Author: melissa-c

As the spring season has rolled in I have been seeing new flowers springing up around the farm. They add a very nice pop of color to the farm and sometimes when I walk by them my instinct is to stop and take them in (look at them, take a picture, admire). There is something aesthetically pleasing to me to see the bright colors in such rich green vegetation. I like the brightness it adds to the farm and they are growing fast. Below are some pictures of some of the flowers that have come up over the past weeks. Enjoy!

The cabbage has been coming in nicely and Wednesday I was lucky enough to harvest some for the CSA. I have been secretly keeping a tally of all the cool vegetables I want to harvest the most. cabbage was one of them. Seeing them in their early stages when I first started my internship I thought it was so cool to see them in the early stages and how I really wanted to see their process and harvest them. Every time I harvest something new I feel a very happy rush come over me. I get really eager because every vegetable has a different technique of knowing when it’s ready to when to harvest them and how. It’s very specific and unique. The cabbage for example you have to feel to make sure the head was ready. Some of these cabbages were huge! At first my thought was the size determined that they were ready to harvest but that wasn’t the case. It’s all about the feeling of the head and making sure it is hard. You can feel if the cabbage is ready to harvest.

Besides harvesting the cabbage I also got to harvest some red beets. These beets were beautiful to harvest. They had such interesting shapes and color. I was able to take some these beets home after the harvest and I made them as a stir-fry with some dino kale as well. It was delicious. The beets were so rich in color when I cut into them they bled such a pretty red color. It was almost alarming since I have not seen that before (I’ve only had canned beets). The final production was great and it was quite a satisfying meal. It’s safe to say beets are now my favorite new vegetable.

This week my team and I started Nursery duties and I was excited. I wanted to start the nursery for the longest (since I started my internship). The nursery team seemed to be the most relaxing of the teams. I mean being gentle and tending to little plant babies is something you have to do with care and patience. I liked the idea of slowing it down and taking your time because in the fast pace I tend to love to be in it is good for me to learn to slow it down. The nursery was originally smaller and as my internship has progressed the station started to grow and come into full circle. Seeing the growth and progression of the nursery was exciting and I couldn’t wait to start my time in the nursery.

The most important part of duties is the watering the plants in the nursery. My first instinct was to not water as much and to be frugal with the amount of water I was giving to the plants/seedlings, but as I learned it is better to be generous with the watering. It is important to also note that as rishi has stated so many times, the soil must be moist, not wet. This is important to keep in mind and having a general idea of how much you should be watering. By making sure your plants/seedlings aren’t being over or under watered. Again this means taking your time when watering (slowing it down).

I’m also excited to see the growing of seed to seedling; it fascinates me being able to see the growth of a vegetable in such early stages. So happy to be in nursery , saved the best for last !

As you may know or not know the chickens are fed pretty nicely here at Sarvodaya farms . They are fed an all organic scratch and peck feed, they are fed fat juicy grubs, and of course wheatgrass. The wheatgrass I feel is so important and essential to the chickens nutritional diet. They really enjoy eating it from what I see once we place the grass in their roaming area. This week my team and I (also with the help of Sara’s fabulous penmenship) made the wheatgrass station quite presentable.Thank you Laurette for being so detailed oriented, your vision made the whole thing come tother. It was very neat to watch you get in that zone.

I feel making the area personalized really added some more life to the chicken area. The station sort of looks like a wheatgreass stand where one could buy some fresh wheatgrass from. I sure would! It is a huge plus to be able to have quick access to the wheatgrass and be able to tend to it ourselves. Hopefully we can continue to keep the wheatgrass growth as well as the nursery team has kept it so far. Wish us luck!

Here are some picks of the station.

Monday was quite an interesting morning and the highlight of the week I must say. I was walking towards the nursery to plant some wheatgrass when i see on the corner of my eye one of the cats on the other side of the fence on the other yard over. Which is normal but it was walking a little different and appeared to have something in its mouth. Thats when i noticed little feet dangling from its mouth. It crawled under the fence back onto the farm towards the nursery where the cat released the gopher. I first thought the cat had caught a mouse but it was much to big. The gopher was still alive! The cat continued to chase and play with the gopher making it think it had a chance for escape.The cat would hit , paw at, bite and toss the gopher all kinds of ways . There was a point were I wanted the cat to end it already and put this poor gopher out of its misery. But this is very norma behavior for cats , as they like to “play” with their food. It is sort of like sport for them to do this to their prey. After about 30 mins cat had laid to rest and so did the gopher . The cat took a short break and then went on to consume the gopher . That was my cue to go ahead and continue my task that I had originally began to do but the excitement and slight discomfort of the whole scene still lingered as the day week went on. Oh and if you didn’t get from the end of the story there, the gopher lost =/ .

Here is a picture of the cat who ate the gopher

This week there was a big focus on beets , as they were being harvested heavily . A lot of the beets that were harvested were quite large and had a very pretty color on them. Let me just say, beats are not my favorite and I’ve never been a fan. But thats because i have always had canned or pickled ones. Those were the only ones i was introduced too.I was curious to taste them fresh since i had never done so before. So beats were available for staff to take that Friday and i was able to take one small one. I took it home along with some swish chard. I decided to cook them up tougher and make a warm said. Let me just tell you , it was an amazing combo. The sweet beet taste countered the chard taste and balanced so beautifully. It was an amazing meal and let me just tell you I am a fan now !

Here are some cool facts about beets and their benefits :
-Blood pressure can improve
-May drop risk of heart
-May improve stamina
-Help regulate you
-May help fight better against Chronic disease

Here is a picture of my salad that I made.

Heres the lovely beets that are harvested that day !
Look at this heart beet =). This beet reminded me of a heart.

This week my team and me have gotten the hang a little bit with the chickens. I am now way more comfortable catching the chickens. It is also getting much easier to catch the chickens and putting them back in the coops. The older white chickens seem to be the ones who give us a hard time. I think the chickens are also getting used to going in and out of the coops. Hopefully by the following weeks the chickens can get better at being rounded up.

This week the weather was warmer than I’ve been used to. It felt like summer was already here. I have to say it wasn’t the easiest. But it is all about listening to your body and making sure you have drank enough water, or if you need to sit down for a bit, or if you just need a moment to cool down. I had to remind my self to do this since I end to just push though sometimes just to get things done.

This week I was able to have some time off work and stayed for the Friday food and nutrition class. Let me just say the food was not only phenomenal it was such a great experience being able to sit with my fellow peers and share the wonderful meal together. I enjoyed sitting across everyone and take in the “mmm” energy.

Now to the food: First of all I’d like to thank those who helped prepare such a lovely spread, the food was laid out in such a lovely way I didn’t know what to chose first. I liked the way Eleanor broke down each entre and side dish to us. It was also nice to know how everything was prepared and what was included in each dish. It was also great to see the different types of dishes prepared for those who ate meat, those who were vegan, and vegetarians. The more options, the more things I could try! Each dish felt like it was planed out so clever and complimented each other. Great job team!

It was such a reward to look forward to at the end of the week and a great start to my weekend.

This week was more learning experiences for me. Caught my first chicken and was able to hold one. They are pretty sweet gals and it felt nice to hold and pet one. It feels really soothing taking care of the chickens; they require much more care then I ever knew. I like that I am learning how to take care of them and it has inspired me to want to be able to own some chickens one day. My team and I are getting the hang of things. We have even named some of the interesting looking chickens.

I’m on salad team now. Let me tell you how excited I am. I like being artistic and I quite enjoy expressing that in many ways. Can’t wait to decorate and make the salads look beautiful. This week I was actually able to purchase a salad and it was delicious!

This is the first week of transitioning to the animal team. It was a bit interesting getting into the swing of new tasks and making mistakes. It’s all about the learning process. Shout out to my green team (I know you aren’t fond of the temporary name) for holding it down and getting the hang of things together.

I find it kind of neat how as we transition there was also a new transition of chickens that came in to the farm. I believe it is going to be perfect getting to know the new chickens and them getting to know us. We are both starting off anew. I have never worked with chickens and I am very excited to master this task. I hope to become really comfortable catching them, they are pretty fast little gals.

Another part of being in the animal team is of course tending to the cats! I love cats o this is quit the treat for me. I was able to get close to one cat as it was eating and I touched its fur briefly. I also hope these cats will be come comfortable with me enough to let me pet them fully.

Really excited to what’s ahead and becoming bffs with the cats and chickens.