Into the Wild: Crab Grass

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I am driving a tractor and giving Maracuja a ride!

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Yoga/Relaxation time at the end of the day.

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We re-painted the farm sign. From left to right carrying the sign is Maracuja, Chelesa and farm-owner Richard Caceres.

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A huge pile of crab grass!

It’s been a long time since my last post…feels like eons. Whew! Where does time go? Down the rabbit hole I suppose! I’ve returned though and am back on the hunt. Hunt for what you might ask? Hunt for magic…

I recently left my position as a creative writing teacher in Miami (more on that later) and am WWOOFing (worldwide work on organic farms: http://www.wwoofusa.org) on Caceres Organic Blueberry farm in Old Town, Florida. I love this farm and as you can see from the picture above it is nothing short of bliss; rows of beautiful blueberry bushes, a sweet little lake, an old farm house and lots of interesting folk! My favorite hour on the farm is dusk. There is something deeply magical about it. I like to take my yoga mat out in the field, face the setting sun and watch the sky. I usually doze off after doing yoga or reading a bit and it feels so comforting to relax into the ground, like something inside me is becoming alive again, my connection to the earth is being reignited.

Now before you start idealizing the farm too much, let me tell you about The Weeds…no, not the show, actual honest to goodness, hardcore, dig deep and pull them out weeds!! Most mornings I am out in the field with gloves and water bottle in hand making deals with the ants, telling them that I won’t bother them if they promise not to bite me, I just need to get the weeds out. Then, I am at it…sweat on my brow, kneeling in the dirt, pulling weeds out by the dozen. My fellow woofers are usually close by and we are in it together, like a strange cult, all we want is to make that weed pile grow. For several bushes, I’m fine, humming along, pulling and breathing and releasing the blueberry roots from their tiny captors. Then I find it, crab grass! It’s like a weed on steroids! It’s strong and long and it’s roots go on and on and on. Did I say it was long? And tough and hard to get out of the ground, but if you don’t pull it all out it will return. Those nasty little roots will grow right back! So, in honor of these audacious weeds I decided to write a little poem about them (see below!). All in all farm life is good, weeds aside! Later this week I am headed to a little farm outside Austin, Texas. The quest continues…

Ode to Crab Grass

Oh dear crab grass, how you grow and grow-
Roots so strong, you strangle the life below.
Stems so large you take over all that lives around.

We try to pull you and free
the bushes from your evil clutches
but you resist- you shout, you scream, you pant.
“Don’t rip me from my home,” you yell.

So we dig deeper, unveiling your weedy stalks
from the dark crevices of soil.

Yet we have to honor your tenacity.
You never want to let go, even when snapped in half,
your roots still grow.

Oh dear crab grass,
You have the heart of a true weed,
You are consumed with greed!
Dying to take over all that you can see,
your devilish ways secretly thrill me.

Sometimes I hear you whispering in the middle of the night,
“I’ll be so tough those wwoofers will never get all of me…”

And so, when out we come the next morning,
Gloves in hand, sunny smiles all around,
you have already set your devious plan in motion.

Tricking us with the feathery tops of your crabby ways,
we are wooed into a sweet lullaby of completion,
we pluck you and think we are done.

Yet little do we know, as we go about our merry farming ways,
that down, down, under the ground,
the crab grass plot’s it’s inevitable return!

 

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