Teenagers: Not so bad

Hello Folks!

There are times in the season where I make long lists of things that need to get accomplished. The list has lots of things that are necessities for running a farm like planting and harvesting and repairing the geysers that have sprung from our irrigation. Then there are many things that I put on there that are not absolutely necessary but, “wouldn’t it be nice if we could” types of things. One of those great tasks is mulching. Many organic farms use plastic mulch out of necessity to manage weeds, prevent fruit rot and hold moisture. We are small enough that we can weed by hand, and, if we make the time, we can mulch using leaves and newspaper (Thank you Times-Union!) which will break down and enrich the soil, not head to the landfill like the plastic mulch. Unfortunately there is rarely time for such worthwhile but time intensive pursuits unless we were to happen upon a magical band of energetic farm volunteers to help us out. Ha! Well, forty-one ninth graders motoring to our farm on their mustard yellow bus was pretty darn magical. The River City Science Academy kids returned last week and mulched about five hundred feet of cucumbers, squash, melons and blueberries. Oh and they helped finish building a permanent raised bed, washed dozens of buckets, weeded row after row and helped catch an escaped chicken — all by two o’clock! And as always they work with enthusiasm, joy and lots of curiosity. The discovery of a rather large wolf spider on a bag of leaves converged almost the entire class in about five seconds. You would have thought someone discovered a treasure chest filled with free pizza and cell phones. Anyways, ninth graders get another thumbs up from this farmer…………

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