April 17, 2012
Spring is here, with temperatures up to 80 degrees rapidly opening the buds. Craig feels we will still have a frost, so the tender plants will still remain inside the greenhouse.
Today, Craig planted collard plants, which he watered, and will cover with straw for protection. Planted in clumps, he will later pull the tender leaves for greens and leave one plant in each space. The second year collards have delicious leaves, now edible. I tasted one – a sweet, slightly broccoli flavor similar to all brassicas. Craig said that he eats the leaves of his broccoli plants too. We are such creatures of habit that we overlook the obvious, sometimes.
Earlier, I pulled corn stalks from a back field, to save for papermaking. They still retain a delicate golden color. As I was working, another woman arrived to work on her rented plot. Craig rents land space to the community. A 20 x40 foot plot goes for about $ 40 for the season. This is a deal for those who need a spot for crops. This was her second year in the same plot and she was planning what she might do differently this year. She had developed a personal connection to this particular spot. As we worked, the spring peepers called to one another and an owl hooted from the woods.
Craig is running for the Maine legislature this year. He studied public policy at Harvard and considered becoming a lawyer, but on the advice of a favorite professor, chose other directions, including performance art. When I asked him his platform, he said, “To feed the people.” His personal example of land stewardship and his donations to the food bank demonstrate his commitment to this goal. He lives what he believes.