Yesterday the farm was teaming with workers! They were trucked in by the bus load. Sprayed with sunscreen and loaded up with water, they swarmed over the fields ready to pick every ripe vegetable they could find.
Okay, it was a single bus. And the “workers” were actually curious campers from the Chesapeake Academy’s Farm to Fork camp.
This was Dug In’s second year of hosting the campers but, as anyone who works with kids can tell you, it’s always a new experience.
I’m never quite sure what will grab the kid’s attention while touring the farm. Maybe collecting eggs from underneath a chicken? Watching the honeybees zip in and out of the hives? Getting their hands dirty building soil and planting pumpkins?
We started with a garden tour and harvesting. I explained that we are growing three varieties of cucumbers this year. Could they find one of each? The kids scrambled. Onto hands and knees, pulling back leaves and yelling, “I found one! I found one!”
The adorable red-headed boy asked if he could eat his. Absolutely!
Twelve kids and nearly everyone had a cucumber in their mouth, laughing and declaring it was the best thing they’d tasted. Ian, the counselor, clicked the camera as fast as possible. What parent would believe the kids were begging for more cucumbers??
Cherry tomatoes were next. Popped into mouths like gumballs.
After the garden tour we put the veggies, and the kids, in the walk-in cooler. As the door closed and they were in the dark, 45-degree cooler, shrieks of joy came through the walls. The adults stood outside, envious of what fun it is to be a kid.
Our tour continued. We posed for pictures in front of the sunflowers. Studied the bees. Picked up chickens. Planted pumpkins. The morning was a great success!
Before they boarded the bus, I started to ask what they liked the most. There was no need. The group was unanimous….
The Walk-In Cooler.
Hopefully the kids will remember their day on the farm and want to come back. My guess is they’ll remember a very hot day and the joy of unexpectedly finding a dark, cool space to rest in the middle of it. Just what any farmer would appreciate.
Thank you to Ian and Chesapeake Academy for including Dug In on their farm tours. And a very special thank you to the wonderful Dug In volunteers, Ran and Sara, who gave their time to make sure the day was a success.