Back in June, on a relatively good and almost sunny day, interspersed with a few short showers, Thomas and I, along with a bunch of young families, rode our bikes to the farm. Barely 12 km from our home, 't Ambrozijn (Ambrosia) is where most of our fruit and vegetables are grown. It's not a giant farm - not even a large one - but it's a bountiful one, with numerous kinds of produce planted alongside each other. All of these crops work together. To grow, to not exhaust the soil, to feed families.
There's a lot about the way Jarno and Christel run this farm that I love. It's not only that they refrain from using chemicals or pesticides. It's not only that they are wholly dedicated to farm to table, invite their regular customers over for a tour or let them sit among the strawberries when rain hits. It's not only that they are genuinely kind and open people. It's that they are forever learning from the earth, searching for the natural balance between different kinds of produce and accepting that some of their efforts fail. It's that they smell the soil, run it through their fingers and treat it as their most prized possession. "Treat the soil well and it will look after your plants."
They are only in their early twenties, but I swear they have old souls.
There were so many shades of green when we visited. Spinach, potato plants, beans, lettuce, tiny unripe peppers ... they surrounded us, each with their own specific tint. I honestly can't imagine living anywhere else than the city, but this sense of being surrounded by green is something I miss dearly. At Ambrosia, the blanket of green was punctuated by tiny pops of color - the orangy yellow of the courgette flowers, the bright red of the strawberries, the warm purple of the kohlrabi. It was a dream.
Looking back at these photographs, almost two months later, I wonder which colors have popped up since then. Which have disappeared? Which parts of the land have been laid bare to reveal the deep brown soil and which greens have blossomed into brighter hues? Change happens so fast when you are surrounded by living things and it can be hard to keep track. So I'm thinking of going back soon and documenting a new season at the farm. Honestly, I just want to bask in that green sea again.