wrestling with carrots

carrots - before beauty treatment

I volunteer for an organization that is part public/community garden, part harvest market, part nursery, and part educational resource.

I love it there.

In the beginning, all I did was weed. I didn’t mind. It’s quiet, peaceful work that requires patience and persistence, which it turns out I have when it comes to weeding. I’m the same with untying difficult knots. Can’t get your shoes off? Poor thing…come over here and let me take a look at the problem.

Certain activities bring out my perfectionism – without the Type A personality, of course. Uh, why do you still have your shoes on? I didn’t unknot your shoes for fun, you know. Next time, can you take them off before entering my blog? Here are some slippers you can wear (which I will burn immediately after you leave).

A weeder’s job is never done. Ever. I began to think that I would never graduate to doing anything else.

A few weeks ago, another fellow weeder and I were asked to help with some planting. We were so thrilled that our egos ballooned up over our heads.

We made it!! We’re too legit to quit!!


A week later, the garden manager asked me to help harvest the broccoli:

“Get a clipper from the barn – ” He instructed.
My ego starting floating up into the air again. I quickly returned and started to cut some of the heads of broccoli, realizing that some of the stalks were way too thick for the clippers.
“How do I cut some of the bigger stalks? I don’t want to hack at them.” I said to the manager, holding up my narrow clippers.
“Well…first of all, those are wire cutters.”

Ego properly deflated.

I knew how ridiculous the situation was, so I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. He gave me his clippers and went off to get another pair. I put my head down and started working. I also harvested snap peas and then remembered the manager saying they needed carrots, too.

I couldn’t find him, so I asked someone else which carrots to harvest. I hadn’t a clue.

“Look at these tall greens,” She pointed to a large clump of carrot tops. “You could pull the more mature ones.”

Those were some stubborn carrots. I pulled, dug, and wrestled until I had sweat falling into my eyes (and everywhere else). Sometimes I was left with only the tops in my fist. If I had more time, I could have gotten more of them out, but everyone was beginning to leave and I still had to cut the tops and rinse them. As I was doing this, the garden manager showed up with another basket of carrots. He didn’t pick many mature ones – most of them were quite tiny.

Note to self: always find the manager and ask him how he wants things done.

carrots - after

My supervisors are loose and forgiving. They aren’t looking for perfection, which is perfect for an imperfect person who thinks she needs to be perfect. What they’re looking for is willingness, and  I am more than willing to learn and add to my growing base of knowledge (and superpowers). I predict all of this will come in very handy in the future…



16 thoughts on “wrestling with carrots

  1. The wirecutters is something I’d do. The other day I was hanging a photo in the house and I hammered a screw into the wall thinking it would work the same as a nail but it was all loose in the hole… oops! Turns out theres an actual reason people screw them in and it isn’t because they enjoy wasting time!

    Weeding is definitely an endless job… I filled about 8 garbage bags with weeds from our yard and by the time I finished theres new ones popping up Already. Theres one particularly stubborn root that I can’t get out of the ground where I want to put my garden, it’s bent all my garden tools but josh will be back in the next day or two so hopefully he can help me get it out 🙂

    Seems we’re both really enjoying spending time in the garden 🙂 I just love it.. minus the bugs


    • Eight garbage bags?!? I hope you’re taking photos as you go along. I know…some roots are monsters! They do not want to go anywhere. I’ll be curious to know what Josh’s solution will be!

      Screw vs. nail…haha! Well, at least with these ‘oops’ moments, we can laugh and learn (I hope)!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m hoping he can get the root out with a little muscle 😉 Also we are in need of a pointed shovel, that should do the trick. I’ve been using a little garden spade to try and dig it out but I need something a bit more sturdy. All the shovels I’ve come across here have been flat at the bottom; Josh seems to think I am crazy looking for pointed shovels but I’m sure I can find one somewhere!

        He’s back home later today, yay!!! I’m hoping we can smash the garden out this weekend 🙂

        Look forward to more of your posts 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the ability to maintain an interest in gardening is a superpower in its self!!

    I have a garden, I love my garden, I sometimes mow the lawn and am very happy when my husband mows the lawn…i like my apple trees…but when it comes to actually weeding planting tidying etc I think I am interested…and it lasts for a day or so then fades…this is why I never plant veg…the poor things would suffer!

    I can completely understand the wire cutter thing too…they all look the same!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Volunteering at a place like this sounds like fun, Jane. It is great that you are adding new and valuable superpowers to your arsenal 🙂 ! I like the photos you posted for the post too. The carrots look so delicious — little or big ones. Do the volunteers get to partake in the veggie harvest?


    • Yes, volunteers are allowed to take veggies that aren’t sold at the end of the day (sometimes I buy during the market if it looks like it will sell fast).

      Do you have a garden? What kind?

      BTW, I have wild (I think) roses in my backyard. Or maybe they’re trailing? They smell so good…at least, the few left that the deer haven’t eaten!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wild roses! Some roses can grow for a long time, you definitely have to take photos and post. I don’t have a garden right now, but I did when we lived in the Bay Area. I think I planted over 20 rose bushes there….

        I hope you are enjoying your new abode, and not wilting in the summer heat there 🙂 The weather has been very nice here, unlike when we first moved to this area, isn’t it supposed to be cold and foggy now?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think I may have spoken too soon about the roses. I called them wild because they were sprawling and unruly, haha! They are actually some kind of crawling rose. Only a few blooms, but they are petite and pretty. Maybe they were in full bloom before I moved here?

          Enjoying my place so much! It stays fairly cool because of all of the trees. And this morning, it’s foggy! Ah…like Monterey weather… And speaking of, I’m glad you’re getting nice weather there. Watch, when I drive down next week, the fog will follow me…


  4. Love the photos of the carrots. Sounds like it’s a place you really enjoy volunteering at but do the other volunteers make you eat their homemade food or tell you you look tired?! Don’t you miss that:).

    Liked by 1 person

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