Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meet the Interns

During his first meeting with us, head farmer Bob Cannard gave each of his new interns the opportunity to introduce themselves to the group and to ask him one question, whatever they wanted. Several of us, myself included, went with general questions of the type “what is your favorite_______?” or “what______do you especially like or look forward to?” However, much to our delight, Bob refused to be circumscribed in such a manner, answering always that he preferred a diversity of anything- the diversity of fruits and vegetables rather than one or two in particular, the diversity of colors (though if he must choose, perhaps he would say green).

With a few weeks behind us now, the interns are starting to understand that we too reflect this appreciation of diversity; we represent a wide range of unique backgrounds, ages, sets of values, and goals for the future. Nonetheless, we each find ourselves here, growing together on the same plot of land, and prospering all the more for having encountered one another.

We thought you Green String supporters might be a little curious about those intriguing creatures- the interns- that you see roaming about the farm whenever you visit the farm store. To introduce ourselves, we have, as a group, composed these humorous, truth-based descriptions of one another, which you may read should you be curious what types of people come to live and work on a farm for their summer vacation.

As a general rule, we are a friendly breed and, though our hoes are sharp, we only wield them against malicious weeds. In fact, we’ve even been known to offer freshly baked bread to complete strangers. So, if you see us around, don’t be shy; we love visitors.

Since there are a whopping fifteen of us, we'll be making this a two part series, so check in later this week to read about the other half of the group.

Aryeh- Within the first forty eight hours of his arrival, this San Diego native was newly christened "Marcus Aurelius." Since then, Marcus has done a fabulous job of living up to his emperor's namesake- he reads Homer aloud at breakfast, manages to leisurely sleep in an hour later than everyone else and is quik to jump on a tractor as if it were his private chariot. Still, Aryeh is rather like a cabbage: many-layered. It turns out he can ride his bike ninety six miles, build beautiful chairs in the woodshop, and isn't even afraid to swim in the compost tea pond.

Courtney- Abbreviator extraordinaire, if Court were a plant, she would be grounded, like a carrot, and generous, like a pomegranate. So let's just call her a pomegrot. Kind, clever, and a graduate of UC Berkeley, this San Fernando Valley girl still gets lost occasionally and hopes someday to open, along with her tent roommate Julie (see next installment), a little farm-stand restaurant called Le Petit Cheesy Robin. Look for it soon...

Ellen- Ellen has the most startling eyes you’ve ever seen and exudes the energy of all her amazing life experiences. She may claim to be stubborn but never hesitates to laugh at herself even while inspiring her fellow interns to become agricultural athletes with her incredible hoeing capabilities. If there were such an animal, this Petaluma girl would be a tropical owl, whose beauty and intelligence emanate from within.

Jason- Old McCobb had a farm, and if you go there, you’ll find Jason and his compost tea…backpack. Papi, as the other interns call him, is considered the oldest and the most dedicated of the group. Creator of the best PB&J and GC (grilled cheese) sandwiches this side of Old Adobe Road, we all think of this Floridian much as we do our compost- multi-layered, full of life, constantly giving, and nutritive to our bodies and our souls. Oh yeah, and sometimes he smells of fish emulsion, but the plants sure do love him.

Micaela- In the light of the morning, we often see Micaela’s silhouette through the translucent walls of the compost toilet, the installation of which she enthusiastically supported. This native of Durango, Colorado is a talented musician and, like an otter swimming through seaweed, weaves her laughter-filled stories and enchanting music seemingly without effort. Micaela hopes to help reform America’s food system, one beloved purple-topped turnip at a time.

Abby- This Minnesota native is, as she would say it, a bay-g (bag) of surprises- sweet and spicy as the lentil-plum soup that has become her signature creation. Yogi, mother to puppies, kittens and all God’s creatures, this talented cook loves to feed people and hopes to have her own restaurant one day.

Erin- Though hilarious, her sense of humor takes some getting used to. Flighty and stunning as a butterfly, Erin learns and teaches as passionately as she spades a garden bed. Her contagious laughter echoes throughout her hometown of Petaluma, where she articulately wanders, searching for the next chapter in her book.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dining Club Rive Gauche

Joanne and Keith Filipello of Wild Thyme catering in Sonoma host occasional dinners at their place in El Verano. This time, they're featuring Green String produce, meat, and music (provided by the Green String Farm Band, of course). It ought to be a lot of fun. Here's the facts:

Dining Club Rive Gauche

June 24, 2009
Green String Produce and the Green String Band
playing original and traditional music
"with the grand plan of trying to make people happy."
Local, sustainable food and music

I. Green String Egg & Herb Fritatta
II. Seasonal Lettuces with Caramelized Beets & Goat Cheese
III. Spit Roasted Green String Goat
Summer Vegetables Sautéed in Green String Olive oil
IV. Eureka Lemon Curd Tart

$30 or 25 euro per person
service not included, service non compris
bring your own wine, no corkage
Wild Thyme Library,
on the left bank of Sonoma Creek

19030 Railroad Ave
(between Verano Ave. and Grove Street in beautiful downtown)
El Verano, California 95433

reservations required
707 996-WILD (9453)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June Newsletter

Well, the newsletter's up a little late, but at least it's up!

View the newsletter online
Download the PDF

In this issue: farm news, how to look at a plant, and recipes for Chris's fancy-shmancy rocket pesto, my yummy (wummy?) fusilli with white sauce, favas, and rocket, and easy-shmeasy tomato couscous.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hello, Goodbye

Oh no! It's the end of another internship semester at Green String! Saying goodbye is never easy, but all good things must come to an end.

Sean, who's been here for four months, has headed back to his home in San Luis Obispo to spend time with his family and pursue future gardening adventures. Phil, Cody, and Mark are gallivanting around northern California -- they plan to pass some of the time working on other sustainable farms. Hannah has generously offered to help the new interns with their transitional period, and will be sticking around for a couple weeks before she goes to Minnesota for a summer of leading camping and kayaking and outdoorsy fun with Outward Bound.

The powers-that-be at Green String haven't managed to get rid of all of us interns, though. Katrina's staying on for a second semester before she moves up to Oregon in the fall. And I don't think they'll ever figure out how to shake off me and Chris! This week we switched from being interns to real-life employees. Let's just hope we don't blow it.

Though we may be sad about all the great interns leaving us, there's not too much time to mope -- we've got fifteen (count 'em! Fif-friggin-teen!) new interns for the summer semester, and they're quite an enthusiastic bunch! I'm embarrassed to say that I'm nowhere near knowing all their names (yet), so once they all get set up on the blog I'll leave it to them to introduce themselves.

In all the insanity excitement, publishing the June newsletter's been put off -- it should be ready by Thursday, though, so check your inboxes. (You know you can get the newsletters emailed to you the very second they're published by emailing jenny@greenstringfarm.com, right?)