The Starter Farm

Children at the Farm

I always love when children or even “big kids” visit the farm.  Sometimes working the land and taking care of the animals everyday becomes routine for me. Not in a bad way but I forget how special it is to experience this.  But when children arrive I love the idea of first time experiences and how they will always remember their trip to the farm.  Mary Ann opened my eyes to the specialness of this after a weekend of one such visit of friends and their kids. We live next door to each other and even thought we see each other throughout the day we are constantly texting and emailing pictures of what the other has missed in the moments between.




After a busy day on the farm, once the house settles down and the quiet of the evening starts, she spends some time checking emails and reflecting.  Where I was tired after a long weekend of visitors she sent me an email that renewed my energy.  She talked about the sharing the love of our critters and the beautiful life we have in the Santa Ynez Valley, the children bringing home their memories of holding chickens, bottle feeding the baby goats, seeing a real garden, touching a horse and finding fresh eggs in the chicken coop.   Life long memories she wrote.  Things we can take for granted everyday but memories that these kids will have for a long time, memories that I now have as an adult of similar visits in my childhood.  I smile and immediately feel happy.




With these visits every once in a while something magical happens. One mother that was visiting was expressing earlier that her oldest son had some anxiety issues and was not sure how to deal with them.  In their visit the boy was immediately drawn to our horse Gator.  Now let me tell you Gator has been known to be a bit feisty but he sensed something about the child and became putty in his hands.  The boy hugged and feed Gator and calmness overcame the both of them.  It was amazing to watch this, like something so natural that just seems right.  Sometimes it takes looking at things through a child’s eyes to reinvigorate the joy and amazement that everyday life on the farm brings.  My love affair with this life is increasing.

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