By Zack Kowalski and Elisheva Goldberg
After two days of work in the fields of the Tierra Miguel farm, Day 3 of our trip brought the group out of the valley and into suburbia. In the morning for Avodat Lev (Service of the Heart), we practiced yoga in our outdoor classroom, which, for those of you at home, is a 3-sided building with a roof that houses the farm’s produce and vegetable store. The stretching allowed us to refocus and look forward to the next phase of our trip. We spent the day at the San Diego Jewish Academy, which is the only K-12 Jewish Day School in the county, working in the garden under the direction of Mill and Lea, the head farmer and the head farmer’s wife. After a brief introduction about the garden and a taste test of lemon, mint, radish, snap peas and a broccoli-flavored delicious green. Because the school is looking to become more sustainable, our job was to terrace an underutilized slope at the front of the school. We hoed and shoveled, making sure that the slope of the hillside was even and the irrigation system would be able to support future growth. Groups that come in subsequent weeks here at Tierra Miguel will be able to finish our work and plant all sorts of wonderful vegetation on the school’s hillside.
After school got out we loaded into the vans and soon found ourselves in the home of Ann and Richard Jaffe who graciously hosted the whole group in their beautiful home only a hop skip and a jump from the beach. We spent our pre-dinner hours playing Frisbee and Volleyball, jumping around in the cold water of the Pacific Ocean, and watching the sun set over the Western sky. We had Mexican food prepared for us in the SDJA (San Diego Jewish Academy) kitchen (!) and, since it was Sam's birthday, we had ice cream to which we added chocolate chips, fresh mint from the school’s garden, and a few coffee beans and blended it together to create a sweet culinary masterpiece. We ended the day with a discussion about what we want our Shabbat experience to look like, loaded the vans, and got home late. What an amazing day.