The first crop to come in after a long winter of frozen and canned vegetables, the arrival of asparagus on the steamtable for dinner marks the real beginning of a new season.  I’ve truly loved the spinach and kale and salad greens from the greenhouse all winter, and now the fresh asparagus shooting up out in the field reminds me of all of the delicious variety and abundance that will come from the garden for the next 5 months.  The strawberry plants have had flowers blooming for a few days now, and the apple trees just burst into bloom yesterday.  On the garden shifts, we’ve been prepping the beds for transplanting, and the carrot seeds have already been sewn.  My last garden shift actually got rained out in a dramatic thunderstorm (imagine the 5 of us scrambling to finish covering the rows of strawberry plants as dark clouds took over the sky, giant raindrops pelting us harder and faster.  We eventually had enough and ran inside to hang out in the kitchen drinking tea and coffee, listening to the rain pound on the roof.  A few of us stripped off our wet clothes and ran outside to take a shower in the rainspout, and then promtly ran back inside for warm beverages).

I sat in on a planner meeting yesterday, to get a sense of what it might be like if I decide I want to do the job.  It seems like the kind of work I want to be doing, looking at community issues from a “big picture” perspective and asking all of the hard questions of legal responsibilities, ethics, niceness, egalitarianism, etc.  It also seems like dealing with a lot of people’s pettiness and passive agressiveness.   The issues that were covered yesterday included the creation of a new economic oversight team, some tax ethics questions, and the future of elder care in the community (we had a big community meeting last week — a third of our population is over 50, and many of them are likely to be here for the rest of their lives.  Our oldest member right now is 81, and she’s needing increasing care and attention).  It was wild to be sitting in the room with my friends (the current planners are all people I like and know well), hanging out and talking about these big issues, and then making a community-wide decision!  Anything that the planners decide can be overridden by a simple majority of  the members, and that actually rarely happens.

and now I’m off to another speaking gig, to a private boarding school in New Jersey.  I ‘m not really up for travelling; I’ve been enjoying being surrounded by spring on the farm so much…  I’ll be home again tomorrow night.