Wednesday afternoon I packed up my most useful belongings, hitched what didn’t fit to the sides of my camping backpack and set out from Fort Greene in Brooklyn, NY to spend 3 weeks at Factor E Farm in Missouri. I’ve never been to that area of the world, and neither have many of my friends in Brooklyn. I ate my last gelato and started hiking to Newark airport for my direct flight to Kansas City.
I haven’t been so nervous about a trip in a long time. I arrived at Factor E Farm late Wednesday night. My first night was 11 degrees F but I was quite warm in a cordwood hut with my boyfriend and Jeremy. I slept inside 2 winter sleeping bags on an army cot with a yoga mat. We all slept in till 8:30 am and had oatmeal that Jeremy prepared. We wandered around, got a tour of the place from Marcin and then sat down in the cordwood hut to talk strategy.
Mathew and I had discussed the need for Factor E Farm to develop a sanitation and nutrition package before arriving. Upon arriving we were aghast to see that there was no station set up for hand washing or dishwashing that resembled our personal standards of sanitation. It took me a good hour to get over my shock. I had to remind myself that my mother and father didn’t have a well for running water until right before I was born. I’m not sure what they did before the well, my mom mentioned bathing in town.
We had a great planning session with Marcin and Jeremy and got started setting up a makeshift hand and dish washing station. We got the whole thing up and running just in time to cook dinner at 8pm tonight. We now have a 7 gallon jug of water propped up on a shelf above a stainless steel sink which empties into a 5 gallon bucket. For a dish rack we’re using a milk crate on top of a shelf for now. The set up is close to the wood stove so that the water will be a pleasant temperature. The plan is to fetch water every morning so that the 7 gallons of water will be at room temperature for most of the day. MMm . . . the sweet comfort of a clean dish. To celebrate we had some delicious burgers with grilled onions, lettuce, green peppers and melted brie.
For the record though, I strongly believe that FARMER SCIENTISTS DON’T DO DISHES. One day I hope to develop a dish washing machine here at the farm so that we can reclaim the 30 minutes we spend each day washing dishes. So spread the word: dishes are done.