Clay had not been feeling well all week. Agitated and crabby. Lightning-quick mood swings. Typing on his keyboard “so sad so sick” whenever we asked what was wrong. (Allergy season takes a toll on the little guy.) But by Sunday afternoon, he seemed to be feeling a bit better—and we all needed to get out—so we decided to roll the dice.
This past winter we joined a local farming coop, and they were having an open house Sunday afternoon. I have visions of juicy strawberries and raspberries as big as your fist. I suspect Clay is imagining plump red tomatoes and peppers. Two of his favorite summer foods.
We asked the crabby one if he would like to go to the open house.
“Sure,” he typed.
Off we went, ready to turn around at the slightest sign of dark mood clouds on the horizon. We needn’t have worried.
Clay wandered happily up to a small rabbit hut to check out the bunnies.
He was especially taken with the large rolls of hay, touching them and putting his forehead up against them.
In a nearby greeenhouse, tiny plants were waiting to be put into the fields.
And solar panels tried to gather energy on a cloudy day.
While I got an orientation in the room where we’ll be picking up our vegetables every couple of weeks, Clay and my wife went for a walk back toward the parking lot. She explained to Clay how the coop would work. We volunteer four hours of time working on the farm and contribute a fee. In return, we get a share of the crops to bring home or donate to a local shelter.
We might be donating those Brussels sprouts to the homeless shelter.
Clay has been reluctant to type on his keyboard recently, but he had a few things to say before we climbed into the car to head home.
“So, what do you think of this place?” my wife asked.
“We like this silly farm. So different than some farms.”
“In what way?”
“So small and so silly because there were no animals.”
Maybe there were none of the cows, pigs and sheep Clay was looking for. But on the way out, we did spot a chicken coop.
This one didn’t seem unhappy to see us go.
But the joke is on him. We’ll be coming back all summer long.