By 8:30am, staff were in a meeting discussing the logistics for our upcoming garlic harvest with Leslie, our Farm Administrator. Meanwhile, Claire and Gary, two of our hard-working interns, were out in the fields harvesting and preparing for the CSA pickup later in the day.
By 9:30am, the Minoru shuttle bus arrived with eager Greenhouse Social Club members. Emily and Bardia guided them through the harvesting of juicy red currants and fresh herbs. They were joined by the Farm’s dedicated high school student volunteers.
By 10:00am, Susan, our Greenhouse Coordinator, was working with some of the Farm’s longest serving volunteers to tend to the hot season crops in the greenhouse. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and melons were cultivated. They also picked and bundled fresh herbs for the weekly delivery to the Terra Nova Save-On-Foods. Meanwhile, volunteers from Turning Point Recovery Society arrived and quickly got into the rhythm of harvesting fava beans in the fields.
As morning turned to afternoon, Staff and volunteers took a break for snacks and lunch. We said goodbye until next week to the Greenhouse Social Club members and Turning Point. Susan and The Friends of the Greenhouse wound down for the day finishing right around 2pm.
The Richmond Food Bank came by in the early afternoon to pick up produce for their food distribution and for the Gilmore Community Meals program. Marilyn, one of our board members and volunteer at Gilmore reported, “The fava beans were shelled and added to a yummy dinner for Gilmore Park Community dinner with tomatteos, garlic skapes and beef only hours after being picked. I know because I helped cook it!”
Around then Bardia “took a break” from working in the fields to tend to the flower gardens around Beumann House. Also, Leslie was able to get out of the office and don her bee veil to work in the Bee Mating Yard through the afternoon and into the early evening with members of the Richmond Beekeepers Association.
In the afternoon, Claire, Emily, Kareno, and Anna set up the tables and boxes full of plump, fresh produce for the CSA pickups.
Kwantlen’s Farm School students arrived en masse to begin their harvest for the first Market Stand of the year on Saturday. Kareno and Anna instructed them on how to keep the produce from wilting in the hot sun after being harvested. They were done harvesting before the last CSA pick up of the day.
The need for a walk-in cooler was highlighted after the harvests were prioritized for space in The Farm’s single overcrowded cooler.
CSA members began arriving soon after 3pm and were delighted at the bounty of vegetables and currants. Claire was busy playing chef and educator as she gave ideas on how to cook favas and garlic scapes. Leslie had a good time connecting with new and returning CSA members.
All of a sudden, cheers went up as Kareno appeared with the very first garlic harvest of the year. Congratulations, it’s a beautiful purple softneck!
Farm Schoolers left for the day smiling and collectively daydreaming of the farms they would one day own and run.
It was 7pm and the sun was settling towards the horizon. While the squirrels waited to reclaim “their” space, Kareno and Bardia cleaned up and secured everything after a very busy but hugely successful day.