Moving Pipes and Packing Produce
Hello, readers! My name is Sean. I worked at Red Dog Farm in 2016 and 2017, and I am happy to be back!
The farm day starts a little differently for me than it did before. Usually a drive down the dusty farm road settles me in before I walk to the pack shed, where I might see farm dog Maggie waiting for Karyn, looking forward to seeing what they will do that day. When the crew has all arrived, farm manager Lane and crew lead Julia give us a morning briefing and we begin our day.
But now, to keep everyone healthy, instead of gathering for a morning meeting, we receive our directions in a group text, and my morning walk takes me directly out to the field. Irrigation lead Naomi radios us every morning with instructions on where to move the irrigation pipes in a shorthand code: “Patsy 10, Loretta 4.5, and Inglis 11” comes across channel one, and we step across the beds and move the pipes. It’s an interesting kind of dance, moving pipes, when your partner is 20 feet of copper and there are little seeds sprouting under your feet, but like any dance, it’s best to enjoy it every step of the way.
After our morning irrigation moves, we harvest salad mix and bring it to our hero of the pack shed, Paige. She cleans the salad mix in large sinks and dries it in modified clothes dryers that make a distinctive “whum whum whum” sound. The pack shed is where we all meet for the first time that day in passing, as we bring in the day’s crops. You can sometimes find Paige out harvesting in the field with the rest of us, but when people are in the pack shed, music plays loudly, and on Wednesdays, the crew packs produce for you in the week’s CSA shares.
Until next time, Sean, or as I’m also known on the farm, Guava.