I love my job at Hearty Roots. It is amazing to me that I get to spend my days outside, working with my body and my hands making food grow, surrounded by mountains, weather, color, beauty and wonderful people. Farming is tangible and satisfying in a way other jobs I have had just aren’t. I can stand behind this job politically as well, as I am a small part in creating a more just and responsible food system. And if these weren’t reasons enough for me to love working at Hearty Roots, there is lunch program, one of my absolute favorite things about the job.
If you have read this newsletter closely (you are breaking my heart if you haven’t been), then you have witnessed lunch program being referenced. I am sure you have been asking yourself, “Just what is this lunch program KayCee so frequently mentions?” Wonder no more.
There are four of us working full time on the farm. Each one of us has a day of the week when we prepare lunch for everyone else. Miriam cooks on Mondays, I cook on Tuesdays, Owen has Wednesdays, and Benjamin is chef ju jour on Thursdays. The chef of the day stops working a bit early to prepare lunch and then at 1:00 we all gather to eat. On many days we have already been working for 7 hours by the time lunch comes around, so it is naturally a well-deserved break. But there is something so much more to sharing the literal fruit of our labors together, to having a meal lovingly prepared, and to just sitting down and really relaxing for about an hour together. The four of us spend an inordinate amount of time together, but it is at lunch when we catch up on farm gossip and news, share the latest joke, recount tales of past weekends or evenings, and just generally enjoy each other’s company. We eat amazingly healthfully as our vegetables are showcased and often supported with some grains or beans. It is always exciting when we get to have the first fennel or sweet potato or tomato of the season.
It is a rare occurrence to take the time to eat in a home, on real plates, enjoying the mid day break. In my former job as a teacher I had about 20 minutes to eat my lunch out of tupperware while cleaning up kids’ spills, slicing their oranges, and diffusing social disruptions. Eating was not about the food or the company. How wonderful would it be if every office, school, or workshop created some sort of lunch program? It greatly improves one’s quality of life and reminds us how important and valuable good food and good people truly are.
And what about Fridays you ask? We used to eat burritoes next to Montgomery Place Orchard Farm Stand after delivering vegetables to them. We dined al fresco, getting to meet up with friends and CSA members at this local gathering place. Now the burrito stand is closed and we are forced to find other places to dine on Fridays. Eating out still is fun, but I always look forward to Monday’s lunch program.