April 19, 2010
Saturday. The first car arriving around 9:30am and our first Nursery Day began. A friend arrived with her four children. She opened her door, got out, and then the kid’s bailed out with the energy only people under the age of ten have. It’s hard to say if their feet ever hit the ground before they exploded with excited comments, names, and questions. As Belinda came around the corner of the house, I quickly ascertained the safest thing for me was to guide them toward her and the hot chocolate and cookies!
The day moved quickly. Soon, others arrived and by a quarter after ten, we had a healthy group full of hot chocolate and coffee ready to get on with the day. Everyone loaded up on the hay wagon and for the next forty minutes traveled the farm talking about land, animals (hawks, voles, rabbits, coyotes, goats), plants, and people. When they returned, they headed off to the back of the nursery barn where human kids could pet, play, and learn a little something about goat kids (like, goats don’t have top teeth!). By the time they were done with goats, it was dinnertime.
The mid-day meal is always good time with friends and neighbors, and this was no exception. Folks gathered round, grace spoken, and a dinner of beans, greens, bread, and (of course) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was eaten. The meal was as local as possible this time of year. The freshest and most local part of the meal was the greens that came from the organic co-op, RicOrganic’s. The greens were special, not only for their taste, but also because there is something special in eating food grown in the local landscape. One is inescapably and forever part of the landscape from which they eat food. On this Saturday, food eaten transformed the soil, water, and plants of the valley and birthed new cells and new thoughts while sustaining old cells and old thoughts.
After dinner, folks retired to the hay barn. There a piñata hung. With a foam bat, one kid after the next took turns practicing their batting skills—while parents and friends took time to digest, talk, and laugh. At the end of the day, the kids may not be better batters, but they went home with stories of goats without top teeth, land and plants, hayrides, and candy.