Since camp started, we have had an unusual number of really hot and humid days. The average temp for this time of year is either side of 82 degrees. We have had several days around 90 or above. WOW!
Does this affect the farm and our 400 plus farmers? Most certainly. Our veggies, trees, and grapes are stressed; our pollinators are hanging in the shade; our flowers are wilting at an alarming rate; and our campers–well, our campers are running through sprinklers, watering the farm (and themselves) and generally having a glorious time.
Aren’t kids wonderful?
On the farm, we talk a lot about climate change, the impact that humans have had on the ozone layer, the condition of our oceans, rivers, and lakes. We discuss the grand ecosystem that is Planet Earth, and the smaller ecosystems of camp.
An ecosystem, as a particularly precocious camper pointed out to me the other day, is a community of living things, generally diverse by nature, that work together in a cooperative manner to achieve a common good. This week, Shira Goldstein, the supervisor of Journey’s Way, dropped in on one of our farm discussion groups to facilitate a conversation about the similarity of ecosystems at SLC including the communities of bunks, units, and the camp as a whole. Shira was describing our soil, our farm, our camp, and the various group associations that exist at camp. Just as the birds, bees, butterflies, and humans work together on the farm, a bunch of girls living together in a bunk are an ecosystem that is healthy if there is cooperation, respect, and unity–dysfunctional if that is not the case.
I’m proud to say that the majority of kids who come to the farm get this. It takes a little while, but after a couple of visits, they seem to understand that cooperation, respect, and unity are about more than just growing veggies and making pickles. This is the magic of the SLC farm. The children grow in so many ways, and as long as we give them lots of water on hot days, they, too, will flourish like our beautiful farm.
Until next week, Stay dirty.
Farmer Alan and Farmer Ivy