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Getting to Know Our "Kids"

(I put the word kids in quotes because they really aren't kids anymore. Even if I think of them as so. They're grown ups really, but, I'll probably always call them kids.)

It's occurred to me that you often see Liam, Aidan, and Marlee in farming photos working hard.

And that’s because they are integral to the process of getting food to you.

Whether it’s moving cows, gathering eggs, or harvesting and packing vegetables before CSA delivery and market days, all that gets done on the farm wouldn't -- actually couldn’t -- get done without them!

Ever since they joined us, they've been included in whatever Bill and I were working on.

They tagged along, helped, and sometimes distracted or slowed us down a little, we have almost always known they contributed positively.

When the day comes that one or more of them leave the farm, we'll be hard pressed to find others that understand it, us, and what we do here, as well as they do. (Shhh! I selfishly hope that day never comes.)

But we’ve always encouraged them to pursue their own interests as well.

As homeschooled kids, they had lots of time to dive deep into different projects like:

weaving baskets with reeds found by the swampy marsh,

designing and fashioning clothing items,

forging knives,

building furniture,

setting up a rabbitry,

tanning hides,

practicing costume make-up techniques,

rebuilding truck transmissions,

planning themed meals

doing comedy sketches.

As they got into their teenage years, we pretty quickly, saw Aidan’s interest veer into farming, livestock raising, and related equipment and machinery areas.

And there it's stayed as he learns and does more and more each year. You could say he's grown into his farmer britches naturally.

You've probably noticed that you see him in my accountings of farm happenings, and that's because he's always seems to be in the middle of whatever it is!

Checking out pasture regrowth.

"Chillin" with the cattle.

Liam and Marlee have more non-farming related things they like to do.

They've both been pretty busy this summer doing them. I’m thinking it might be interesting for you to see some of those and get to know them a little better.

Here's Liam with one of several commissioned dragon lawn art sculptures.

This one is fashioned after dragons found in Chinese literature.

Other memorable ones were a mid-flight action dragon with horns, and a fierce forbidding dragon with a spiky back to name a few.

Taking a break from the mythical, he's also crafted a botanically-themed shepherd's hook made to specifications for one of our farmers market customers. And of course another sword. (I forgot to take a photo of the sword.)

Liam's artistic bent comes to life in the kitchen also as he often carves food, especially melons.

We never know what to expect when he starts swinging a chef's knife.

This time it was a mouth of jagged teeth and a tongue.

Sometimes he practices bringing design ideas to life this way before forging or welding metal in his shop.

And then we eat them! LOL.

Marlee has what I call creative bursts.

She'll go for days quietly spending her free time reading, writing, walking outside, and sometimes taking photos. Then she'll get inspired by an idea or project and work feverishly for hours on end to bring it to life.

Lately she's been fascinated with making one-of-a-kind journals.

She sews pages together, adds book corners, designs covers, and often embellishes the books with ribbon bookmarks, ties, or even purse-like straps.

I was lucky enough to be gifted one!

And now other family members are requesting.

Other times, it's been painting or decorating flower pots with various mediums so 3d snakes seem to wrap up around the potted plants held within, or bringing a character to life with make-up and costumes she designs.

Marlee - in action - capturing a sunset.

She's taught me how to look at vegetables, flowers, sunsets - everything really - from different perspectives. (She likes photographing sunrises too but feels there's more variety of contrasting colors in the sunsets so they're her favorite.)

One of my very favorite of her photos - frosted Queen Anne’s Lace taken during the shifting light of a late fall day.

Of course, this is just a quick glimpse into what makes these very-special-to-us people tick.

They're each uniquely more complicated than this accounting of a few of their interests, but I hope this helps you get to know them a little more.


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