Yesterday I volunteered at a rooftop farm called Higher Ground Farm. It’s run by two people (a very nice couple), and they started planting tomatoes, herbs, and greens this past July.
Even though I don’t know much about gardening, I enjoy volunteering for gardening projects because it means being outside and getting a little dirty. This was only my second time working with food rather than flowers, and I loved it. The group of volunteers was a rag-tag bunch: a few college students and a few people in their 30s and 40s. Everyone was friendly and eager to get their hands dirty.
We harvested the last of the tomatoes: heirloom, roma, plum, and cherry. Then we sorted them into nice ones that would be sold to local restaurants, cosmetically challenged ones that would be donated to local food pantries, and icky ones that would be composted.
Next I helped dig out parsley and cilantro. That parsley was hard work! It has an insane root system. I personally love cilantro, so I was all too happy to be surrounded by its enticing smell. I learned that coriander comes from the cilantro plant when one of the owners had us try the tiny green seeds.
Things got really dirty when we mixed fresh compost with dirt and planted some garlic. No gardening gloves, folks! Just our hands working with the compost and dirt.
All in all, it was a satisfying and fun few hours, and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day weather-wise. I look forward to volunteering again in the spring.
And here is the song that played in my head as I worked: