about 7 cases of lettuce, a case of broccoli rabe, a pound of edible flowers, and more zukes and cukes. then I had to go back and weigh those out, record them, load them in the van, change out of my dirty clothes, which were totally mud-stained due to the rain. It was kind of miserable; I was stressed, pissed off about not having help, and then it rained most of the morning.

Tomorrow's the event -- "An Artful Harvest," which is a fundraising event for the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, next door to the farm. The program was founded by Carl Djerassi, whose son Dale owns the land that the farm is on. So the event is put on by the program at the site where most of the artists have their studios, The Village Pub cooks the food, and I grow/harvest/deliver that food. Tomorrow there will be a group of donors coming for a tour of the farm. It's a little wet out there, due to Friday's rains, but it's not as bad as I feared. The farm is kind of junky-looking, however, and I need to spend time cleaning it up, as well as cleaning the barn where I live.

It's a nice event, but I'm wiped, and I'm not looking forward to having to work most of the morning and then be social on top of that for several hours. One of the nice parts about the event is that I get some recognition for my work, and that I actually see people eating what I grow. One of the tough things for me about this job is how disconnected I feel from the people that cook and eat the food I grow. My contact is limited to brief visits to the restaurants to drop off produce, pick up produce boxes and kitchen waste (which I use as compost), and the very occasional meeting with the farm owners. It's not very gratifying. But it is what it is.

OK, nothing super-special to report, really. Just wanted to post something.



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