By Kyle Gaydo
The last Saturday in June began this year’s—and our second annual—Farm-to-Table Co-op. Team SAS spent the morning doing many different things in preparation: we set up tables for both gathering and allocating distribution as well as for cooking demonstrations; we watered all the beds; we weighed, valued, and stored all harvested produce into their respective bags; we spread around the remaining pile of wood chips; we cleaned up around the garden; and we dealt with a groundhog who eviscerated our eggplant beds. The groundhog’s vendetta against our beds was so horrendous we had to start putting up fences around the beds so that they couldn’t get in. Unfortunately, this otherwise understandable response alerted their squirrel friends, who are now waging a war against our pepper and mixed greens beds. This forced us to bar up several other beds so that not a single one of them could get in—the garden, as intern Eamon said, is now starting to resemble a “plant prison.”
Despite this dilemma plaguing our garden, the Co-op went as expected. Visitors flooded into the garden like Black Friday at JCPenney, coming for their produce, asking questions about the youth summer program, and getting a tour of the place. In addition, they watched and sampled some of the food being made from a cooking demonstration, got to know the interns and volunteers, and, most importantly, learned a bit more about the links between their personal lives and the natural world. Through this Co-op, Team SAS not only fostered a community, but also helped inspire change for all those who were present. No amount of vengeance from the other animals could pierce the community-building that happened during the Co-op. We hope this bitter, unnecessary feud ends soon. But, until then, here’s to continued and plentiful yields for future Co-ops—without more pests.