If you haven’t voted for sweet Luke today, I’ll wait. No really, go ahead and VOTE then come back and read. I’ll be here. He’s in 17th place. We can’t be having that.
Farm and garden day. Sustainable agriculture. Oh, those are some sweet words to a momma who has two degrees in agriculture. Yes, that would be me. I’m not your typical suburban soccer mom folks. For the most part, chaperones were assigned to a different group than their child, but for one class, we all did a switcheroo and spent one class with them. Mine happened to be Sustainable Agriculture. The kids learned the definition of a garden, what the words “sustainable agriculture” mean (making food available for future generations) and got their hands dirty. Ryan, our teacher, really knew how to sell the icky jobs. Weed pulling? That would be “Team of Destruction” in Ryan-speak. A dozen hands went up and the boys got to weeding. The garden was full of herbs, fruit trees and a koi pond. The kids weeded, watered, planted and learned. It was fab.
After sprucing up the garden, we took a well deserved break and made some…wait for it…homemade ice cream. The kids put it all together, dumped the ingredients (6 cups of milk, 1 T. of vanilla extract and 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk) into the maker and then got to cranking. It was either the competition of girls vs. boys or the stellar chaperoning, but our ice cream was incredible. It made our afternoon.
After that deliciousness, we spent some time with the animals. Yea! For these city kids it was probably a first for many of them to be that close to ducks, chickens, goats, rabbits and the like. Sadly, no calf was there to feed. The drought caused the farmer who usually gives the calf to camp, to sell it off because he couldn’t afford to feed his herd. Hay prices are through the roof here. Nevertheless, the kids were great. We had an occasional scream from the girls, but once they settled into their jobs and got over the “animal smell”, they did beautifully.
Too many times I’ve heard kids say, “Oh, my milk comes from HEB (our local grocery store).” That just makes me cringe. Or, when they don’t know the difference between a heifer and a steer. Body parts, people. Anatomy 101. To value the food we eat, we must first appreciate the farmer who raised it. To take care of the environment and not be wasteful, we must understand the life cycle. Agriculture may not be something you went to school to learn, but we must all appreciate it. You couldn’t drive your car, run in your shoes, eat your dinner or enjoy your home without agriculture and its many by-products. I may have teared up during this class. Not sure if it was the pride or the animal smell. Either way, soap box is over. I am an Aggie, through and through.
After class, all the adults reminded the kids they needed to shower, change their clothes, put them away and not wear them again. One of our boys replied, “Ever??” HAHA. No, just for the rest of the trip! I almost peed my pants when J said that.
Without a doubt, it was my most favorite class all week.
The next day, we enjoyed archery/meditation. It took a while to cycle everybody through archery, but boy you should’ve seen the faces on the kids when they hit the target. Price. Less. Oh yeah, mamacita got a bullseye. One of the girls in my cabin was even more excited than I was. Hooray for the cheering gallery! Meditation was a hoot.
The following morning, we experienced the Global Village. And, really, I’m thinking that should be its own post. You’ll get that and your QOTW on Friday!