As the actual packing began I was put in charge of the asparagus bin. Different colored rubber bands around bunches marked each one for a grande, chica, or solo. I was the second one in line after Carmen, who was placing the boxes on the manual conveyor strip. Thoughts of the I Love Lucy chocolate episode raced through my mind. I pictured myself with armloads of asparagus, trying to keep up with advancing boxes.
Ole briefly explained the process and directed everyone to their positions, and without any notice the white boxes were suddenly placed on the line. I quickly adapted my system of bending down to put one bunch in each hand, to bending down and grabbing three or five bunches and fairly seamlessly placing them in the moving containers. Soon other crops were added such as rhubarb and chives, salad mix, and cilantro as the boxes were passed down the line. The Lucille Ball experience was not to be feared. We stopped if someone was a bit behind, or if we swapped a full pallet for an empty one. Above all, the crew had certainly found a way to keep fun as a part of the mix: laughter was just as integrated as were busy hands and bodies. I like to think that this too was “placed” in the CSA boxes.
In general the experience reminded me of the honeybees I have recently taken on. A bee on its own does nothing, but together they are a sophisticated team where everyone knows their role.