Scenes from Hazelwood Urban Farms and the early summer harvest that formed our salads, picnics and more!
I’m a pretty lousy farmhand. I probably should be fired, but for some reason, the Urban Farmer keeps me around. Despite my sporadic hours and my tendencies to nitpick at the weeds instead of just planting seedlings, the Urban Farmer still humors me. He gently reminds me to just plant the dill babies and ignore the weeds that will creep in as soon as I turn my back. He patiently shows me how to grab bigger clumps of weeds in one swoop. He encourages me to treat the lettuce with less tenderness- “sometimes it needs a good ruffling.”
Every time I go to the farm, I wonder why I don’t go more? Why don’t I spend more time hunching over burgundy colored lettuce and less time hunching over my laptop? Why don’t I spend more time with the sun warming my shoulders, pretending the distant hum of motorists is actually a series of waves hitting the shore? I’m a lousy farmhand who lets a whole lot of “busyness” stand in the way of stretching my legs, dirtying my hands and inhaling the fragrance of the plants after the hose water hits them. Yet, the Urban Farmer still keeps me around.
Julep, on the other hand, is no fool. Her ears are always perked, waiting to hear that magical combination of “go” and “farm” strung together. She is not one to squander the magic of this corner. She bounds along the pathways, always careful not to trample the early summer harvest as it emerges. She patrols the perimeter for deer and groundhogs, and once satisfied with her due diligence, she returns to the hilltop to play ball by herself (the “gravity game”).
Though I may have let work and stresses get in the way of dirt and sun on far too many an occasion, I did finally break away just in time to enjoy the early summer harvest, the many bouquet-worthy greens we used as vehicles for Homemade Bleu Cheese Dressing almost nightly.
I went to the farm in time to catch the garlic shapes swirling and curling just before we cut them and added them to our pastas, pizzas, garlic breads and roasted chicken. The Urban Farmer has since harvested all the rows of garlic and mounded the garlic into a heap at our apartment. He’ll string them to the stairwell to cure, but in the meantime, they wait, adding a particularly pungent aroma to our apartment landing.
I may be a pretty lousy farmhand, but I am a diligent aesthete, and I’m grateful to have soaked up this early summer harvest before it slipped away.