Much of the way we measure and talk about the passage of time with our little ones is by seasons - it seems so much more tangible to them than calendar months and years. They're fully aware of how humid it feels, or how blue the blueberries are now, or how the evenings might feel cooler. The fact that it's just turned 'August'? That doesn't mean anything. The fact that the mosquitoes are gone? That does. A different measure of time.
And so it was that on the drive to the farm this week, Ezra slowly put it together that the season is changing a tiny bit - that the harvest is fully in swing; that most of the things planted in the spring are coming to fruition; and that yes - this means that vegetable gardening will soon pause for the winter and eventually even, we will stop going to the farm to pick up our weekly CSA share.
He was crushed. It hadn't occurred to me that he thought we would be going there once a week forever. He was eventually comforted by the repeated counting out of how many more weeks we likely have before the season is over. And since it's more than 'five' - his standard for a lot - we're okay for now. And then, there's next season to look forward to, when he'll be old enough to attend farm camp here with his brother - just one fall and winter between that exciting time for him.
In past years, we've always been part of a CSA where we share pick up responsibilities with neighboring families - easing the driving burden on us all. But this year - with the decision to let our own vegetable garden go for the year - we joined a CSA just a bit closer that we could pick up at and visit each week. While considering the driving impact that decision entails, it feels more than balanced out by what we've gained. Each and every week - in a comfortable rhythm - we make our small trek for food. The kids gather the canvas bags, we walk the path to the farm - stopping along the way to say hello to the cow, the pigs, the ducks, the chicks, the bunnies, and whatever butterflies may be in the flower garden, and we journey in to get our vegetables. There's much routine we have in the measuring (which miss Adelaide loves), the counting (Calvin's expertise), and the selection of *just* the right eggs (always Ezra's job) - all very important details.
There are very few outings (for me, anyway) that are easy with three young children and just one adult. The beach, the woods, and the farm - those are easy, and fun, and wonderful. The hardest part is always the leaving. No one ever wants to leave.
Dinner from the farm? One of those measures of the season we're so very grateful for.