“It’s amazing how much you can get done with a group of people working together.”
Katie Walker beams as she weeds around softball size kohlrabi out at Eden Hall last week. A straw hat dips around her face and blocks the three o’clock sun overhead. It’s an ideal summer Wednesday in the garden–soft blue skies, lingering white clouds and an ever-so-often breeze that sends the wildflowers dancing.
The group she talks about is Work N’ Pick –a crew of exclusively Chatham students, faculty and staff that venture to Eden Hall either Wednesday nights or Saturday mornings throughout the summer to help out in the garden in exchange for harvest–hence the Work N’ Pick name.
This summer, there are between 20-25 Chathamites who make the trek. They contribute to the success of keeping the garden intact. The work they do out at Eden Hall is typical garden chores–weeding, transplanting, watering, staking and suckering tomatoes, hoeing and planting for the fall.
In the coming weeks the group will ensure the longevity of the farm by planting vegetables for the fall Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) that will be available for the Chatham community. What they plant this summer will be ready to harvest in a couple of months.
The folks involved in Work N’ Pick take home not only harvest, but an experience that extends into their personal lives.
“A handful of participants have started a little garden in their own yards,” explains Walker. “They take what they learn here home.”
And they also learn from each other. Each week, the group talks about what they did with last week’s harvest–they share ideas and recipes, gardening worries and wonders. Their curiosities become discussions, where Walker and Amber Webb–the two Graduate Assistants that run Work N’ Pick–answer questions and share tips.
Last week, the group took home kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, herbs and garlic scapes. Webb shared one of her favorite things to do with the garlic scapes–cook them up and throw them in with your breakfast omelet, Julia Child style, of course. Webb enjoys her omelets with goat cheese, the sauteed garlic scapes and some fresh herbs–basil, thyme, chives or parsley are her top pics.
How do you like your eggs? And with what? I watched the Julie Child omelet video, (check it out on youtube–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RThnq3-d6PY) and minutes later was buttering up my pan and shaking my two eggs into an omelet. Satisfying success! I topped with crumbled goat cheese and Eden Hall sage. Served with side of EH Toscano Kale, sweet onion and mushrooms. Breakfast done right.
Thanks Amber for the suggestion.
Speaking of suggestions, what do you do with your harvest? Let us know. Stay tuned to forthcoming recipes from the Work N’ Pickers themselves! For now, check out their Flickr page for additional photos–https://www.flickr.com/photos/125132470@N06/with/14562416991