Yesterday, I received my first ever “Ditch Digger” certificate at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a newly constructed two-sided bench that is made almost entirely out of cob, doubles as a kid cave, looks like a rocket ship and redefines the image of the “love seat.” This was just one slice of the entertainment at this year’s harvest festival/garden party at Songaia. Other activities included a goat show, personal pizzas made in the cob oven, and a questionable attempt at blackberry mojitos. From a newcomer’s perspective, I’d say this year’s garden party was a huge success.
It also might have been the most Songaians I’ve seen so far in one place. By now, Max and I have gotten to know the community pretty well, or at least had a chance to meet everyone at some point if not eat breakfast at their house. We’ve also gotten to know the garden pretty well, at least enough to identify some things here or there and not get lost. It was nice, however, to finally combine it all, to not just get the community together in one space, but to bring it all together in the garden.
That’s not to say the two are ever really separable. Even if you’re not hanging out in the garden most days, you’re most likely eating from it at some point, and it would be extremely difficult for someone to overlook the pounds and pounds of produce that nobody really know what to do with.
Still, something felt particularly important about taking time to recognize just how impressive the harvest from the garden has been, and how many people it has been able to feed. As Katie likes to put it, “abundance.”
Yesterday’s celebration was also a reminder that this is probably not your typical “wwoofing” experience. Just from the little research I did before stumbling upon Songaia, most farms seeking interns seem to be just a single family of four or five individuals, not forty-five (or so), and I don’t imagine many other wwoofers get to participate in Monday evening sing-alongs.
As my fellow garden slave hinted at in his blog post, it did not take long for us to realize that we really lucked out in finding this place. Just the experience of working in the garden, learning about permaculture and getting to spend all this time outside would have been enough to know that coming here was a great decision. But to have on top of that the opportunity to hang out with so many new and interesting people has really made this experience particularly special, and leaves no doubt that we are in the right place... Looking forward to another month.