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edible Monterey Bay Summer 2015

TOOLS OF THE TRADE An appreciation of the nine hands of five local farmers Photography by Michelle Magdalena www.ediblemontereybay.com 27 ON THE FARM By Patrice Vecchione Each hand has 27 bones, 40 tendons, and 20 muscles, giving us the ability to hold, rotate, bend, grasp, flex, parse, dig, fold, lift, prune, plant and more. Some of our bodies’ densest nerve endings are found in our fingers. This past spring, interviews with local farmers about their hands took me on a tour of five rural locales of our Monterey Bay area—fields in Moss Landing overlooking the ocean; a hilltop farm in San Martin that’s home to many bees, rabbits and chickens, as well as three cows and one beekeeper; a sequestered Aromas farm where multitudes of bright lemons hang heavily from tree branches; land near Chualar, off River Road, where the asparagus had just begun shyly poking their green and purple heads above the soil; and finally, a greenhouse farm in the lush hills of Corralitos. Farmers Ronald Donkervoort, Lynne Bottazzo, Tom Coke, Maria Luz Reyes and Ken Kimes all took time out to discuss the most basic tools of their trade, and, in the case of one farmer—what happens when one is lost. RONALD DONKERVOORT: Windmill Farm Looking west from Ronald Donkervoort’s Moss Landing farm, the ocean greets you; on this bright morning, an ocean breeze rises up, too. Like many of us, one thing Ronald does with his hands is talk. But before our conversation can really begin, he tips his hat, says he’ll be right back and rushes off to quickly repair a small leak in his irrigation system. When he returns, he’s holding a very large red-handled screwdriver that emphasizes the points his hands make.


edible Monterey Bay Summer 2015
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