Field Notes: A Turn of Events
There has been some talk in the office. Discussions. Emails have been exchanged. Texts. It’s not outright panic. Neither is it alarm. It swings more on the side of concern with possibile undesired outcomes looming.
It’s about the events. You may have heard. We’ve got some coming up.
Aside from our regularly scheduled farm tours, including one with Whole Foods Hillcrest May 7, we created a few new events.
The first event created is Weed Dating. Scheduled for Sunday, May 15th, we heard about Weed Dating from one of our Marketeers. Taylor, home from Vermont for the holidays, told us about a farm up that way who, I presume, created the first such opportunity. In weed dating you weed a row next to someone for 7 minutes. You make small talk - in 7 minutes the talk has got to be practically microscopic - and at the sound of the bell, chime, triangle or whatever, one of the people stays in their row and the other moves one row over. Now you proceed to weed and date in 7 minute increments for one hour total. The idea being that once you leave college it gets hard to find people who share your same values and ideas. By proxy of attending such an event as weed dating, you inherently understand something about the person in the row next to you. That’s the assumption anyway. I mean, you gotta be pretty desperate at the end of the day to muck about in the weeds if you ain’t down with weeding.
Your reward? Besides, hopefully, finding someone you might want to have tea or wine with, is that in the second hour you get served tea and wine, along with other small refreshments. After all, weeding and dating is hard work! You might start a conversation with someone you didn’t get a chance to date, or continue a conversation you started while weeding. When you are ready to leave, fill out a questionaire indicating by whom you would like to be contacted.
Being 16 years out of the dating world, we are not hip to the current cool cat jive. How would we meet someone now? At our age? In a bar? Ugh. Did that scene already. Besides the music is so loud, and you have to bare a LOT of flesh to attract any “interest”. Book stores? Are there any left? Same for record stores. No disrespect to M-Theory or Off the Record but it’s just not the same as the old Tower Record days. Thrift stores? Impossible to know for sure - the line between Hip and Homeless is often blurry. Restaurants - every one is with someone already. Church?! What’s a body to do?
A body creates the Weed Dating event here in San Diego.
A body also creates a Silent Tour. A place in space and time where you can set everything aside. No outside pressures push on you. No one asking questions, demanding replies. No email, text, Facebook status updates pinging. No rush to get somewhere for fear of missing it. No extra sights, extra sounds or extra people. Just you, slowing down, doing what you want to do at your pace. Stopping. Breathing. Listening. Sighing. Stretching, running, dancing. Sitting, watching, observing. As free as you allow yourself to be. Free from judgement. Free from stress. A walking meditation for those desperate for peace. During the silence there will be moments of turbulence, of anguish, of doubt or of joy. But you can stop, you can feel your anguish without anyone asking you to do anything else but feel that anguish or that joy. And then, you move on.
So a body creates these events, knowing that they are grand opportunities. Events are created with a feeling of positive energy and excitement. Wouldn’t this be cool? I’d like to do something like that, wouldn’t you? What fun parties! Hang outside in the sun, meet some new people, chat, adult beverages. Who wouldn’t want to attend?!
And now come the discussions. There is some concern. The E word has emerged. You know which one: Embarrassment. As in, “We better get some people to these events or it’s going to be an embarrassment.”
The remark bewildered me. Why should we be embarrassed if the event doesn’t go as we planned? To me this is the same as trying a new variety of pepper or tomato. Just try something, anything. Throw it against the wall. See if it sticks. The people who attend, no matter how few or how many, will enjoy it. Isn’t that the point? Enjoyment. I like that E word a lot better. I’m also feeling Exciting, Electric and Enterprise. Experiment is good too.
The whole thing is a grand experiment - not just the farm but our whole lives. Every day I get a chance to try it all out again. What did I do yesterday? Did that work? Did that suck? Keep some, toss the rest, try again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
What is the worst that can happen? That Robin and I show up at these events with some wine and food and we have a low turn out? OK. Then what? We hang out with the people who do come. We chit chat Maybe weed. Walk the farm and enjoy the sun. That’s the worst that can happen?
OK. So we learn. We may be disappointed, but more for others than for ourselves. They were cool events. We tried it out. Keep some, toss the rest, try again.
But that hasn’t happened yet. I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, we will continue to do our best to spread the word. Maybe these events aren’t for you but they might be for someone you know. Might you spread the word for us, too?
Lucila de Alejandro is the co-owner and head weed puller of Suzie's Farm, a 70-acre organic farm located near the Tijuana River Estuary, 13 miles outside of downtown San Diego, CA.