Despite our (accidental!) city living, I’m keen to give my children all the wonderful country experiences that I’ve come to love and never had exposure to until I began to seek it out 3 or so years ago as I hit my mid & late 20′s. Another thing I’m quite passionate about is volunteering, though I’ve not found it easy to find family volunteer opportunities that work with our real life and with my children’s ages. When you are in Grade 1 and 2 there are many things you may like to do but they are not yet ready for you . A couple of months ago I read about a small, organic farm about an hour north of us that welcomed volunteers. They also didn’t require a weekly committment, had flexible hours were more than happy for children to volunteer! We signed up to do a 2.5 hr shift (really as much as my children can manage) every 3 weeks and oh how we love it so! Today the harvest was zucchini (courgettes) and garlic. i have to say I was a little iffy about going – the heat, another drive so soon after our holiday, trying to stick to the petrol budget and exhaustion all played a part in my uncertainty, but I remembered it was a long weekend (my long weekends as a child were rarely spent doing fun things!) and my children have missed out on so many opportunities, and despite the tick tock of the clock with all the work I need to complete, I remembered my new resolve and decided we would forge ahead. And I have to say, I’m so glad we did. The children learned a lot about farming, crops and different species of the same veg! What’s more, as “payment” for our hard work, we were gifted umpteen zucchini, garlic, tomatoes and once I shared my love of garlic scape – well, they were given by the bucket load. Garlic scape pesto it is! This week, we are certainly swimming in fresh produce!
I first mentioned our farm volunteering when I wrote about frugal summers with children here and here. This summer I really came to see both that there are so many wonderful, educational, fun and frugal activities and, really, there are thousands of opportunities out there, you just need to go and find them!