The Etz Chayim DC crew is being supervised at the Farm at Walker Jones by a sixth grader. She’s way too polite to tell us when we are doing something wrong or when one of our suggestions is off the mark. Instead, she signals her disapproval with a mildly horrified look. It does the trick.
Seven of us, ranging in age from 6 to 41, went to this urban farm in NoMa to volunteer on October 23. We pulled amaranth, leveled beds, spread freshly composted topsoil, and made paths out of wood chips. Only the 6-year-old was immune to the horrified looks. Our boss for the day gave the young farmer plenty of opportunities to be helpful and a good measure of praise. The rest of us, despite our love for sustainable agriculture and the land, were subject to a lot of teachable moments.
In addition to our day’s work, we had lunch (including a salad of mustard greens picked that day), and a fun, multi-generational, and informally interfaith discussion about resting the land during the Shmita year.
Etz Chayim DC is a community forum for people in the Washington, D.C. area to exchange ideas, create events, and channel our collective power toward food and environmental justice work, inspired by Jewish tradition and practice.
Back in September, Etz Chayim also had a workshop on urban beekeeping at the Walker Jones Farm.