Luck O’ the Onion Patch

This Wednesday, St. Patty’s Day, we decided to skip the workout with Robbie Ray to pick weeds at Pat’s onion farm. Pat is a local farmer who sells her fruits of labor to local restaurants and buyers at the Old Town Farmer’s Market. Imagine picking weeds with the rumble of traffic from the highway and the charging train rolling by; truly an unique experience. The “urban farm” is out on Old Lawrence Rd right before you get to Journal Broadcast Group.

As part of Thinking Fit we are trying to achieve balance between the mind, body and spirit. Picking weeds is a great way to relax the mind and feel the connection of the spirit with mother nature. You too can achieve balance by finding something to do for an hour or two that will put your mind at ease from your busy daily schedule. You will find a sense of clarity and rejuvenation to help you get back to the grind.

Our bodies need healthy food for nourishment. Some may ask “Why were you picking weeds? Couldn’t they just spray for that?” Sure, some farmers do, but organic farmers do not. On Pat’s farm we experienced first hand the work organic farmers go through to get a crop from their land to our plates. It’s a very time consuming process, especially for onions. Onions usually start growing late in the year, so in order to have an abundant crop in time for the spring Farmer’s Market, Pat used a process of winterizing. In winterizing they plant the onions and put straw over top of them to help reduce weeds and other plants from threatening the growth of the onions. Then big cloth blanket covers the rows while a water system beneath the cloth gives the plants the right amount of water during the growing period. About six months later the crop is ready to uncover and start picking weeds so the onions can see sunlight and continue to grow until they are ready for harvesting.

Growing up in the country my mom always had her garden of corn, peas, strawberries, zucchini, onions and so on. I know what it’s like to eat fresh vegetables from the garden for most meals. Living in Wichita hasn’t made it as easy for me to eat fresh, which is why I can’t wait for the Farmer’s Market this year. It will be awesome to cook with fresh veggies, herbs and fruits and experience the power of the local farmer.

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