Last night, we went to the our little farm. With our crazy July schedule, this was the first time we've been there this month, and I didn't realize how much we all missed in until we were there.
Apparently, July was crazy for everyone. Ours was fun crazy--the farm not so much. Our pony, Lady, died of old age a couple of weeks ago. No one saw it coming, although we probably should have considering she was 30. The other really bad news is someone stole the chickens. Only 6 are left from the nearly 40 we had. They even took the whole kennel of chicks we had been raising. It was not happy news for the kiddos. But...they still found 3 eggs from the six that are left.
Once we were all caught up on the happenings, we set to work. I was paired with another woman to work on our pollinator garden. It's so important for the farm, but it was looking pretty rough. The farm manager wants to put new pathways in so we can get rid of the grass pathways, which will hopefully cut down on some of the weeding and beautify the garden. So...we spent the entire evening tearing out grass, laying brick, and then putting composted soil in between the bricks. The plan is to plant fuzzy, wandering thyme in between the bricks. It should be beautiful, cut down on weeds, and provide plenty of thyme for everyone. I wish I had taken before and after pictures, and I might next time I go (at least the after). We didn't finish the whole thing, but the main path is finished!
Meanwhile, the kids went off with Miss Erika and Miss Sandy to work on the orchard. We are working to establish a guild garden there, filled with plants that will help each other and bear the most fruit possible. The trees are established, so last month we spent hours taking down the cages and clearing the grass from near the base of every tree. If I never see chicken wire again it will be too soon. Last night, though, the kids got to help with the fun part. They planted flower bulbs and strawberries around the bases of the trees. Every once in a while, I would look across the garden and see them digging or watering. They were always busy, though, and I didn't hear a peep from them. They also harvested all the beans and lettuce.
As we were filling our basket with okra (I'm attempting gumbo this weekend), beans, potatoes, onions, garlic, lettuce, cucumbers, and eggs, they told me all about the work they had done. They were so excited to see some of what they planted being harvested. As they ran off to tell the animals goodbye, Sandy told me that they really have gotten to be good little farmers. She said they were truly helpful and did most of the planting themselves with her just supervising. My heart sang.
When we joined the farm, we hoped the kids would come to appreciate where their food comes from. We hoped that they would learn to appreciate hard work and delayed reward, and we hoped they would love just being outside in the dirt. It seems that they truly have embraced all of those hopes, and I couldn't be more thrilled.