A cameraphone pic of the big sister helping the little brother as they romp around on the hay bales near The Edible Schoolyard’s tool shed and chicken coop.
When the going gets tough, the tough (read: me and the kiddles) go to either Little Farm, or The Edible Schoolyard. Â Clearly there’s some Â kinda search for the lost idyll of youth going on here. Â But it’s not totally mythical for me; I did grow up with a herd of cattle in my backyard. Â Okay, not my back yard, exactly, but adjacent to it. Â One time the bull and one or two cows cleared our rinky-dink barbed-wire fence, unable to overcome the temptations of the freshly irrigated green grass. Â Couldn’t wait ’til they heard the sound of our push-mower, and my sister and me to feed them hand-fulls of it through the fence.
(From about June ’til at least October, November, let me tell you, the grasses are dry around these parts. Â I’d scramble over a barbed wire fence for that sweet juicy stuff, too.)
The rolling hills of the 350-acre cow pasture have long since been filled in with silt from the local reservoir and built upon. Â Another multi-hundred unit tract development, to match the one I grew up in. Â An exurb, transforming to a suburb. Â It happened at the close of my middle school years. Â Can’t think of a more apt sign of the end of thatÂ pastoralÂ innocence. Â Coulda been worse, I suppose. Â
Nowadays, as frequently as humanly possible, I take my city-slicker kids to these patches of rural bliss amidst the urban hubbub. Â Can’t tell who benefits from these trips more: them or me.