This is the first year in decades that I haven’t had a vegetable garden. For most of my adult life, wherever I’ve lived, I found a patch of dirt and planted something. My favorite things to grow include tomatoes, peppers, salad greens, radishes, corn, and especially pumpkins.
But I moved in March of this year (with a little help from my friends at JK Moving). My wife I and left our home of 15 years and bought a house on the golf course. The point of the move was to spend less time mowing and more time playing golf. It’s kind of hard to admit, but at age 51, I just don’t have the strength and the energy I had through my 30s and 40s. Gardening was becoming more of an effort and a chore and less enjoyable.
But still, I feel that biological urge to plant things and tend to them. And as the never-ending winter of 2017-2018 finally gave way to spring and warm weather, I found myself looking around the new property, visualizing new garden beds. I filled the deck with potted plants and puttered in the few flower beds around the house. Still, it was an unsatisfying season. There is a yearning to grow things that I suspect will never go away.
Recently I found a terrific way to scratch that itch.
I had heard about the JK Community Farm earlier in the year. Founded by JK Moving Founder, President, and CEO Chuck Kuhn, the mission of the farm is to grow organic food and distribute it to those in need right here in Loudoun County. Although Loudoun County has been one of the most affluent counties in the world for most of the past two decades, there is still a shocking number of people locally who need help. I’ve always subscribed to the philosophy of “thinking globally and acting locally;” the JK Community Farm fits this mantra perfectly.
How to Volunteer – It Couldn’t Be Easier
Last week I finally decided that I could spare some time to visit the farm and pitch in. I visited the JK Community Farm website and clicked on the link to volunteer. It was really easy to see the times when volunteers were needed. Time-slots are broken down into three-hour shifts, which I found very appealing. I signed up for a spot from 9 am – noon on Saturday. I looked forward to the shift all week, and I confess that I told everyone I talked to about the good deeds I had planned for the weekend. My wife was convinced that I would end up bailing out and sleeping in, but I was truly committed to seeing it through.
It’s an Amazing Feeling to Be Part of the JK Community Farm
I’m going to save the details of my first day as a volunteer for another blog post. There is so much to say about what’s happening there and how it affected me personally. What I will tell you is that it was the experience of a lifetime. I got some great exercise, a lot of sun, and met some amazing people. My small contribution to a big effort made me feel good about myself at a level that is all too rare.
More to Come
After re-planting and completely weeding rows #4 and #6, it is my firm intent to return often and check on the progress of the 180 lettuce plants I put into the soil. Although I don’t have my own garden this year, I will still be enjoying that incredible feeling you get from planting something and watching it transform into a harvest with little more than water and sunshine.
If you are a fellow gardener, especially one like me who currently does not have a plot to tend, I urge you to join me at the JK Community Farm. It’s a garden we all can share.
Check back next week to find out more about my day at the Farm!