Thank You, Farmers

Dear local farmers,

I wanted to say thank you at the close of this season’s farmers market and the CSA year.

Thank you for waking up before the sun each and every Thursday so my little family could enjoy the simple abundance that can only be found at a community farmers market. Thank you for keeping your costs low so that we were able to bring home bright, fresh produce each week. Thank you for answering my inane questions (“What IS that?”), for dealing with rude customers, the “bargainers,” the line-cutters, the unpredictable weather, and the unruly children (sorry), and also for helping my little ones learn that the market is a place of wisdom, perseverance, and kindness.

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My daughter with a sunflower, given to her by our CSA share farmer at the market.

Thank you for reminding me to appreciate the little things–a late summer bouquet of flowers, the glory of autumn’s pumpkins, the sweet newness of a baby goat exploring its big, wide world.

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Sugar

Sugar

Thank you for teaching me the value of leaving my comfort zone by enabling me to accomplish things I never believed I could do. Thank you for the encouragement to learn traditional arts and the homesteader’s way. Thank you for the strawberries to dehydrate, the apples to can and preserve, the flour to bake with, the lessons on soapmaking.

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applesauce

Thank you for teaching my family about community. Thank you for showing me the importance, and value, of community supported agriculture (our CSA). Thank you for the festivals, the hayrides, the walks along your fields for no good reason, the gatherings, the classes. Thank you for giving my family the joy that comes in knowing where our food comes from and allowing us to participate in it.

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Farm festivities.

Farm festivities.

Above all, thank you for providing my family REAL food, nourishment, sustenance, that we cannot find in equal anywhere else.

Thank you for the inspiration you have given me to do better, live better, FEEL better.

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Fun at the Fair

My husband and I were able to take our oldest child on a “date” to the local fair this evening.

Let me start out by saying that I am acutely aware that fairs are NOT frugal (we paid $21 JUST TO RIDE THREE RIDES), nor healthy, nor eco-friendly. Sometimes, I simply do not care. There are few times in our lives where we can relive childhood again, and few things can accomplish that better than a county fair–the buzzing games, the eerily menacing, yet enticing, callers beckoning you into a funhouse or “freak” show, the smells, the cotton candy and funnel cakes, the spinning rides, the flashing lights, and countless colorful balloons (though I admit carnies are their own breed, I think).

I’m pretty sure I was more excited than my son, I’m not going to lie. My hubby chuckled about the fact that I was pure giddiness entering the gates. It’s almost too much to take in–wondering what rides you will try, what carnival fare you will savor, anxious to see the animals on display, and there are dozens of games to try (lose). It’s an escape from the adult world of bills and debt, monotony, to-do lists, etc.

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However, after a while, the smells become stale. The crowd becomes obnoxious. You notice the carnies start to growl and snarl even more. The sweets become cloying, the rides dizzying. And you head home–in some way grateful to leave because there’s a reason we’re no longer children, but happy to know that next year, for a few brief hours, you can become a kid again.