Tuesday, July 24, 2012

When Mother Nature Shows You Her Teats

We went to a farm over the weekend.

A very cool, kinda-trendy farm that some of you may recognize from Season 5 of Top Chef. It was the kind of place that made you want to compost and use homemade soap wrapped in wax paper with a wee bit of twine, it made you want to eat soft cheeses off a slate board and gather Zinnias to put in mason jars on your picnic table while you sipped wine and tried to pretend that you couldn't hear your children screaming in the background.

Ah the simple life.

It is a great place for families and to say that the day was gloooorious would be an understatement. We met some great friends and signed the kids up for some egg gathering.

Since I hate birds, QT and I stayed outside the fence while the Ladies and their dad gathered up some farm-fresh eggs. We had to pay $10 per person to gather the eggs from the hen house, however, we didn't get to keep any of the eggs. I am pretty sure that violates some sort of child labor law, but as long as I didn't have to actually share space with any of the birds, I was content to observe the Ladies clutching their father's shoulders as they timidly reached into the nest boxes, while I swatted away bugs and wondered why I thought wearing flip-flops to a farm was a good idea.

The thing about farms, like zoos, is that nature is just right in your face. And with that comes questions. Questions that can't always be answered by Jesus or Magic.

When I told the Lady that we would be doing some egg gathering, she asked me if the eggs had chicks in them. I mumbled something about how there were no chicks in the eggs and tried to change the subject. Note to self: Google before you go.

I was relieved when the farm hand (a sprite, young lady is super tight pants) told the kids that all the chickens were hens and that none of the eggs contained chicks, because they hadn't been fertilized by a rooster. I was also relieved when the Ladies didn't ask me what fertilization was. They are well versed on how babies get out of a body, (why yes, the Little Lady did ask me if babies come out of a vagina in the dressing room at our old friend Old Navy, laughter from adjacent stalls followed) they still have no clue on how they get in.

Moving on.

Since it was a warm day the farm hand invited us all to observe the pigs getting sprayed with water so they could wallow in the mud and cool off.

These pigs were pretty big and I was grateful for the electric fence that separated us. What I wasn't so grateful for was the show they were about to give.

I could try to describe to you what it is like to be standing 4 feet from a group of pigs, with four curious kids under 5, when one of the pigs starts to pee and another one starts to drink it directly from the source.

Or I could just show you a photo.

Want to see? Of course you do. What? I already had the camera out.

This is mother nature at her finest. Do they make Purell for eyes?

As I snapped away with my camera to bring you a clear photo, we were told that there were piglets down a path in the woods. No need to say more. We stopped at the wash station at the bottom of the hill and tried to sanitize the hen stank from the hands of our children and started walking.

Piglets are so cute. Do you know what isn't so cute? The momma pig, with her engorged breasts, fighting for a bit of room to get at her rutabaga. I feel for you momma pig, it is hard to focus on you when there are so many mouths to feed. I especially felt your pain when I saw how heavy your teats hung on one side while the other side was shriveled and small. Oh the milk duds! The milk duds! It isn't often that you get hit with the hard reality of your life in a pig pen on an organic farm.

The day ended like most fun-filled family trips to the farm, with a few minutes in the overpriced gift shop ogling handmade crafts, while we fought the clock to get back home so my husband could get to his softball tournament, and the Lady screamed in the backseat about wanting to stop and see sheep, even though she could clearly see them out the window. There was me finally noticing the poo on my feet and daydreaming about planting organic vegetables that my children would gather and we would prepare on easy, summer afternoons, in the gloaming where the sky is golden and there is only one hour until bedtime.

Oh Mother Nature, you can flash me anytime.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Beans- leave it to you to catch a photo of the pig drinking pee. The wild man and the wild woman both found it hysterical but I have had to field a lot of questions about why the pig was doing that. Jesus and Magic did not seem to fit as a correct response.