Monday, September 2, 2013

Urban farming

I volunteered this weekend at a farm that helps feed the homeless. I don't even really know why. The receptionist at work sent around an email about it and I thought self, you've done very little do-gooding lately so why not. Sadly I was the only one who thought this, as only she and one other guy from work who I now suspect she is dating showed up. I'd have asked, but in over 2 years now I haven't really managed to make a whole lot of friends there. Must be my sparkling personality! Well and actually deciding to take part and be involved might help me there so onward!

I was sitting on the lawn waiting for the others, and this guy was like, oh, the guys will be right back, they just went to get some inmates to help us out. Um, what now? I looked across the street. Curse my unobservedness and sure enough, there's a prison over there. Huh. 

So, ok! Prisoners and coworkers I barely know and why did I sign up for this? Anyway, we picked jalapeƱo peppers for 4 hrs. It was hot. Note to self don't do afternoon farming on Labor Day weekend! Good thing I already don't like peppers because I'd sure be sick of them!

Anyway, it was so strange overhearing the prisoners talking. I didn't really talk to any of them because 1 I'm a little afraid though they must not have been violent offenders as there weren't any guards along and 2 because I couldn't stop myself from wanting to ask, so, what are you in for? But this one guy, apparently had a rod in his leg, and the guy I met when I arrived asked him how he got it. Normal expected replies, car crash, skiing accident, the like. Nope. He got shot. Oooo-Kay. Not in Kansas anymore. And the other funny thing was this other guy was apparently really into gardening, and talked a lot about it from his life before. Talked about what he had planted this spring and how he didn't want to do too much because his wife would have to take care of it because apparently doing time was not unexpected. Just. Weird. To think of them having lives outside and wives and kids. Sad. Strange. How did you get here? Apparently the guys get a day taken off their sentence for every day they volunteer for the farm. I suppose that's good. Help for the needy, honest days work, reward for good behavior. What a sheltered life I lead though. I never gave it a moment's thought before. 

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