I drive by this spot four times a day on weekdays, driving my son to and from daycare. It's the corn field of a dairy farm in the foreground, and the mowed grass in the background. Having moved to New York from Vermont two years ago next month, I thank my lucky stars that I still get to see such beautiful sights as this! In a world of vanishing family farms, I feel blessed to work at a 99 year old orchard still run by the family who founded it back in 1910. I'm glad that my son knows that food comes from seeds that are planted in soil, and tended by people who then harvest it, so we can eat it. I'm glad he (mostly) understands that food has seasons, and the food we grow at the farm is healthier (and tastier) than the stuff in the supermarkets. My father was a farmer way back before I was born, before he moved to this country, and I am also thankful that he taught me to respect and appreciate the natural world. That I now get to pass this gift on to my child is a wonderful way to connect my son to his grandfather, whom he never knew. My father helped shape my spirituality with his love of nature, as it was out in the fields where he felt most connected to the Absolute. The best way that I can see to honor my father is to pass his gift along...so - shop local, support family farms and farmer's markets, and plant a garden! You will be rewarded with good health, and the literal fruits (and veggies!) of your labors.
These are my son's pumpkins that are about two inches taller by now than they are in the photo, and have been seperated and replanted into additional pots. As I wrote in a previous post, he also chose to grow lima beans, strawberries, carrots, peppers, and hopefully some fruit from pits he saved (peach, plum, apricot - though I don't hold much hope for these!). We also just put two avocado pits into water, and hopefully these will sprout as well. I can't imagine a better way to spark a love of good food in a child than to help him grow some himself! I hope it works, and I'm looking forward to the joy of harvesting those veggies with him, and either eating them raw, or cooked up into yummy dishes. We planted so many, I'm also hoping to have enough to share! Next summer, I would like to build a terrace garden out in the yard, on the slope my landlady says she could never get anything to grow on. Well, I'm relatively certain I can grow A LOT of veggies on that slope, with a bit of planning and a bunch of elbow grease! Our container garden is starting to take over our porch, as we separate the seedlings into larger pots. Unfortunately, I'm probably going to have to put little cages around them soon, to put off the chipmunk and various other woodland creatures who helped themselves to our strawberries while we were out of town!
Summer, to me this week, is about going back to work and getting the store all set to open for the season. Painting, scrubbing, washing, sweeping, making peanut butter, answering the phones, doing inventory and ordering, getting ready for the markets. Peaches are ready for picking this week, and it seems like the whole county is waiting for them! Folks call every day wondering when the peaches will be in - folks who know the value of a good old locally grown peach. Nothing better! I will be posting on the orchard's new blog, and I will post the link as soon as I can - which is as soon as I know what it is, and how to do it! Join me over there for updates on how things are going on the farm this season - I am looking forward to sharing!