Thank you to all who came out for the moist and drizzly farm fest! The farm is in the throes of soaking in the vibes and the water deep into the last crevices of rock and soil. This week we’re hosting Alumni at Pomona College as part of Alumni Weekend, a time of great merriment and a general air of nostalgia on campus, not at all minimized by the imminent departure of a batch of seniors. if the world seems a bit too large right now, if everything in scope is a bit too big, let me indulge you with the same world in macro perspective.
It is morning. A few dew drops hang from a broccoli leaf, shrinking as the sun ascends and the air warms. A ladybug ambles along the leaf, six legs skittering along. It’s hard shell gleams in the morning sun. It is on the hunt. It stumbles over a vein and finds, in a small valley of the leaf, a cluster of aphids plugged into the leaf’s vein, gorging on its sugars, bloated and ripe for the kill. The ladybug approaches and with hungry intentions rips one of them from its tissue hold and crushes it between its mandibles. Sugar-water oozes from its mouth as the aphid turns into a sweet-crunchy breakfast. The ladybug swallows and cleans itself off with two front legs, not one to be sloppy. It turns it’s attention to the next morsel and rips another from the leaf. The rest of the aphids are alerted but they have already invested their body to this leaf, and the sugar water moves through them largely undigested, exiting in a round drop from their translucent bodies. The ants, their keepers, soon come to drink the drops, unable to tap into the leaves themselves. An ant looks up and notices the ladybug happily devouring their food-machines! An invasion! It skitters over to the valley in the leaf and crawls right up to the ladybug with accusing mandibles, poking here and there, trying to find something soft to assault. The ladybug retreats into its hard shell and squeezes everything inside, hiding, eyes shut, waiting it out. The ant retreats, confounded, and the ladybug, found out, ambles its way out before the rest of the ants are altered to its intrusion. But breakfast was good and there is no more work to be done here. The ladybug reaches the tip of the leaf, lifts its red shell outer wings and unfolds from beneath feathery papery wings twice as big, waving them at inert air particles, and quietly floats into the sunlight.
This week in farm:
Alumni Farm Stand: Friday 4-5:30pm at the SCC Courtyard
Farm stand will continue its irregular schedule and will happen on Friday, this time we’re back on Pomona’s campus for Alumni Weekend! Featuring all your favorite fresh veggies, in addition to newly printed farm shirts and sweatshirts, teas, and the first edition of a farm booklet! Basically, it is a compilation of missives and pictures from the year. This edition is limited and printed for alumni weekend, but the final version will be available to order in the summer so watch this space. We will also have lots of free mulberries and loquats for all to enjoy!
Hazlett’s goodbye shindig: Friday 5-6:30pm at the West Farm
Our wonderful farm guardian and EA professor Rick Hazlett will be retiring after this year, so we will gather to celebrate his contribution and work at the farm! Come on down to bid him farewell and to see pictures and quotes from the farm’s history and reminisce on the long journey that got us here. There will be music, there will be food. It is also the best time to be at the farm- when the evening light bathes everything cool and golden. See you there!
Volunteer Hours: Saturday 10-12pm, Farm West side
A call to alumni and any other souls who have an impulse towards dirt! We’ll be doing a fair amount of summer planting and winter clearing. Just the thing to invigorate your soul, and the weather even promises to cooperate.
Alumni Weekend Tours: Saturday 4:45- 6:30pm starting from the Greek Theatre
Tours of the farm will be leaving from the Greek Theatre from 4:45-6:30pm on Saturday.
Farm Alumni Lecture: “Trends in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems” Saturday 5-5:30pm in the Outdoor Classroom, West Side
Happening during the tours, so you can join and go as you please, Professor Marc Los Huertos gives a lecture describing environmental, economic and policy trends that influence agricultural sustainability. He will highlights the results of research projects, changes in farming practices and various policy developments that influence the environmental outcomes in food systems in California and US. Free and open to all.
Love and ladybugs,