Today we visited Raft Swam Farms with my good friend Melinda. There is a great story behind them that you can read on their website. The couple that started it leases plots of land to local people to grow organic vegetables on. A few of those people sell at the Farmer’s Market, some of our favorite vendors, actually.
I wanted to pick blueberries with the girls, and it seems like most of the places around here use pesticides, which isn’t allowed at Raft Swamp, so we went there and since it’s late and the end of the season only got a handful. We would have gotten more but the girls were quite the little citydwellers today!
I would have thought, for two girls that long to be out in the yard all day in the hot North Carolina weather, and who eat two pints of blueberries the day we get home from the Farmer’s Market each Wednesday, they’d have been all over those bue berry bushes.
But there were some pretty bothersome bugs around us and Azita, wearing a dress as a matter of principle (yesterday she spent 20 minutes complaining that her dresses weren’t sparkly and beautiful enough to go to Target. I don’t know where she gets that from. Oh wait, yes I do, thank you to the mother-in-law!) kept getting scratched by the grass and bit by the bugs.
The owner was kind enough to give us some basil to rub on our skin, and I really think it helped. I’m always paranoid about little Ada because her skin puffs up so red, despite me letting her play in the dirt and be outside. She’s just sensitive, that one.
But it was all for the best, because the man who owns and runs Raft Swamp Farms came with his golf course and took us on a little tour (and the breeze from the golf cart was very, very welcome). We saw logs that will grow local shi-itake mushrooms, an outhouse with a composting toilet that was 300 percent more sanitary and humane than the porta-potties you see at outdoor fairs, a few greenhouses, trees that will bear local, organic fruit, rain barrels and such.
It was great. I felt that the girls were a little less up to it than I would have thought, but when we got home Azita still said “I had a great time blueberry picking. I loved it.”
She mostly just picked blueberries out of the bucket I was using and ate them, but it’s all good.
It was great. Nothing like being that hot and sticky on an overcast day to make you grateful and thankful and in awe of farmers and what they do. And thankful for A/C. All the eco-friendly green-ness of the place does make me feel good that we chose to install a geothermal system for our hear and A/C though. Makes me feel a smidge less guilty for being such a spoiled, industrialized girl!
And it makes you think twice too, about wondering and perhaps complaing about why certain vegetables and fruits cost what they do. We were ready to stop picking berries long before we’d ever have enough to sell.
It was a great little field trip.