I think gardeners must suffer a worse case of spring fever than the average Joe, and North Texas weather only plays with our emotions making the situation even worse. We have beautiful days followed by cold snaps frequently with little or no warning. It’s a dance of self control and roulette with the Farmer’s Almanac officiating.
We have no kids of our own, so the farm and garden are managed by us alone. If you live on a farm, you know that the chore list is never ending. Gardening season kicks that list up a notch or two. This season we are trying something new. Have you heard of WOOFing?Technically, the acronym is WWOOF, and stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms. It is an international organization that connects people who want to learn about organic farming with organic farms who needs extra set(s) of hands…. people like us! You can actually plan a learning/working vacation by being a willing WOOFer. We live in a deep and friendship filled community. While many of our friends have their own farms, we also have friends who live in town in subdivisions where gardening is hampered by privacy fences, small yards, poor soil, and a low bee population. We have one friend in particular who homeschools their children, and was looking for a way to incorporate gardening and self sufficiency skills (a dying art in my opinion!) into the curriculum. WOOFing in the truest sense means that the student generally lives on the farm for a period of time while working… so food and lodging in exchange for work. We are modifying that format a bit in this case, and I’ve got two young WOOF pups who will be learning the finer points of organic gardening alongside me this season and will be taking harvest bounty home in exchange for their work. It’s definitely a win/win situation for all parties involved. My two young friends have proven themselves to be hard workers…. harder even than many adults I know. I am really looking forward to passing what I know and have learned thus far on to the next generation, and am loving the relationship I’m building with my WOOF Pups. Respect and love for what we grow to nourish our bodies (whether that be animal or plant) is something I hope to pass on to others. The “cleanest” food we can eat is that which we have the most control over from start to finish (much like the company I represent), and it’s the most very basic first sustainable step in living a life focused on complete wellness.
Gardening, you see, fills so many needs: Spiritually, it gives you time to pray and connect with nature. Physically, it provides you with exercise, sunshine, and direct contact with dirt (a very very good thing!). Emotionally, it has been scientifically proven to be a balm for the soul…..originally thought to be simply calming, but now there is evidence that exposure to microbes in the soil actually BOOST serotonin levels in the brain providing a sense of peace. And finally, Nourishment…..if grown organically, you will have regular access to some of the healthiest food you can get your paws on.
We’ve got our onions, lettuce and kale planted… that’s all I’m brave enough to plant for now. But in just a week or two we will begin planting the rest of our seeds. In the meantime….. lots of preparation is still in order for this busy busy time. Stay tuned for updates!
Why try to explain miracles to Kids when you could just have them plant a garden? ~ Robert Brault