Sunday, July 10, 2011

Down on the farm

My friend Stephanie called me today and invited us to go with her to a farm located in Lithia. Bella was with Grandma Ruth and Ian, so I accompanied Stephanie and Connor to the farm. She had heard there were animals to see and grapes to pick. I figured it'd be fun and we hit the road in the early afternoon. 

It was H-O-T!!! THe farm is located in Lithia, which is pretty much landlocked and there was not a breeze to be had. The moment we got out of the car we were sweating bullets. It was a relatively small farm and the gentleman who owned the farm dabbled in many different fruits, vegetables, herbs and animals. We were quickly greeted by two dogs and a flock of chickens. There were chickens, turkeys and ducks to feed and a pony to pet. Connor seemed to enjoy himself and it will be fun to go back with Bella one day.

Figuring out the various seasons in Florida can be tricky. Tomatoes and strawberries are no longer in season and it's not quite time for citrus fruit, so it was slim pickings (literally) in terms of fruits and vegetables. Except for grapes... but Stephanie and I quickly realized that we've been spoiled by seedless grapes from the grocery store and these grapes were not seedless. The grapes were small because the farm doesn't use pesticides or fertilizer, and taking the seeds of of the small grapes would leave nothing left for the kids to eat. We snipped a few bunches of grapes for the adults to enjoy. We also snipped parsley, rosemary, dill, basil and chives. The herbs smelled so good and were pretty much the highlight of our trip. We also picked some squash and a few onions. 

The farm charges $1 per pound and after weighing my loot, I only paid $2 for an onion, squash, a bunch of grapes and all the fresh herbs. Can't beat that! We also stopped by a produce stand on the way home and picked up a few locally grown things, like corn and cantaloupe. Yum!

Stephanie and I plan on finding more local farms so we can provide fresh fruits, vegetables and maybe even milk and eggs for our families. It's fun teaching the kids where their food comes from and it's nice to provide healthy food options from local growers. Plus it's fun to take the kids to new places and watch them explore new things. Bella will definitely be joining us on future trips to the farm. 

Well, I've got homemade mashed potatoes to make (with fresh chives) and fresh corn to steam. Sunday family dinner... what a wonderful way to end a great weekend. 

Love always,
Ian, Kim & Bella

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