“Blueeeeberries! Mescluuuun! Cilaaaaantro!” **chring*a*ring**
“Caaaarrots! Cuuuuucumbers!” **chring*a*ring**
Much to our delight, Kai and I heard the yells of a food vendor and his bicycle bells riding down our street early on Friday evening. As we rushed to make sure we weren’t dreaming, we caught sight of Elango Dev riding down our street on a bicycle piled high with produce.
“Elango, Elango – Wait, please stop!!”, we yelled, so excited we could hardly contain ourselves. After having spent the entire day going through all of our stuff and preparing for our yard sale that weekend, skipping lunch in the process, we were exhausted and hadn’t even wanted to start thinking of riding to the market to pick up food for dinner. As if by magic, our dinner had suddenly appeared before us!
Grabbing some cash, we ran down to meet Elango on his “Fresh Produce” vending bicycle. We snatched up two bags of mesclun, a bag of carrots, cilantro, and blueberries – all of which were incredibly fresh (and organic!), as they were coming from the Diggers’ Mirth farm, located just down the hill from us at the Intervale Center. Elango went on to describe how they would be peddling the produce through different neighborhoods on different days and that we could expect to see him on our street every Friday. Oh, the joy Kai & I felt upon hearing this news!
We spent some time chatting with Elango, admiring his bike and his bike bells, and catching up with neighbors who had also come out to purchase some produce. There was unanimous agreement that the Diggers’ Mirth bicycle vending would be a welcome addition to our neighborhood and community and discussed how people used to peddle many things by bicycle, years before fossil-fuel driven vehicles took their place.
Diggers’ Mirth Collective Farm, founded in 1992 and run by five members, currently farms 15 acres. They implement a collective ownership and management model for small-scale farming, which draws visitors curious about collective farming from around the country. Per their online description:
“The name Diggers’ Mirth was derived from a British agrarian collective that operated in the mid-1600s. The original Diggers reclaimed abandoned land to grow food for themselves and the poor. All collective members taking part in the farm have an equal voice in its operation. Each year Diggers’ Mirth cultivates approximately 2/3 of the field and cover crops the other portion to ensure soil regeneration, growing over 40 types of certified organic vegetables and fruits.”