Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Day In The Life - Harvesting For The First Time

We had a friend's kids come over last night to "forage through the garden" (meaning pick all the stuff I grew because I hate that part - go figure, I hate harvesting).  I knew we were in trouble when they said "WE get to pick it?"

"Yes. I'm lazy," was my answer.

They didn't word it like "are you kidding, that's beneath us".  It was worded like "I've never heard of such a thing".  I didn't realize these kids had never done anything like this  Even though we are an hour from Seattle, "living in the sticks" people say (with loving abandon) I forgot that there were "city areas" around here.  Housing developments that didn't allow for a garden, covenants that don't allow for backyard poultry, front doors that have to be painted within guidelines (say what?).

This was one of those families.

Top quotes of the evening:

  • Is that corn?
  • Dirt.  Am I standing in dirt?
  • What's an outhouse?
  • Does the outhouse work? 
  • Do I take the stringy stuff off the corn?
  • You can eat a rooster?
  • Is this poop on my shoe?

They ranged from age seven to a high school senior.  I loved every minute of having them here, even though it seems like I am picking on them.  I loved showing them how to pick the corn and shuck it, and how to hunt for cucumbers, and which onions were ready.  It got me to thinking:

When did that happen?

While we were eating dinner that evening, my husband, who grew up in the same town we live in, said "I don't remember anyone who has never picked their own vegetables."  I argued (naturally) "what about the kids who lived in town?"

"They had family who lived on a farm somewhere.  I've never known anyone whose never picked
vegetables before."

I realized he was right.  (Let's keep this between ourselves, shall we?)  Growing up, almost everyone had a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, blood-relation who had a farm.  We spent summers "at Grandmas" bucking hay, picking berries, shelling peas, getting the cows in to milk.

In the same way city people know how to cross the street and catch a cab and ride a subway, and live in the bubble that everyone-knows-how-to-do-this, I live in a different kind of bubble.  I think everyone has a three year old that knows how to milk a goat, a ten year old who knows how to drive a tractor, a sixteen year old who drives to the neighboring town to bring home baby geese.

That's not reality.  And I realized it yesterday.

It's a different reality.

I loved having the kids here last night, watching their eyes light up as they pulled up an onion, or went scrounging for a cucumber or shucking corn.  I just wish I could gather all the kids in the world and have them experience the same thing.

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