I love summer Thursdays, because we spend part of every Thursday afternoon at Land’s Sake farm, collecting our farm share. Some of said collecting is done under the tent, where bins of vegetables have been set up, along with instructions as to how much of each item is available per share. The other part of said collecting is a you-pick situation. They give us the baskets and say how much of a particular item is available and where to find it. Last week, the whole family went, and we picked the most heavenly sugar snap peas (I could actually tell why they were thus named) and laid around in the grass talking to the chickens. This week, it was just Akiva and me, and we filled a quart basket of green beans faster than you can spit. We were also allowed to take herbs — I didn’t have a particular need for them but Akiva grabbed a few sprigs of dill and ate them straight from the plant, and as he did, he said, “Mmmmm, this smells like Grandma’s chicken soup.” Which it did.
One of the best things about having a farm share at an organic farm is that the kids really can pick something and eat it right there. I feel totally confident in this food, and we are all learning to notice the difference in taste. (Carrots from this farm share taste like something! Grocery store carrots not so much.) I love teaching my kids to eat real food. I feel such delight when the boys and I walk to the car, munching on beets that have just been picked the same morning. (Yes, this really happened.)
We had a brief visit from my in-laws this week, in celebration of Bill’s birthday. It reminded me of why brief visits are problematic. They are just enough to throw us off our usual routine — one night Akiva slept from 9 to 5; what a way to make a living indeed — and not enough time to establish a new rhythm or get comfortable with each other. Also I notice a significant uptick in Akiva’s general level of imperiousness after he’s been with Bill’s folks. They cater to his every whim when they are near him, and after they leave it’s a rude awakening for all of us. His “stupid” parents (his new favorite insult for us) are “no fun” because we expect him to use a friendly tone and appropriate words when he’s asking for things, and because we don’t automatically say yes to his every demand. It’s part and parcel of one’s kids having grandparents, I suppose, but at moments like this, I feel so undermined by my in-laws and wish they would back off a little.
Grouse grouse grouse.
My garden is a complete flop! Well, not complete. We’re harvesting a bit of this, a bit of that. Between the traveling and the fact it has been raining buckets lately, I cannot keep up with the weeding. At this point, I am keeping the faith because (1) I enjoy it, and (2) it gives me the opportunity to model for my kids doing something at which I really am very bad. When I was growing up, my father turned fully one quarter of our backyard (an area roughly the size of a garage) into a vegetable garden. He was quite devoted to it, and he harvested a great deal from it. He would come home from his job teaching university students to play the piano, change into overalls and the vilest flannel shirt ever, and he would work in his garden till dinner time. We ate well from that garden and had in suburbia the experience of putting up the pot of water to boil and then going to pick and shuck the corn just in time to plop it in. I’m a long way from living up to that, but I’d like to give my kids something of it if I can.
Well, Julie said my writing didn’t have to be beautiful and organized, so here it is. Just a few things I’ve been thinking about or experiencing.