Serving my children healthy food is important to me, so I buy fresh fruits and vegetables weekly. I generally shop at the supermarket because I am too lazy to visit multiple stores in one week or attempt to grow my own vegetables.
This year I decided to change my habits for the better and join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). As members of Dogwood Farms, we can pick up a share of the farm’s produce every week.
Members are not required to help on the farm, but I thought it would be a great experience for my children to help with one of the weekly harvests. The farmers, Jon and Kim, were happy to host us one morning last week.
We met Jon in the barn and he took us in his pick up truck to the pig sty. The kids were thrilled… not about the pigs, but about the ride in the truck. Luke said he felt like a real farmer.
Jon let us feed some zucchini and cucumbers to the pigs. My children are so cautious around animals. Leah eventually held the very end of a vegetable in the direction of a pig. When the pig came close, she dropped it in front of the animal. Luke was scared, so held my arm as I fed the pigs.
Once the pigs had their fill, we moved to the tomato patch, where Jon showed us how to pick cherry tomatoes off the plant. He handed each of us a pint container and we got to work. My children are very task-oriented. They quickly filled the containers and enjoyed searching for the best looking tomatoes on each plant.
Neither of my children would count tomatoes as one of their favorite foods, but while picking they each enjoyed a few. Well, Leah probably enjoyed more than a few. If the farmers find that they did not harvest as many tomatoes as they expected, Leah’s new love of cherry tomatoes may be to blame.
Once we picked several containers of tomatoes, the kids began to play with Rita, the farmer’s dog. Luke loved playing fetch, and I was thrilled. This was definitely the most interaction Luke has ever had with an animal. He looked as though he could have played with her all day.
Rita tagged along as Kim, one of the farmers, showed us sweet potato plants, eggplants, and some of the other plants on the farm. She dug out two potatoes for us to take home.
We didn’t stay long, but we all enjoyed New Experience #28. A sunny morning spent outside, munching on tomatoes, playing with a dog… Really, what could be better?