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CSA startup

July 3rd, 2013 alcons14

Today was Week 2 of the Flats Mentor Farm CSA, and I got a great workout. I’m telling you, by the time my ten weeks are up, I should have actual arm muscle from packing and unpacking those share boxes. If you’re at all interested, click here for the Week1 newsletter, or here for Week 2!

Time passes very differently when you don’t spend the whole day behind a desk; three hours sorting and packing just-harvested vegetables, one hour driving a van into Cambridge, more unpacking and repacking, lunch break at Clover Food Labs, another hour back– watch out for the rain!!– and then an hour’s worth of desk work. I love the movement of my internship, each day is different which keeps the work interesting. Needless to say, sometimes I work on the computer all day– nothing wrong with that, I was hired to write and that’s what I love to do– but doing physical work outside here and there is refreshing.

Working on a CSA can be a challenge since there’s a deadline to meet and weather conditions to face, but everyone works together very well. Last Monday, we had the CSA share boxes all laid out, and started packing them up with scallions, Chinese spinach, Thai basil, pea tendrils… 58 shares total, all sitting under the shade as we prepared before loading the van. The farmers were really helpful in packing the boxes after they had already done their part in harvesting and washing. Within the first few minutes of preparation, one of the farmers was even kind enough to share his bug spray… because it was apparently time for the mosquitoes to eat Monday Brunch, and we weren’t too keen on the idea. For the rest of the week, I kept bug spray in my car, which came in handy a few more times.

Other events last week included finalizing the maps I created using GIS, a pest management meeting with staff from UMass, working at the Lancaster Farmers Market, another interesting interview with one of the farmers and her son, and more grant writing as we approach the deadline. Time is moving quickly– it’s already July!

A quick note: when you’re working, no matter what the case may be– a part-time job, an internship, schoolwork, etc.– it is important to take a break. This weekend I traveled home to spend time with family, going out to Eastern Long Island like we used to do often when I wasn’t moving around so much. It was so relaxing and put me in such a great mood– I am in a much better mindset to prepare applications for post-Holy Cross. As I keep emphasizing, time is going by very fast– but you need to take a pause once and a while, it’s actually the best way to stay focused! Don’t be afraid to watch a movie with your friends or read a couple chapters of that book you’ve had on your shelf for months.

That being said, I need to wake up at seven tomorrow morning… but I’m not tired… now that’s a problem.

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