Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Farm Scramble

I learned a valuable lesson on the farm yesterday.

I can't claim that my mistake was from sun spots in my eyes or brain adlepation from heat exposure. The temperature was perfectly mild and reasonable...unseasonably cool.

I suppose it could have been a subconscious drive...since I don't love the vegetable which received my messed-up good intentions.

24 picked peas for an hour. A co-volunteer also picked...but she started even earlier. Three (wo)man hours picking peas. Whew. The net? Over 30 pounds. Trust me. That is a whole lot of green stuff. While they were picking peas I harvested Swiss Chard and Kale. A bunch of it. And some radishes, and yanked some weeds. Found a few good Lady Bugs and cheered them on. (Lady Bugs...not Asian Beetles that look kind of like the little reddish ones, are the organic farmer's friend.) So much going on that I wasn't paying full attention to the pea-picking in the other field.

Here's where the dilemma began, had I been paying attention I might have gotten home earlier. But, alas, I was not. The second part of the mistake began with the washing of produce. We water rinse most things to just take the dust off...pretty much...and maybe Lady Bug poo....) Some items begin spoiling once water hits them, like herbs, so they don't get a bath. And items that come right out of the ground like radishes and beets get a shower in the field so they don't need one in the packing, very green. And sometimes, the farmers make a judgment call about who gets dunked and who does not.

So we had loads and loads of veggies to wash. And only two sinks to do it. I thought I'd be uber efficient and wash out the sinks, fill them up with cold water and get going. I'd done it before...I knew the drill. One sink got lettuce. The other...well...we had a lot of peas...good idea to start on those. So I started dumping them in. I'm happily sloshing away and one of the farmers comes by..."Oh, we decided not to wash the peas." OOPS! Darn. But they were wet, and I carried on.

Until 24's co-picker says. "Hey, there are two kinds of peas. Don't mix them together!"

Oh boy. Did I mention that my uber-efficiency compelled me to dump all 5 bags of peas...all 30 pounds...into the cold water? Together.


I'm pretty sure I won't be doing that again. Good news. The peas are super clean and received lots of tender loving care. Bad news, it added about 45 minutes to the process. Ugh.