i was the kind of kid that enjoyed playing with dirt. i spent my time after school digging up worms and slugs, slicing them in half and watching them regenerate into more worms and more slugs. although my squeemishness threshold is not at the same level as my five year old self, i definitely can while away a few hours in a pile of dirt. while more and more americans are getting closer to their food by shopping at farmers markets and subscribing to community supported agriculture (csa) programs, there's nothing like working in the field, whether it's your own little garden or a farm that nourishes many.
this weekend, tim and i rolled up our sleeves and got to know our food a little better at the alemany farm. between 9 lanes of the 280 highway and the projects lies a quaint 4 acres of agricultural oasis just on the outskirts of san francisco. our farm tour guide gave us an incredibly informative tour about the farm and its philosophy. jason our guide was probably a better speaker than anyone i've come across in business and definitely knew his food and farm facts. not surprisingly, the highlight of the tour was when we got to the composting bins and got to search for worms - the childhood memories just came rushing back. the next best highlight was finding out that my backyard just might the perfect environment for growing some mushroom spores. before you know it, i'll be jess dang, the mushroom forest nymph. but before i got to indulge my mushroom fantasy, we had some work to do. unfortunately, i didn't get to layer in the fresh horse manure to form a compost lasagna (perhaps i'll be luckier next time) but spent the day wiping out the native plant garden of all non-native invaders - dang pest control to the rescue!
if you want to learn to be your own forest nymph or take a turn at being a trusty farm hand, alemany farm has volunteer days the first and third sunday of each month and all the saturdays in between. maybe i'll see you there. i'll be by the dirt looking for worms.