Being hunched over, carefully poking in onion starts into the soil was calming and grounding. The simple repetitive motion was akin to a meditation of sorts. It was hard work and my legs and back needed regular stretching but it felt so satisfying to soak up the sun while digging in dirt. I do not know how many onions I planted, several hundred at least. When we were finished it was quite satisfying seeing all those little onions lined up down the row. After spending so much time planting onions I felt connected to them somehow, or perhaps connected to the land, and I left my friend’s farm feeling happy, sun-kissed and tired.
This past week has been somewhat challenging and stressful. Everyone has times of stress; it is not a pleasant experience no matter how you look at it. However, I have found a wonderful stress combatant: planting onions. It was onion planting time on my friend’s small family-run organic farm this week and I was most happy to take on this laborious diversion. When I arrived at the farm the morning air was crisp and fresh, the birds were singing and the sun was shinning. It was picturesque and I entertained ideas of having my own farm one day. The work began slowly and I curiously examined the strange contraption attached to the end of the tractor. Soon this contraption prepared the rows by laying down a black plastic mulch and pushing the dirt under and around it. Next, planting holes were punched through the plastic with a rather menacing tool that was made by my friend. Preparing the rows took most of the morning and after a lunch break I started planting onions alongside a farmhand.