Trying to Catch Up

Hey Everyone,

Yeah, so I haven’t really been posting as much as I should and I apologize for that. My computer is out of commission and will be for a while. Lately, it feels like I’ve constantly been trying to catch up, but its not a bad thing. We’ve been getting TONS of produce donations, and Melanie and I are always rushing to keep with the supply and make sure nothing goes bad. We recently received 3 flats of zucchini that has to be processed, and we’ve come up with a lot of creative ways to use it. We’ve been putting it in soups, handing it out in the LIU bags, baking it into delicious, sweet bread and even trying it in pizza crust! It’s been a challenge, but we’re getting the hang of it and it feels great to give people healthy, fresh produce from local gardens/farms.

Monday was interesting, as I went on the Monday route for the delivery of the LIU bags (bags of food that we prepare for migrant families) for the first time. Luckily one of the local volunteers, Freddy, was a long to help me find my way. But we still ran into trouble and could not find many of the houses due to confusing labeling on the address sheet. I ended up communicating in Spanish with some curious people from nearby houses, and we found our way.

On Tuesday, Melanie and I spent hours in our garden at the senior center. We planted tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and a variety of herbs. The tough part was watering these newly planted babies. They need a lot of care during the early stages of their adjustment to being transplanted, and this care was made all the more challenging by the fact that we had to haul out water a gallon or two at a time from the kitchen in the senior center. We don’t have access to a hose, so watering takes about an hour! In the end, we were pretty satisfied with out work – the whole garden is weeded, watered, and supplemented by a fresh layer of topsoil (the original soil is pretty bad). The seniors take a lot of interest in our work – they were also delighted to see the first cucumber from the garden last week! Soon, we will be able to harvest summer squash, peppers, more cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes.

Wednesday was as hectic as usual, as we prepared about 100 meals. But with 3 volunteers we finished all the food with a little time to spare. After all of the usual meals had been prepared, Melanie and I whipped up some homemade hummus for a “backyard gardening” class at Farmhouse. During the class, we helped instruct local families in the food gap (not eligible for food stamps, but not able to get enough healthy food) on how to grow in large containers in their yards. They got tips on growing tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce! We talked a lot about composting as well, so that families can find ways to make their own plant fertilizer from scraps of food that would otherwise be thrown away. Once again, I got to practice my spanish again – I learned that “sembrar” means “to plant”, and I managed a clumsy introductory question in the past tense.

Today, Melanie and I completed our usual hour-long watering adventure. We hobbled in and out of the senior center, trying not to slop the precious water all down our fronts. To maximize our carrying capacity, we each toted a watering can and a pitcher per trip. The seniors seemed both mildly interested and slightly dismayed by our numerous trips in an out of our home. One lady, Katherine, often visits to comment on the state of the garden (and especially her plants). She seems sad that she can’t be of more help, but we always enjoy her company. On Tuesday she introduced us to her cat, Butler. He is a handsome golden tom who perches regally on her walker for strolls.

I’m off to NYC for my Visa appointment later today – Wish me luck!!! Hopefully by next week I’ll have my computer back and will be a little more caught up with the everyone and everything that’s going on. I’ve (tried) to include some pictures of our senior center garden below. Enjoy, be safe, and have a good weekend!




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