The Abundant TableCSA Newsletter February 1 & 2, 2017
The Wildness of Water in WinterJourney Together at the Abundant Table Farm (JT@theAT)
I gripped the steering wheel tightly, knuckles white and stiff while hunched forward in a rather futile effort to see better while driving. The windshield wipers flew back and forth at their fastest speed, but they were no match for the rain.
The wetness seemed to be coming from every which way; it was cold and the wind was blowing fiercely as I drove through a significant pond of flooded water on the road and got out of my car to unlock the farm gate. I could hardly see what I was doing and my fingers fumbled with the lock as I stood in a puddle several inches deep. One of our young adult mentors arrived and together we got the gate open and managed to get indoors.
The leadership team agreed that we would proceed, rain or shine, but as the third wave of a storm series hit hard on Sunday, January 22, I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea. Wouldn’t it be so much cozier and more convenient to just be at home in front of the fire with my slippers and a book? Who was going to show up on a day like this?
But this was it, the first day of our new program, Journey Together at The Abundant Table Farm (JT@theAT), and we would gather and “journey together” no matter what. This winter, we are adding new dimensions to the program we piloted in the fall for middle and high school students (Journey to Adulthood). This round is open to participants of all ages: a Parent and Me group for babies to preschool age; elementary through high school age-groups; and even an opportunity for adults to do “contemplative weeding.” Of course, the theme for the winter session is WATER, so perhaps it is just perfect that on the first week, we got a front row view of this magnificent element in full force.
Even though some folks needed to stay home due to the weather, we still had an amazing turnout on that first day. Since we couldn’t gather out in the fields, we met inside instead and created “seed bombs” together: a mixture of soil, clay and native flower seeds that can be “tossed” into urban areas, gardens, parks and the like. The rain provides the water and the seeds plant themselves, eventually becoming beautiful California Poppies that will attract beneficial bees and butterflies.
Rev. Julie Morris giving seed bomb instructions Parent and Me group assembles with delight and wonder
Flash forward one week to this past Sunday which was bright, sunny and WARM with temperatures in the high 70s. This time we met out in the fields and tried to weed some of the stinging nettle that had sprouted in abundance due to the rain. OUCH! The carrots were particularly challenging to harvest because the wet soil had become a bit like glue, holding on to the carrots for dear life!
During both of the Sundays, there were moments when we were all gathered together as one community, from babes in arms to parents and mentors and I couldn’t help but to catch my breath at the beauty of it. That first week we were dripping from the rain, shivering a bit from the chill, yet still excited to be starting something new. This past Sunday we had hats and sunglasses and could wear short sleeves. We could experience the impact of the water, for better or worse (mostly better, of course, but it does create some problems on a farm!). We could relish in the beauty of creation and the fruits of this land that feeds us in so many ways, week after week.
I am excited to see what else transpires over the next four weeks of the winter JT@theAT season and I am grateful to witness these seeds of community planted and germinating, giving way to a future full of growth and making way for the magic of springtime.
Warm regards this winter,