July has all but left us, giving so many memories. The sweet smell of freshly cut hay, the chorus of birds singing along with the humming farm machinery. The delicate taste of wild Strawberries and Raspberries. Dirt covered hands, dusty toes, sandy hair. July. All that is summer.
This July was particularly hot and dry, making for a short hay season, and long beach days. With Summer Camp and the horrific state of hungry flying insects at our house, we found ourselves at the farm more than home. The seemingly constant breeze offered the tiniest relief from the stifling heat, and the "grown up" company helped with keeping what sanity I still have intact.
During Summer Camp we were at the farm from around 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. for the week. 'M' and 'L' were dragged around, participating in the activities, playing with the big kids and loving every minute of it. We
built shelters in the woods, spent time with the horses, tie-dyed, made and painted bird houses and played until the sun sank behind the trees. When the final day of camp rolled around 'M' was sad and slightly confused to have to say farewell to his new found friends, but we were ready for a few lazy days and early nights. Sue and her 'Workaways' on the other hand got a whole lot busier, as they fought to liberate the vegetables from the tyrannic rule of the weeds which had infiltrated the garden; a battle which will continue on throughout the remainder of the growing season.
Over the course of the month we found ourselves visiting the farm several times a week, tying up the lose ends from summer camp, processing our firewood and taking advantage of the 'Workaways' entertaining my children while I caught up with work, not that I need a reason or excuse. It's not just the comfy kitchen couch or the fact my folks are there, the freedom, calmness, and sense of ease draws me in. It's more than just watching 'M' and 'L' experiencing farm life, or interacting with animals, walking in the woods, or the fun play park. It's the abundance of teachable moments, a constant learning all while playing, A child's perfect playground and classroom, where the smiles are contagious, and the giggles endless.