6.28.2010

10 Minutes - What a Way to Start a Monday

Hi. It's Joe.

StarbucksStore.comA title like the one for this blog can be taken one of two ways, good or bad.

In this case it is good. I woke up this morning, downed some cereal and coffee, and headed for the CSA (community supported agriculture) farm.

This is the best way I personally have ever started off a Monday. Fun, productive, work in the dirt, with the sun shining down. It's like a workout and a learning experience all in one.

When I got there today, they started me off harvesting spinach. It was kind of a tough job because a lot of it was starting to bolt or go to seed. So it was slow going, but also meditative and the time flew by. So when I returned to the barn with my two crates full of spinach, I thought I still had some time left to work.

My time was actually up, but I didn't feel like quitting just yet. So I surprised Chris, the farm owner and manager, when I asked if I could work some more. He set me to the much easier (than spinach) task of harvesting scallions. This went really fast, and then he dismissed me to go home with a box of produce. I don't know what I am going to do with it.

I have a worker's half share in the farm, which means I get a half share (box) of available produce every week for free, in exchange for my labor. On top of that, my health insurance provider even cut me a rebate check for $100, as part of their wellness benefit incentive to get people to lead healthier lifestyles. I guess they figure if you work on a CSA farm, you will be getting your 10 recommended servings of vegetables per day, and thus be preventing diet related illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

God, they have no idea. A half share is good for two (2) people, and right now Tracy is in Arizona through August and my roommate Matt is a pure junk foodist who would probably get sick if he ate a vegetable. So I am having to find ways to gorge myself on a lot of freakin' vegetables. I have never felt better, I'll grant you. It's definitely true that a whole food diet consisting of foods that humans are genetically designed to eat is healthier. I can feel it, and I am not just talking about the fiber content of the food either.

I have also started to regain some trust in the goodness of human beings working on the farm. Chris is a totally cool and laid back "boss." He treats everyone with fairness and dignity, and it is so refreshing since I had to "fire" my last boss in corporate America for being a lame, negative, cynical, soul-sucking, energy vampire who not only made us do inane and useless tasks, but then criticized our work continuously. That's enough to drive anyone mad. So before that happened I canned him, and became self-employed.

Chris tells us to set our own hours based on the amount of time we are required to donate and the time slots he needs filled. There is no seeming organization to it, but there always seems to be ample people to get everything done, and he's never said anything to me about my chosen time slots, just appreciated my showing up.

If my last boss had been that cool, he would not have gotten fired. All I ever asked at that job was some flexibility of schedule, and he couldn't even be cool enough to consider it. I totally could have worked from home a lot at that job, saving myself some stress and also shrinking my ecological footprint by not commuting as much. But the boss was an ass, and proud of it. So it goes.

Time.

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