Friday, September 24, 2010

Monday the 20th!

Matt and I went to the Goodwill garden... yeah, and it has only two plots... we went there to hang a sign and do something else which I am forgetting at the moment. There wasn't a place to hang the sign and we ended up just leaving. We also talked about the garden plan and such. Amy had gotten back from VayKay so we got organized (no pun intented) for the week.

Tuesday the 21st was a change. Matt picked me up and we went to the CROPS office. The cone flowers that Amy had brought to the office needed to be planted and so Matt and I went to the 2nd and Garfield garden and planted them. We used the double dig method to instill the pretty crappy soil with some organic material--hoping that the flowers last such a long time since we gave them some TLC.

Wednesday the 22nd was pretty cool. Matt and I went all around Lincoln looking for a tailgate latch for the black truck. We eventually found one, but not before I walked around the Olston's Auto Salvage lot looking high and low for a Nissan Truck, but to no avail. I suggested that we stop at the Olston's Auto Shop, no relation, and our amazement he had a junker truck that was a few years older than ours, but the latch was the same! we picked it up and proceeded to True Value which happened to be close to the garden where we were planning on placing a new futon bike rack. But we determined that we didn't have the proper tools for the job and ended up heading back to the office for lunch.
After lunch we headed out to 46th and Pioneers garden and installed the bike rack. We chose 3ft earth anchors instead of 1ft because True Value didn't have two 1ft anchors. Let's just say that we spent some time on turning those things into the ground!
Then we went to the board meeting, which was pretty fun. I'd never been to a board meeting and I expected everyone to be wearing suits and such, but they were just normal every day people. They really needed a lawyer for the discussion about a legal change to their bylaws, because nobody knew exactly how to write the thing! But their next plan of action is to get a lawyer to join the board, problem solved!
Then Amy, Matt, Margaret, and myself took a quick trip to EcoStores to check out what they had, it was like I died and went to home improvement heaven...

Well, That's all for this week. Maybe You'll catch some interesting things this weekend that I'll be doing. Mostly Today (Friday) I drove around a hung fliers for the upcoming VegFest on October 9th.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Monday the 13th we went around to some of the gardens and did garden checks. Usually this is just a walk through to see if people are gardening, taking care of their plots (weeding and harvesting) and if there is trash in the garden. So far there have been a lot of plots that are pretty weedy--I dunno if people just don't care or if they are worried about pulling up their plants as well. We will be calling these people and letting them know that their plots need to be kept up, for the good of the whole garden. Matt has done most of the calling so far, but I will help when I have a chance to.
Tuesday the 14th was mostly a repeat of Monday, we checked gardens and hung signs that needed hanging. We did have a staff meeting @ 1:30 which was a debrief of FarmWalk 2010! we basically talked about what went well and what might need more volunteers next year. Leslie and Ingrid attempted to eat a bowl of the left over gazpacho soups, but apparently it had begun fermenting in the cooler that it was placed in! So, we dumped both soups out that were in the coolers--rather than risk a dose of bacteria to the stomach. Maybe an ice bath would have been helpful to decrease the spoilage. But we still had some of the ice cream... mmmmm, honey basil goodness!
So after the meeting, Matt and I took the tiller out to United Lutheran church (60th & Hartley) and tilled up the north plot. I placed the compost on the north side of the garden, but Matt said that Amy wanted it on the East... I dunno because the plot is not fully quartered off and we may need to revamp the plans since it appears that the church has changed the layout a bit. We'll check back next week when Amy gets off VayKay and we can figure out the best plan of action.

Wednesday the 15th was a great day to hang signs. First we went to the Indian Center to tackle a couple plots that were severely overgrown. We ended up breaking most of the tools that we brought so in the end we decided to put the weeds back down over the plot and then we would cover it eventually with cardboard and compost to keep the weeds from sprouting too much! While I was weeding I came across an enormous spider (I later found out it was a wolf spider) I guess I've never seen one because I was totally freaked out by it's large hairy body. I took a photo of it and then proceeded to smash it because I had no idea what kind of arachnid it was--can't be riskin' no venom now! After we finished the work we went around to hang signs and install the dry erase marker jars... but after we hit the Oak Lake garden I realized that I left the star bit for the drill at the office and I only had four screws that had a Phillips head... bummer.
But all in all I thought that Wednesday was a fairly productive day and might be a template for the days to come. We have goals and if we work on them a little at a time we will be able to knock out quite a bit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's been a while...

Okay, I know that I said that I'd be posting daily... but it's tough to find something to say about the daily grind--if you can even call my job a grind. It's more like a daily chill and stuff. But, no in all seriousness I'm thrilled to get down and dirty doing garden stuff and other fun tasks!

On Wednesday the 8th, I began my day organizing the CROPS dishes--I also counted them. Turns out we have 678 spoons, almost three times as many forks and knives. This will prove to be an important number for the Farm Walk. I also worked on the Farm Map poster that guests could use as a guide to where certain plots are and some information about the farm tours.
As you can see this poster is just a rehash of the poster from last year--with a few minor additions. A previous version was made with several graphics of the different crops that the farmers were planting this season. However, all the graphics were far too pixilated for anyone to determine what they were--it made the farm look like a giant blob harvest.

Thursday the 9th was a short day. I usually have class all day on Thursdays and I am not normally available that day because of the chaos riding to and from school and work would cause me. But I needed to finish the poster and so I came during my break between classes and I came after class as well. I ended up staying till 10pm working on the map. but had I realized that the graphics were so skudzy I would have not stayed so long--because the map would have been done sooner.

Friday was the day of the farm walk. I worked all day getting things ready and then we went out to the farm @ 3pm to set-up. The walk started @5:30 but people seemed to trickle in all evening. The bummer was that it was spitting almost the whole time, which cut down attendance. I worked the cash station for a while and then I served food. We had been gracious enough to get three soups from Thé Cup! All of them were delicious. Ivanna Cone made us some honey basil ice cream, which was divine.
As we began tear-down the race against the clock began as it was beginning to get dark. But we managed to get everything packed up and put away before too long. Over all I really enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to upcoming events.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day At Crops!

So, the first day of my new job working at Community Crops was awesome. I am really looking forward to the new way of life that I will be able to live. woot woot!

[The Community Crops Building]
I arrived there a little before 9:00Am. Ingrid showed up moments after I did, she commented on the fact that usually she is the first one there and that for several minutes she is the only one there. I then realized that I had in fact forgotten my bike lock key at my home, doh! Ingrid locked her bike to mine and I was saved--at least for the first hour and a half of my shift.
[My Bike Before Locking Up]

My first order of business was to send in my time sheet from the training session last week. In order to be paid my living wage, in full, I must turn in a time sheet each week. If I'm late I either have all or half of my wage held--depending on how many time sheets I need to turn in. So I'd better be on top of things!
Ingrid then showed me how to log on to the computer, by this time Matt had shown up and we both were learning the sign on for work. I sit in the left desk, and Matt on the right (I don't have a photo yet--but when I get situated then you'll get a pic). Margaret showed up and we all met the office personnel. I really only remembered Leslie's name, but I think that Barb is the recept. Volunteer... I'm so bad with names I'm surprised that I have any one's name at all!
Amy showed up and then we went over the day to day basics of the Gardens--Leslie was writing a grant that was due today so Margaret just learned about Matt and My job--which she can participate in as much as she likes :) Then we took a short tour of the facility, then I was off to class.

I returned upon the hour of One Post Meridian... And it was good.
I got there just as Amy was coming back from lunch, or something... maybe attempting to figure out her cellphone situation (water logged phones don't work). Matt was busy working on something regarding the volunteers and I decided that I'd write down my schedule on the whiteboard. (Again, no pic, but you all must know what a white board looks like) I have figured out that this first semester it will be very difficult to attain forty hours, but I still plan on achieving the same amount of work... which means that when I'm there I'll be a lightning bolt! heh, heh.
We were supposed to go and check out the gardens, but as the day started a bit slow, and with me having class in the middle of the day, we were not able to check out the gardens--but we did get to clean and organize the work shed! I'm sooooooo glad, no really! I like getting organized.

[The Before Photos of The Work Shed]

[The After Photos: Three Hours Later...]

I think that there is still work that needs to be done with the shed, but at least now we can get to everything that we may need. It looked like who ever used it last season just got impatient with finding spots for things and just began setting stuff where there was space. This is going to be a constant battle I suspect--but I think that with a little finesse the place can really shine.
I was really struck with the dust that we were kicking up. I kept sneezing--but I had no tissues! I put some in my bag once I got home, but hopefully the dust is settled for a while :)

Well, that concludes my first day at work. I'm really looking forward to the challenges that come along my way. I think that this job will be so much more rewarding than the ever constant beep of an item's barcode being read by the counter-that-is-too-short-to-be-comfortable's scanner. I will miss the people, but everywhere you go there are people--no sense in forcing yourself into a boring job when you can be around cool people at a fun and exciting job.



Saturday, September 4, 2010

The first day of training.


I'm Harley. I'm an AmeriCorps member and I'm going to be working at Community Crops this season. I am required to make a wicked awesome report every month that logs everything that I did. But who wants to remember that kind of stuff? Not I said the fish! Well I plan on making a post everyday about what sorts of crazy adventures I cook up.

My first day of training was from 9:00Am to 3:30Pm. And I mostly sat and listened to all the crazy stuff that I will need to know as I progress through this program. (like regulations, rules, and ideas)

We were given a breakfast of various fruits, bagels, juice, fruit bars, et cetera. I grabbed some strawberries which were yummy good. An everything bagel and put some cream cheese on it--but I should have put more on because the bagel tasted like it had been frozen and thawed a few times and it was kinda stale, ick! but I powered through it--I guess I really was hungry! I also grabbed a half a bannanner, and then some grapes of the green and black variety. I was STUFFED! But, I was going to need that sustenance if I was to make it through a long day of listening. (My ears needed the energy cause they were tired from listening to the sound of nothing the day before.)

I got this super cool AmeriCorps bag, it was red. I'll never use it, but it will be a great Christmas gift.

We played a yarn game, I lovingly call webber. Where we tossed the yarn to people (while holding on the the string) and then the people had to come up with ideas that we could do as a whole group for our community involvement projects. There were a vast array of ideas, I posed the idea to get involved in schools with healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. After we ran out of yarn the web looked more like a circle--well you can't be perfect is what I always say.

We took a picture of the different groups and then individual photos. I think I made a funny face in a few. oops!

Lunch was AWESOME. A taco bar, mmmmmmmmmmm taco! I ate one, really big one. then I finally found the juice, I looked for it for a bit during breakfast--but I had brought coffee and a water so I was good with the liquids.

The bathrooms were interesting, if you've ever been to the Antelope Park enclosed shelter you will know what I'm talking about. If not, you'd better take a trip.

I wrote on the time line of hopes and dreams: "I hope to help ensure there is a world for my grandchildren to live in." which I thought was pretty poetic at first but then afterward I felt like it was too cheesy... oh well, I'm just a wild and crazy guy.

We then played a game called speed dating, wait no, it was called speed meeting. Which was like speed dating. Except it was so loud that I could hardly hear anyone--but I always told them that it was good to meet them, even thought I had already forgot their name.

I went home after the meeting, feeling excited for the season of work. I'm just glad to get out there and inflict some change on the world for the better. And glad to get out of the corporate retail world, woot woot!

Check back often to see what I've been up to in the coming days.

thanks for reading,