We are privileged to have an organic farm/CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) right down the road from us. The farm offers subscriptions where buyers receive a weekly box of produce, eggs, and artesian bread (optional). We have chosen a worker share which means that we work 3 hours a week during the season (June – Nov) in exchange for our box of produce.
One of our completed boxes. Produce varies from week to week there is also lettuce and corn in this box. Lately it has been filled with corn and tomatoes...my favorites!
This is the third year the three older boys (thanks Mom for watching the little ones!) and I have been at the farm and I am delighted with how well they work. The first two years we did jobs such as washing scallions to bagging/weighing salad mix and also making and stacking boxes in preparation for packing. With that type of job I had them work for at least an hour and then they could go and play as there were others helping out as well.
Pete getting ready to put scallions in the box. Before-hand they were washed, counted out and rubber-banded, then the tops were evenly trimmed.
This year however, we work during packing which works out much better for us. When needed we do help process some produce but for the most part our job is on the assembly line with each of us assigned to put a certain item/s in the box as it comes down the rollers. The boys are able to work so much longer as they are kept busy and it is fun being with other children on the line as a friend of mine works at the same time with her family. It gets a little chaotic for us Moms at times but I am thankful that the boys continue to have good attitudes and do not usually complain about the task no matter how long it takes. They do get a break and are often found in the chicken coop looking for eggs. (Not my idea of fun!)
Starting to get ready on the assembly line. The boxes stacked at the back are how many we fill.
Re-Pete starts the line this day putting the box on the rollers with George putting in beans.
We help to pack around 270 boxes of produce each week. One week we ended up working 4 ½ hours and I was amazed that the boys did not even realize how long we were there. Fresh produce is so tasty and we are able to try so many varieties (beets, eggplant, etc.) without the work of our own garden. The boys are also learning how to work together in a different situation. Although it is getting harder for me each week to keep up my energy level, I love working on the farm with my little crew -- dirty fingernails and all!
Here we are together on the line with a friend who lives at the farm.