It was a rainy start to our second hoop build of the spring, but we were ready. At least it was warm, and there was a good chance of sun for later in the day. It was the mud that really was the challenge. But, hey, you all know by now that a little mud won’t get in our way! We’ve got Jedi volunteers who make the best of what ever Mother Nature sends our way.
Sure, the hoop house site isn’t an urban setting with all the amenities like a full kitchen and inside bathrooms with running water. But, really, running water is overrated when you’ve got a hoop house to build. An outhouse works just fine. And we did have a cool tent with a living room and stove at our disposal thanks to the creativity of the Sunseed Farm crew, some of whom live on site much of the time.
We started with the site marked off, corner posts squared, and bow supports in place, ready and waiting for the volunteer crew to arrive.
Notice the tall muck boots on most of the crew. These folks had the right idea. Notice the coffee cups filled with Roos Roast too. And, of course the Washtenaw Dairy donuts. We know what’s important on a work site.
On to the site, and the day unfolding.
For a full-on 360 degree experience of how we worked with the muddy conditions check out this little video, shot by Trilby Becker.
We work hard, and we take well deserved breaks to eat and rest. Feeding our volunteers delicious, hearty, healthy and locally sourced meals is a huge priority. For this build, the Ann Arbor People’s Food Co-op helped us out big time by donating ingredients to make the sandwiches and other dishes that Tilby, I, and a group of volunteers put together. Thank you so much PFC! Trilby and I also send out huge thanks to the food prep volunteers who helped prepare the delicious lunch and dinner for our on-site volunteers: Elizabeth Beers, Rachel Chadderdon, Nancy Welker, and Jennifer Jensen spent their Saturday in our kitchen, putting together muffaletta sandwiches with variations to satisfy every dietary need, as well as making potato salad, hard boiling eggs, and packing up all the supplies to bring out to Sunseed Farm. Milagros Paredes donated a chorizo and bean soup that big-time wowed the ominvores, as well as cooking up a richly flavored spicy lentil soup for the vegetarians. Rachel Chadderdon made some luscious rhubarb cookie bars, and Siri Gottlieb donated a big tray of buttery and jam filled short bread bars. Does anyone remember who made the batch of vegan cookies, and the very chocolate-y brownies? Those were gone in a quick minute!
By the end of the day, we had nearly 50 people who had come out to help us raise this 2nd hoop house for Sunseed Farm. The words thank-you just don’t seem to be enough. How about profound appreciation? Deep gratitude, massive gratefulness, huge love? Or some combination of words that will capture how much joy there is in coming together as a community with our volunteers. Tomm and Trilby Becker, Jeff and I say Thankadore You to: Megan Zlatos, Jeff Holden, Nic Parton, Dan Carroll, Nevon Clark, Lizzie Olenzek, Tom and Nancy Welker, Sean Kehoe, Jennifer Jensen, Helen Harding, Kyle Rhodes, Rob Naussbaumer, Mike and Rose Pitsch, Marty Weid, Brian Allnutt, Anne West, Misa Cady, Ian Daum-Bost, Courtney Peterson, Joel Panozzo, Heidi Perry, Morgan Nichols, Mike Sietkes, Lisa Dugdale, Sara Schlotterbeck, Hillary Bisnett, Dick Dyer, John, Marcy, Noah, Caleb and Will Veit, Melissa Cooper, Patrick Carmody, Edward Weymouth, Noah Miller, Andrea Bloom, Dale Finkelson, Howard Gold, Heidi Kumao, Kari Blouin, Walter Prettyman, Kate Long, Becky Otto and Beth Tarini and Kendal Kuneman. Next time you see any of these folks, be sure to show them some love for their efforts. Did I forget someone? Email me and I’ll get their name added pronto.
After enjoying the bonfire into the wee hours, all of us eased our way home. We were tired, sweaty and covered in mud, and we shared a feeling of camaraderie, a sense of measurable accomplishment, and a strong urge to fall into bed.
We had just the right number of people who showed up to help pull the plastic Sunday afternoon with Tomm, Trilby and Jeff. Thank you to Nic Parton, Lizzie Olenzek, Kevin and Rachel Spall, Mike, and Jody Bogumil for spending the afternoon with us making the magic happen.
Yesterday, Jeff and I drove up to Sunseed Farm to capture a few more photos of the hoop with the cover in place, and the side wall roll up mechanisms installed. Finishing the end wall with plastic will happen soon.
I couldn’t pass up this last photo of the flower bed Tomm and Trilby invited their wedding guests to plant for them at their Sunseed Farm wedding last September. These iris, in full bloom, are exceptionally lovely. Did you know that this beautiful flower has a history dating back thousands of years? The word Iris comes from the Greek word for rainbow, and it is named for the Greek goddess Iris, who, among other things was a link between heaven and earth. Whether your belief system includes heaven or not, I thoroughly enjoy the thought that these flowers, planted by the family and friends of Tomm and Trilby to grace their love for each other, also represent the love for their farm, and for the local food community to whom they have a passionate commitment to feed.
Thank you once again to all,