Monday, September 29, 2008

…and on his farm he had some CHEN, Ee i ee i o



Before last week, when I heard the phrases “topping off” and “transplanting” the first two things that came to mind were beer and surgery – hopefully never uttered in the same sentence. I certainly didn’t think about brussel sprouts and spinach plants, but for better or worse, I do now.


With the help of Boston Cares, an organization that works with private companies to engage employees in community service, CHEN teamed up with Waltham Fields Community Farm to volunteer our services.


Set in our very own work-community – unbeknownst to us corporate dwellers – Waltham Community Farms Outreach promotes local agriculture through growing and distribution practices that are socially, ecologically, and economically sustainable.


Swapping laptops and pumps for pruning sheers and gardening gloves, we forged ahead into unfamiliar territory. Thanks to our patient and kind farmhand, Jonathan, who put up with our endless questions/comments, including our favorite quote of the day, “You mean we just take the tops off the brussel sprouts and throw them on the floor?!,” we learned the reasons behind the tasks we were assigned to complete as well as how fruitful our efforts would be to the families receiving the food.


Note: In case you’re curious, brussel sprouts need to be topped off so they will grow width wise allowing the nutrients provided by the sun to be evenly distributed, and the spinach plants we “transplanted” will now grow into full size plants (hopefully).


All in all it was a successful day and I know I speak for everyone who participated when I say that we’d happily volunteer again… once the weather warms up a bit!

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