10:30 am, Troy Community Farm

By the time I get to Troy Community Farm it’s already sprinkling. Despite the lack of actual human farmers, there are more signs of life than you might expect. The rows of sunflowers are alive with small birds that dart too fast for me to see identifying markers, scavenging for seeds. A table is full of bags and water bottles. Snaking throughout the compost pile are volunteer tomato vines and full-blown squash. No one likes being consigned to a compost bin — there’s a will to thrive. Sprinklers are on, encouraging a fall crop of… something. Finally I see someone near the greenhouses.

Christine Welcher is loading flats of cat grass into the back of a pickup for delivery to the Willy Street Co-op. Fridays, the sprout and cat grass operation kicks in about 6 or 7 am and wraps up about 11 am “Rain or shine, 100 degrees or 30,” says Welcher, now dotted with raindrops. She commiserates with me about my left shoe, now enrobed in wet mud. “It’s an occupational hazard.”

– Linda Falkenstein

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