By Vivian Alston
Photography by Tamara Gallegos
Last night for dinner, I had some of the spinach I grew on you. It was amazing, and I just wanted to thank you.
It was such a cold day when the spinach was planted; the work almost didn’t seem worth it.
Those tiny black seeds were so hard to get into the soil in just the right place, and always slipped from my fingers into the wrong spot. Making sure the seeds counted six per foot was quite difficult, and overplanting happened all the time. But that was okay because I got better at it over time, and eventually managed to get the seeds into straight rows.
Then I watched them grow. Slowly at first—little green sprouts shooting up through the earth—then faster and faster until they were huge plants. It’s surprising how little bushes can develop from seeds only a fraction of the size. With the growth of the plants, my hope, too, was growing.
Harvesting the spinach is so rewarding. When the leaves are still small and really tender, you just snap them off from the stem and put them in the basket. At this point, not many leaves are damaged by bugs—they’re perfect to sell and eat. Later, though, as the plant continues to grow and age, the light green leaves become dark and tough, and bugs take a share. You have to harvest a lot more and keep a lot less, but it’s still rewarding.
Washing and selling the produce is the best part, though—preparing and presenting the vegetables we’ve put so much effort into and worked so hard to grow. I’m so proud to set up such a beautiful produce stand! And when people buy the spinach, the feeling of accomplishment is even better. They appreciate what we’ve grown and will benefit from all of the time and love that have gone into it.
Working on a farm isn’t just about selling the produce. Farm, you’ve provided so much for me—not just gorgeous spinach, but an experience I will never forget.
I thank you for that.
P.S. Go Team FARM!