A Different Lens . . . Day 1 plus
November 02, 2010
(Note: This is the first instalment of the "A Different Lens" blog, written by Julie Brothers, Rainbeau Ridge's new volunteer intern. Please read the entry "Introduction to A Different Lens" before reading this.)
On my first day on the farm, I was initiated with an unseasonal rainstorm that brought down more rain in one day than what Los Angeles receives in a year. At 7:30 am, Isaac armed me with a broccoli knife and led me into the garden.
Getting right to work, Isaac showed me "the way" to harvest: from be-heading bok choy and Napa cabbage to uprooting colorful varietals of beets and carrots. Talk about a great way of getting rid of one's aggression. Pulling the roots from the wet ground reminded me of the way the meat falls away from the bone while eating the best short ribs at Lucques.
As I plowed my fingers into the mud, I imagined how rich it was in vitamins and minerals. The aroma of the soil was intoxicating. How many vitamin/mineral elixirs have I downed? Now it felt like my hands were absorbing my daily minimum. Two days later, I noticed how my previously soft nails were now as hard as rock and that the skin on my hands was softer than ever from soil microdermabrasion. Remembering how the rain soaked my face that first day in the garden reminded me of the many Evian-Mineral-Water-Misters we have purchased to moisten our faces.
I thought about how, at luxurious spas (my favorite is Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley), we have our faces and hair plastered with clay and strip naked for mud baths, all in the name of (or in the pursuit of) health and beauty. And then, with delight it occurred to me: my first experience in the rain storm garden was akin to my own earthly beauty spa.
And while we're on the subject of health and fitness, all I can say is "Garden-astics, anyone?" Wearing the plastic poncho while working steadily for two hours in the field created so much heat and moisture, I might as well have been wearing a sauna suit or working out in a sweat lodge.. Exercise plus sauna? No more gym memberships for me.
So, what more can a city girl ask for on her initiation day . . .