this land is my land

Ah, the permanent layer of grime underneath my fingernails! Just what I had been waiting for (no, seriously!).

Let me illuminate you on the subject of an organic vegetable pasture for just a moment: there are WEEDS. Lots of them. All around the plants themselves (in this case sprouting carrots and beets) you have to get rid of the weeds by eye and by hand, one by one, easy does it, until only the good stuff remains. Believe me when I tell you this is one of my favorite things in the world to do. I am sure a migrant worker (or the girl currently volunteering with me) would beg to differ. But something about the instant gratification, the small margin for error, and the hands on connection to each budding vegetable is deeply satisfying in a way I can't easily describe.

Today, after the sun had sufficiently dried the soil, I was handed what appeared to be a gigantic rake from olden times and given a demonstration of how to walk backwards very slowly to create perfectly spaced rows, primed for sowing. On the list of things to seed were parsnips, sweet corn, and something not edible but extremely good for prepping the recently used soil's nitrate levels for next season.

Parsnip seeds, if you don't know, are sort of like oatmeal flakes. I mention this because extreme concentration ended up being required of me to achieve perfect spacing, one seed not two or three or five at a time, and/or to avoid parsnip seedlings being spread across all of Denmark with one swift breeze.

The latter two seeding projects were made easier by the farm's recent purchase of a seed machine. Don't get too excited - it's still as minimal as it gets, just a brilliant invention by someone about a thousand years ago. It basically looks like a silly bicycle that you push; one wheel controls seed distribution, the other smooths it over in its wake... And voila! Rows and rows of weeds and corn, all before lunch time.

All in all, an incredibly satisfying few days of work. And then I took a nap.