It’s been a little while since I’ve posted. One of the more significant things I have heretofore failed to report is my second internship at Green String Farm. One of Bob Cannard’s farms, it’s 140 acres of vineyards, artichoke patches, lambs and goats, chickens and chicken whisperers. Allie, the intern coordinator, has been incredibly gracious, in letting me work in the fields with the resident interns in the morning, and attending classes in the afternoons. I am still interning at Baia Nicchia as well, and I feel like I get two views of farming: a pastoral 140 acre ideal, and the reality of a new farm just establishing itself. Fred has been farming for under 10 years, and Bob has been farming for 30. There’s something to be gotten from both experiences.
Green String is named for string theory. Everything is energy, and has a vibration. The style of farming comes from this foundational belief, that the plants are energy, that each plant is connected to a larger whole, everything influencing everything else. Considered a “beyond organic” farm, the approach to farming is unconventional to say the least. One of the more obvious testaments to this is the weeds in the fields. They only weed about 4 inches around each crop plant, and only when they crop plant has to compete for sunlight. Otherwise, weeds, like cover crops, are beneficial to the soil. They increase biodiversity and help keep down pests. It is true, it does seem rather unnatural when the soil of a traditionally farmed plot is so naked between the rows.
So there I am, in the mornings, trampling on vetch and other cover crops, as well as other weeds, as I trundle down the rows with a box and a knife, harvesting artichokes. Indeed, sometimes it’s a struggle to advance, my sights on a particularly large and fully developed choke a few feet away, atop a 7 foot shrub. Big as my heart, and silvery green. It seems as if the leaves of the shrub have almost a grip on each other, holding me back, so dense are the mature plants. I make it there, wrest my prize, and peer into a birdsnest tucked into the plant. Three small blue eggs.
I confess I am a little starry-eyed at this farm, with its baby goats sucking my fingers deep into their mouths in search of milk, the Peruvian shepherds moving their sheep with border collies, and chicken trailers carting their chickens to fresh pasture. I’m happy to be a part of it.