Three Girls, Brassicas, & a Thrift Store: CSA Week #4, 7/3/19

 In CSA Newsletter
Three Girls, Brassicas, & a Thrift Store
Our three daughters, ages 9, 6, and 4 don’t do much work on the farm. They are young and unless the work involves eating something, they historically haven’t been very interested.

However, our eldest is starting to become interested, especially now that she’s realizing that work translates into cash, which translates into something she can potentially buy. Zea’s interest is also contagious, as are many things from the eldest to the youngest. As her sisters watch her start to work on the farm, they want to do things on the farm too.

As a parent and a farmer, this is pretty cool. I work a lot in the summer and am always missing my girls. Any excuse to be with them makes me happy. And what’s even cooler is that our two older girls are at ages now where they can be legitimately helpful. (This compared to how our youngest is “helpful”, but that help  can often be a net loss in productivity for me, because it takes me more time to figure out ways to allow her to assist than the help she can provide).

Last week we had a dry window where we needed to get the next succession of brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) in the ground.  We were unable to get it all in with the crew before quitting time. So, I took a pause in dinner making and asked the girls if they’d be willing to help me finish planting.

“Will we get paid?” Zea asked.

“Definitely,” I said.

“Our normal wage?” Zea clarified.

“Yes,” I replied.  (Each girl can make half her age an hour.)

“Can I work too?” Edie and Juna chimed in.

“Of course,” I said.

This was a totally new experiment. I had no idea if the girls would truly be of help or not. But for the next 45 minutes the girls helped me plant the rest of the cabbages. They pulled the plants out of the flats and laid them down into the watered holes that we’d marked with the tractor. I crawled on my hands and knees planting as quickly as I could, having fun trying to keep up with their pace of laying plants. About thirty minutes in we needed to reload more plants and I thought for sure the girls would bail at this point. But to my shock and delight, they all wanted to keep helping.

Very cool.

They very much enjoyed being paid and made a big production of putting their dollars bills and quarters into their various pink and sparkly garage sale purses.

Riding on this wave of kid interest, Mike and I asked the girls on Sunday morning if they’d help us for 30 minutes getting broccoli harvested, and cracking cauliflower leaves to protect the heads from the sun. They were less enthusiastic this time around because it was 87 degrees, but again they all wanted to help. And while it was harder for them to help these tasks, help they did.

When Edie began whining, we reminded her that she was not being forced to work and that she could go into the house at any time. She stood in the sun for a minute, scrunching her face up as she thought about it.  Then she stopped whining and kept working.

More shock and amazement for Mom and Dad.

After we all came in, I immediately paid the girls. They were buzzing with chatter about what they wanted to buy. Thunderstorms rolled in later that afternoon and so Mike and I decided to take the girls to St. Vinny’s and let them spend their dollars. It’s was adorable watching them make their way through the kids clothes and toys, empowered with their pride and cash to make choices of what they wanted to buy with what they’d earned.

Zea came home with turquoise shorts. Edie went for a stylish summer hat. Juna chose a pink, sparkly backpack.

Mike and I were excited to share a little of what we do with our girls, excited to work with them, and happy to see them have fun spending their earnings.

Here’s to a new era of farm life with the girls!

Cheers and enjoy your veggies!
Farmer Cassie