In Costello Park, the lonely farmer works his fields under the sun.
Thomas Paulsen, of Andover, holds the rototiller’s wide handlebars and plows the dark earth at the urban farm, the largest in a network of community gardens operated by Groundwork Lawrence.
Paulsen then rakes the beds, mounding rows for vegetable seedlings that will become food for Lawrence soup kitchens, pantries and farmers markets.
Ambulance and police sirens wail and cars rumble past, but the farmer hardly hears them. His attention is on readying fields.
In a typical year, schools, children and adults on professional service days would already have volunteered hundreds of hours readying this garden for the growing season.