Monday, August 1, 2011

Out at the farm

I had the best morning a few Fridays ago. I dropped the kids off at my mom's and went to pick some beans at Red Fire Farm.

I was considering taking the kids to the farm (they are 2.5 and 6mo, for context), because I think it's important that they know where their food comes from and my 2.5 year old loves tractors. I thought they would like it. It would be good for them. I was trying to figure out how I could carry the baby (is she old enough to ride in the Ergo on my back? Will she get too hot? Will her sun hat stay on?) and manage the toddler (any chance the farm is fully fenced-in?) and still get some produce. It was stressful.

In one of my better parenting decisions, I ditched the kids before the farm and went by myself. As soon as I got out of the car I took a deep breath and kind of stopped.

It was beautiful. Sunny and warm. Not too hot to be comfortable.

It was quiet. There was a faint hum of chirping bugs.

The welcoming committee came out to greet me.

The welcoming committee doesn't say much, but seems friendly

It was so green and lush and lovely.

I had a job to do - I wanted to pick beans and peas and herbs - but it didn't matter how long it took me to do it. I could work efficiently or I could crouch and consider every bean.

Speaking of beans, it is pretty astonishing how many green beans one can find on a single plant.

Also they're kind of fuzzy when you first pull them off the plant, huh.

There weren't many other people picking. I had a lovely conversation about Mendelian genetics with a couple in the yellow bean field, and other than that I didn't open my mouth.

Other than to eat some of my newly-picked beans.

The farm smelled incredible. Fresh and alive. My bag smelled incredible as I filled it with quarts of basil.

I let my mind wander as I searched for snap-peas.

Crouched amongst the cherry tomatoes and raspberries I caught a glimpse of my life that filled me with joy. My toddler is so charming and clever. My baby is so sweet and happy. My husband is an amazing partner. Viewed from here, my life is charmed.


I get so caught up in the work of parenting, in the tantrums and the schedules and the bodily fluid cleanup that every once in a while I am surprised by how lucky I am in the love of parenting. Of our little family.

It was one of the nicest, most soul-restorative mornings I have had in a long time.

The lesson, for me at least, is even if the kids might like it, even if you want them to go sometime, it might be worth it to jump on and cling to the opportunity to do something new and quiet by yourself. Especially if it is something that is also outside with a little bit of exercise. You may find the view from there is stunning.


  1. Nice! This is one of the reasons we had to quit the CSA. Try picking beans every week with 4 little kids! Now we can pick beans in the safety and convience of out own yard. :)

  2. I'm totally not in to farming or food (ok, I dig the eating part, but not the producing or preparing), but this post made even me want to go check out a farm...

  3. Wow! I love your column!! There are some things we do just because the kids will like it, other things we enjoy and bring the kids along in tow. It is so nice to do something just for yourself every once in a while.