Up until now I’ve been specifically exploring what it’s like to get involved on your own with a child; these are the times I want to fill and feel ‘useful’.
But our Fivepenny farm visit was a bit different: As we were already on holiday, we were joined by Luke – Ivy’s dad, my partner and the sometime supporter of my various whims.
And it was great together for a few reasons…
1) It’s an ace and inspiring place and we all felt privileged to have explored it. Off grid, selling locally, international campaigning AND with four kids – Jyoti is a wonder.
2) We had a grumpy little Ivy who was in no mood to be helpful. Perhaps because we’d wandered away from the holiday trampoline…?! We were on a working farm, with no other parents/toddlers: this would NOT have worked in a 1:1 ratio!
So juggling moods, tasks and exploring the farm we all: carried the new strawberries from the greenhouse out to the fields, weeded current strawberries and replaced those that needed it. All watched over by mamma goat and new calf.
We also fed the pigs, and got shown round the wonderful processing barn that is managed and used co-operatively by the other smallholdings round and about.
Baby goats are up and about hours after they’re born! Strawberries planted into black mesh make weeding easier later. And, if a 3 year old is tired, they’re unlikely to be in the mood to help. (Did I seriously need to relearn that?! Really?!)
Well, she REALLY knows what strawberry plants look like now. And… it’s okay to sit next to someone quietly when they’re weeding. Goats’ babies like to stay near their parent too. Tractors make A LOT of noise when they’re ploughing near you.
One of these days I’ll ask Ivy what she learned and she can tell you herself.