May 19, 2008

Settling In

As I write this entry I am laying in the loft of my cabin. I’m officially living at the farm! The day began snaking up the valleys between Winona, where I stayed overnight last night, and the farm. I didn’t know if my car’s motor could take the battle, given that all of my stuff from my dorm room was in the car. My car made it to the farm ok, and Jack got me started in settling in. But before I settled in, Evan and Justin, (the other college-student workers) along with Jack and I – pushed two flatbeds full of butternut squash seedlings out of a barn and into the sunlight- my first official task of ‘intensive labor’ of the summer.

The cabin was left in very good shape from the previous stays. Nothing more than a few swipes on the counters, shelves, and floor was required . I was most excited to take the plastic off the windows to let the direct sunlight in and bring the greenery into view. After multiple loads back and forth to the Buick, my car was finally relieved of its previous weight.

Soon enough my stomach reminded me I hadn’t eaten for a while so I drove to Rushford, and got a few groceries. Upon returning to the farm, and after placing an order of (shockingly, to me) nearly $1,000 of seed, we got started on some clean-up around the shop and office, which was a great idea because it sounds like in a few weeks we won’t necessarily have time for this. The best part about the office is the ‘Featherstone Museum’ , which is a two-shelved corner that has memorabilia from previous memories on the farm. (Including choice-memorabilia left from a band member from a music-festival near the farm.) After clean-up Jack topped off my cabin with electricity, water, and heat. The day on the farm was done and meeting the community members followed. The community meeting was held at the Common House and the members are extremely warm. As I was back at the cabin unpacking, I stopped Tihira (a Zephyr Valley community member) as she was walking back to her house. She is in charge of the community meal tomorrow (a once-a-week event in which members take turns cooking for everybody). I told her I had nothing to do since my unpacking was near completion, so we decided it would be ok if I helped make her quiche for tomorrow, which also had asparagus from the farm in it. As we were cracking eggs and cutting asparagus, Charissa – another community member stopped by, and we had a glass of wine while we chit-chatted and cooked. It was a great welcoming note on the farm. As Charissa left she told me, “You’re that 20-year-old we’ve never had.” They remind me of my big sisters.

Speaking of food, although I have been counting down the days until I was able to have my own kitchen – I have not cooked yet. That’s partially because I’m not set up with a fridge quite yet. This is what life without refrigeration means to my meals – a bag of trail mix and a bagel with Nutella and cinnamon.

At the end of the day, this was a great start to a great summer.

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