Garden Night

I’ve been missing the convenience of Brooklyn a lot the past few days. My mind is still adjusting to a new definition of “close.” In Brooklyn I had everything I could want within 5 blocks of my front door. Grocery stores. Coffee shops. Restaurants. Farmers’ markets. Parks. Boutiques. Hardware stores. Friends! Everything!

Not so here. Yesterday I really wanted to get off the farm for a bit and was craving a coffee shop. In Brooklyn I’d go to Cafe Du Jour or Konditori or Connecticut Muffin or Kos Kafe to sit and read and write. Here the closest cafes require a 20-25 minute drive. I went to check out the library instead, but it was little more than a hole in the wall. There were no quite, sunny corners in which I could curl up with my Kindle. After driving around aimlessly for a bit I gave up and came back to the farm.

I am thankful I have a car, but I miss the convenience of being able to walk everywhere. I resent the time wasted in driving from here to there and back. In the city, I had a 40 minute commute to work, but I used that time to read. Driving isn’t really conducive to multitasking. It takes me 25 minutes just to get to the grocery store. In Brooklyn I could have gone to the store, bought my groceries, and returned home in less than 25 minutes! On the up side, the distance is forcing me to be more organized in terms of making lists and planning my meals because I can’t just run out to pick up an ingredient if I forget it.

I don’t mean to whine or complain because I do love it here and don’t want to go back. I just want to be honest and realistic about this experience. I’ve been here a month and the novelty is starting to wear off. There are so many things about rural life that I prefer, but there are certain city conveniences that I sorely miss.

But enough of that.

Tonight I went with Lauren to garden night. There is a small industrial park in Modena cleverly called Mogreena. It’s home to Organic Mechanics, Waste Oil Recyclers and a few other sustainably-minded businesses. When they all moved in, several of the guys decided to start up a community garden in the vacant spaces. The eventual goal is to get the local youth involved and to use the food that is grown to provide healthy food to kids who rely on school lunches during the school year and lose out on those meals during the summer. Definitely my kind of project!

Tuesday nights are their volunteer night. We planted some bok choy and Jerusalem artichokes, weeded and watered. Organic Mechanics contribute top soil and fertilizer and set up a compost tea brewer. The guys from Waste Oil Recyclers rigged up a rain water catcher and irrigation systems so they don’t have to draw well water for anything. It’s all very cool. We ended the night with burgers on the grill (Wyebrook beef and pork, of course). I’m looking forward to becoming a regular at Tuesday garden night!

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