Our afternoon trip to the farm was amazing. It was drizzly, cold, and dreary, but the kids' wonder, amazement, and curiosity made it feel warm and bright. We saw a calf, piglets who were cuter than anything (I can totally relate to Fern from Charlotte's Web. Those pigs are just too darn cute to be put down.), a turkey who had lots to say about his friends' upcoming fate, a mama goat and her quadruplets, and another mama goat and her twins. We got to help load the animals into their pens for lunch. We also got to ask the farmer lots of questions about the animals' lives on and off the farm.
The kids and I went with friends—one for each of us. The kids all play really well together, so the moms get to have lots of good conversations. This was one of those trips I never would have attempted on my own. It was cold and rainy and the place was deserted. L, M, and I would have been ready to go within minutes.
I am so happy to be able to give my kids these kinds of experiences. When we walked into the chicken coop, the first thing out of M's mouth was, "Thanks for the eggs, chickens." She has already made the real connection that eggs come from chickens, something I didn't think about until recently. Since we are not raising them vegetarian, I want them to get to know animals and make the connection between the way they are raised and their suitableness as dinner. I hope by exposing them to farms regularly, talking about where our food comes from (remember picking those blueberries this summer?), and being committed to living a more local, nature centered life (including when the weather is less than perfect) will give them a foundation for low-impact living.