Monday, November 22, 2010

Good Earth Farm: Leaves and Shelter

Time to catch up on two weeks of "farm school"...my computer was acting up last week, and now we're on vacation, but I'm determined to post this before delving into the Here and Now!! Bear with me...and enjoy!
Getting there is half the fun...
Snuggling around the morning circle fire.
Morning walk through the garden.
Cooperative games after lunch - 
a rousing round of "Ha!" and some new ones...
Afternoon drawing of leaves...the other kids liked it as much as my girls did!
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Week two...the fog rolled in. 
 Sanding wood blocks kept our hands busy and warm as we gathered around the morning fire.
 Lunch was miso soup, made with several kinds of beautiful cabbages.
 A turnip as big as your head graced our table.
One of the places Good Earth Farm donates its produce to is a local shelter, which happens to be located down the street from where we live, and just a 20 minute walk down the bike path from the farm.  We are hoping to visit with the children in a couple of weeks, and today we talked about what shelter means, what it offers us, what we are grateful for in our own shelters.  Warmth, safety, a dry place to sleep, a place to invite others into...Using cardboard, metal sheets, twine, tape, wood, tarps and blankets, we worked together to construct temporary shelters.
I have heard somewhere the advice, "no tragedy before third grade," meaning don't present a child with one of the many seemingly hopeless situations we find ourselves and our earth in until they are older.  Homelessness may be one of those topics, but it is such a reality in most communities that I think it is important to acknowledge that it is something that happens to some people, and  that there are people in our communities who offer help to them when they need it.  There was an aspect of Friday's activity that left me feeling unsettled - as if maybe it was fun to be homeless and have to create your own shelter out of found materials! - but I think it was a fine way to gently introduce the topic to this young age-group (mostly 5 and 6-year olds).  I am looking forward to finding ways for the kids to feel involved in the work of the farm - I think it will be empowering for them to have the experience of being active in affecting change for people in their community at such a young age.

1 comment:

debbiedas said...

Thoughtful post...as always. There are plenty of homeless people who live around us as well and it's hard to know what to tell young children about this reality. I want to be completely honest with Isaac in every regard...but does he need to carry this burden just yet? I suppose not. Four is a little young. Thanks for sharing this...it's given me some food for thought. xo