(This post was meant to be published in August! It slipped by us somehow, but we still feel called to put it up, as a retrospective of a very different season in the not so distant past)
Once the summer season starts, its momentum and magic carries us through the long days of tending: watering, harvesting, sorting, milking, freezing, drying, composting, weeding, mulching, hand-pollinating, cooking, dishes, observing, planning, wood-chopping, wood-stacking, cleaning, canning, cheese-making, weaving, felting... a multitude of days within days sometimes. I am so grateful for how much variety of work the farm necessitates, especially when sharing our days with children and youth -- how they bring such enthusiasm, creativity, and fresh perspectives to all of it. There are certainly plenty of tedious, monotonous tasks; however, repetition tends to nurture a calmness, almost meditative quality and gratitude or simply interesting conversation.
Somehow, we have already said goodbye to four of our five dear summer camp groups, with the highest enrollment we have yet had. It's been amazing, and every group has such a unique and special connection to the land and animals, the work and play of it all. Each group, this year, has shown a particular pull toward the multitude of ducklings hatched (65 so far, all but seven are muscovy, a non-quacking tree-duck from South America), whereas the goats usually take the center of attention. I can't help but smile every day listening to the sound of many webbed feet jogging behind us as we lead them to their breakfast or dinner meals; endearing also are their almost inaudible chirps of teenage duckling muscovies. Much of camper's free time, if not playing games or swinging on the big swing, is spend observing the ducks, naming them, creating stories and trying to make sense of the intricate social dynamics of an unfamiliar new species.
Currently, we are hosting the second week of Wise Mind Kids Yoga day camp and get a rare chance to step back and observe the way groups of children interact with the farm outside of our programs. Today however, a question about some sheep's wool found mulching the raspberries, led me to take a group of yoga camp participants into our fiber studio where they excitedly wanted to learn about every stage of working with wool and how to make things. It was a deep reminder how much the Farm is a natural classroom where open and inquisitive minds find rabbit holes of learning in just about every direction.