Thursday, May 19, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Farm Field Trip 2

So I was waxing on about this organic superpower, a woman who exudes horticultural wisdom and many, many, many green thumbs... (Super Organic Girl - SOG) in the heart of small town Iowa. This woman who sounded like a mix of gun-toting, chew-chomping Granny Clampett and Windchime Moodring Stamensniffer, the love child of the "Make Love not War" 60’s prom king and queen.

I was intimidated. Me, a part-time volunteer, clueless plant-gatherer, daring to step onto her property…very intimidated.

We pulled up to the compound located on a ribbon of intersecting gravel roads. The gate was open, and clearly it was a garden as there were large greenhouses next to the modern home. A few people milled aroun
d. We’d been told that we might not get to see “her.” But that her assistant would help us out.

But then the sun glinted off a flash of metal and a gasp escaped the farmer. She said her name…the grown-up professional name, not the y-ended softie nickname. Upon glimpsing her, I renamed her Plant-Xena.

Let me describe her. Have you seen the Terminator movies? (Not sure which one, I tend to multitask during those types of movies.) However, I do remember one scene wherein the female lead is all muscle and sinew, and packing heat. She puts a whole new spin on the word stunning. If you know what I'm talking about pull up that mental picture. Replace “heat” with a knife, some gloves and a stick, the camo clothing with crocs, and dirt encrusted jeans and t-shirt, and the golden hair with glittering silver and you might have a good mental image of Plant-Xena.

Plant-Xena would make a perfect poster-girl for organic growers. Lean, mean, planting/harvesting machine. Firm handshake, no apologies for any dirt streaks on her face, no time for wasting. “Grab your boxes and let’s go ladies.”

We power harvested, all the time listening to the functional plantish conversation between our farmer and Plant-Xena. I did notice that every time I worked up the courage to look at Plant-Xena she was nibbling on leaves. “Oh, this kale is delicious.” “Have you tried the chard? Try it!” and she would make short work of whatever green she was bunny-rabbiting.

When the boxes were filled, she dismissed us, then hesitated. “Wait, come in for a minute. Chop. Chop. Ladies.” We chopped, chopped. “Here, taste this.” She filled two cups with green liquid. “Dandelion tea.”


I had tea with Plant-Xena the Organic Warrior Queen. What did you do on Tuesday.

: ) Sorry. Couldn’t resist.