Next it was time to really get into the fields for the first time this season. Wheat, vetch, and beans served the field well as cover crops protecting the soil structure from the pounding rains and adding valuable nutrients, but it was time for them to go. The first step was skimming to get the the bulk of the plant matter cleared out. Then detail work came into play as we cleared out smaller scraps left behind.
With cleared beds, we forked the soil, added compost, and used string to help us create straight beds for sowing seeds. Abby and Doron showed us how to read seed packets to determine how deep to plant the seeds, how far apart to plant them, and how soon we can expect them to be ready to harvest. We decided to plant radishes, beets, carrots, and a whole lot of lettuce. We'll have plenty of salad ingredients in just a few weeks!
Having just planted our first crop of veggies, we learned more about the importance of our food choices from Abby's workshop on how to "Eat a Rainbow." We talked about why good nutrition is important: it prevents bad moods, keeps us energized, and helps us think clearly. How do the specific colors of our food influence the ways it impacts our bodies? As we discussed foods of all spectra of the rainbow, we drew diagrams of the human body with colors to remind us that red foods benefit our blood, orange helps our immune system, and purple preserves our memory. Each crew member made a mini diagram to keep in a wallet or pocket for easy, everyday referencing. With each color we discussed, Abby passed around samples and by the end, the whole crew had eaten a rainbow.
After the workshop, it was time to get cooking some veggie fried rice. First, we talked about the difference between brown and white rice and learned that cooking brown rice is more nutritious because you get all the best parts of the grain. As the rice cooked, we chopped up cabbage, onion, broccoli, leeks, and multicolored carrots.
We steamed the veggies in skillets and scrambled eggs alongside them. When the veggies were soft to the taste and the eggs were fluffy and gold, we mixed them together with the brown rice to create a colorful rainbow of vegetables, grain, and protein.
The day ended with a discussion of our day's triumphs which ranged from overcoming personal obstacles to mastering new vegetable chopping techniques. Each of these triumphs to be helpful in days to come on the farm!